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Peanut performance and weed management in a high-residue cover crop system

Jessica A. Kelton, Andrew J. Price, Kip S. Balkcom, Wilson H. Faircloth, Lina Sarunaite
Herbicides, agronomic crops and weed biology 2015 ch.5 pp. -
Secale cereale, conservation tillage, cover crops, crop residues, crop yield, energy crops, fallow, high performance liquid chromatography, peanuts, pendimethalin, planting, preemergent weed control, rolling, rye, soil sampling, weed biology, winter, Alabama, Georgia
Previous research has indicated that conservation tillage is a viable option for suc‐ cessful peanut production; however, interactions between cover crop residues and peanut growth are not fully understood. Additional information is needed about the effects of varying levels of cover crop biomass on peanut growth and develop‐ ment. Level of cover crop residue may also affect the preemergence herbicide activi‐ ty through interception and efficacy of weed suppression. The objectives of this peanut research were to determine if varying amounts of cover crop biomass would affect peanut growth, herbicide interception, or weed control. This research also aimed to determine if cover crop management practices (rolling or standing cover) would affect herbicide interception rates. The study consisted of a rye (Secale cereale L.) cover crop planted at three different dates as well as a fallow treatment at two locations: Dawson, GA, and Headland, AL. Pendimethalin was applied PRE at 1 kg ai/ha across the entire area just prior to planting of the Georgia 03-L peanut variety. Soil samples were collected at three different dates after planting for high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) analysis to determine pendimethalin levels. Peanut yields differed only between location regardless of cover crop residue level with the Headland, Alabama, site averaging 4,272 kg/ha and the Dawson, Georgia, site aver‐ aging 2,247 kg/ha. Pendimethalin extraction from soil samples indicated no differ‐ ence in herbicide recovery between winter fallow systems compared to treatments with cover crops. Weed control ratings taken at 21 and 45 days after planting (DAP) showed greater weed suppression for cover crop systems for an extended period of time when higher levels of cover crop biomass are present. Results of this experi‐ ment indicate the inclusion of cover crops in a conservation-tilled peanut system can be a successful alternative to winter fallow systems without reducing peanut yield or herbicide efficacy.