Cover crop termination timing is critical in organic rotational no-till systems

C. L. Keene, William Curran, John Wallace, M. R. Ryan, S. B. Mirsky, M. J. Vangessel, Mary Ellen Barbercheck

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cover crop-based rotational no-till enables organic farmers to reduce labor and build soil health. In these systems, cover crops are terminated with a roller-crimper and cash crops are direct-seeded into the resulting mulch. A systems experiment was conducted at three Mid- Atlantic locations to test how cover crop termination timing affects cover crop biomass production, control, and volunteers in subsequent crops during the transition to organic production. The annual crop rotation was hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) plus triticale (x Triticosecale Wittm.)–corn (Zea mays L.)–cereal rye (Secale cereale L.)– soybean [(Glycine max (L.) Merr.]–winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using a full-entry design. Cover crops were terminated based on growth stages designated Early, Intermediate, or Late. Hairy vetch– triticale and cereal rye biomass production exceeded 5000 kg ha−1 by Late termination in all site- years. Although hairy vetch–triticale biomass production peaked at early flowering of hairy vetch, control increased as termination was delayed. Hairy vetch regrowth and volunteer hairy vetch in subsequent soybean and winter wheat crops was lower in Late compared to Early termination treatments. Cereal rye biomass increased as termination was delayed but optimal control was achieved with Intermediate termination. Rolling cereal rye Early resulted in tillering and seed production whereas rolling Late allowed kernels to mature. Wheat grain contamination by volunteer hairy vetch ranged from 11 to 29% and by volunteer cereal rye from 3 to 11% at Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively, demonstrating that minimizing cover crop seed production with strategic termination is critical in rotational no-till.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)272-282
Number of pages11
JournalAgronomy Journal
Volume109
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2017

Fingerprint

Vicia villosa
cover crops
no-tillage
rye
seed productivity
volunteers
Triticosecale
biomass production
winter wheat
volunteer plants
soybeans
cash crops
biomass
Secale cereale
tillering
organic production
regrowth
Glycine max
soil quality
labor

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Agronomy and Crop Science

Cite this

Keene, C. L. ; Curran, William ; Wallace, John ; Ryan, M. R. ; Mirsky, S. B. ; Vangessel, M. J. ; Barbercheck, Mary Ellen. / Cover crop termination timing is critical in organic rotational no-till systems. In: Agronomy Journal. 2017 ; Vol. 109, No. 1. pp. 272-282.
@article{469b1f13cb9241c9aaa67f61b96fa72e,
title = "Cover crop termination timing is critical in organic rotational no-till systems",
abstract = "Cover crop-based rotational no-till enables organic farmers to reduce labor and build soil health. In these systems, cover crops are terminated with a roller-crimper and cash crops are direct-seeded into the resulting mulch. A systems experiment was conducted at three Mid- Atlantic locations to test how cover crop termination timing affects cover crop biomass production, control, and volunteers in subsequent crops during the transition to organic production. The annual crop rotation was hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) plus triticale (x Triticosecale Wittm.)–corn (Zea mays L.)–cereal rye (Secale cereale L.)– soybean [(Glycine max (L.) Merr.]–winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using a full-entry design. Cover crops were terminated based on growth stages designated Early, Intermediate, or Late. Hairy vetch– triticale and cereal rye biomass production exceeded 5000 kg ha−1 by Late termination in all site- years. Although hairy vetch–triticale biomass production peaked at early flowering of hairy vetch, control increased as termination was delayed. Hairy vetch regrowth and volunteer hairy vetch in subsequent soybean and winter wheat crops was lower in Late compared to Early termination treatments. Cereal rye biomass increased as termination was delayed but optimal control was achieved with Intermediate termination. Rolling cereal rye Early resulted in tillering and seed production whereas rolling Late allowed kernels to mature. Wheat grain contamination by volunteer hairy vetch ranged from 11 to 29{\%} and by volunteer cereal rye from 3 to 11{\%} at Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively, demonstrating that minimizing cover crop seed production with strategic termination is critical in rotational no-till.",
author = "Keene, {C. L.} and William Curran and John Wallace and Ryan, {M. R.} and Mirsky, {S. B.} and Vangessel, {M. J.} and Barbercheck, {Mary Ellen}",
year = "2017",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.2134/agronj2016.05.0266",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "109",
pages = "272--282",
journal = "Agronomy Journal",
issn = "0002-1962",
publisher = "American Society of Agronomy",
number = "1",

}

Cover crop termination timing is critical in organic rotational no-till systems. / Keene, C. L.; Curran, William; Wallace, John; Ryan, M. R.; Mirsky, S. B.; Vangessel, M. J.; Barbercheck, Mary Ellen.

In: Agronomy Journal, Vol. 109, No. 1, 01.01.2017, p. 272-282.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Cover crop termination timing is critical in organic rotational no-till systems

AU - Keene, C. L.

AU - Curran, William

AU - Wallace, John

AU - Ryan, M. R.

AU - Mirsky, S. B.

AU - Vangessel, M. J.

AU - Barbercheck, Mary Ellen

PY - 2017/1/1

Y1 - 2017/1/1

N2 - Cover crop-based rotational no-till enables organic farmers to reduce labor and build soil health. In these systems, cover crops are terminated with a roller-crimper and cash crops are direct-seeded into the resulting mulch. A systems experiment was conducted at three Mid- Atlantic locations to test how cover crop termination timing affects cover crop biomass production, control, and volunteers in subsequent crops during the transition to organic production. The annual crop rotation was hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) plus triticale (x Triticosecale Wittm.)–corn (Zea mays L.)–cereal rye (Secale cereale L.)– soybean [(Glycine max (L.) Merr.]–winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using a full-entry design. Cover crops were terminated based on growth stages designated Early, Intermediate, or Late. Hairy vetch– triticale and cereal rye biomass production exceeded 5000 kg ha−1 by Late termination in all site- years. Although hairy vetch–triticale biomass production peaked at early flowering of hairy vetch, control increased as termination was delayed. Hairy vetch regrowth and volunteer hairy vetch in subsequent soybean and winter wheat crops was lower in Late compared to Early termination treatments. Cereal rye biomass increased as termination was delayed but optimal control was achieved with Intermediate termination. Rolling cereal rye Early resulted in tillering and seed production whereas rolling Late allowed kernels to mature. Wheat grain contamination by volunteer hairy vetch ranged from 11 to 29% and by volunteer cereal rye from 3 to 11% at Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively, demonstrating that minimizing cover crop seed production with strategic termination is critical in rotational no-till.

AB - Cover crop-based rotational no-till enables organic farmers to reduce labor and build soil health. In these systems, cover crops are terminated with a roller-crimper and cash crops are direct-seeded into the resulting mulch. A systems experiment was conducted at three Mid- Atlantic locations to test how cover crop termination timing affects cover crop biomass production, control, and volunteers in subsequent crops during the transition to organic production. The annual crop rotation was hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth) plus triticale (x Triticosecale Wittm.)–corn (Zea mays L.)–cereal rye (Secale cereale L.)– soybean [(Glycine max (L.) Merr.]–winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) using a full-entry design. Cover crops were terminated based on growth stages designated Early, Intermediate, or Late. Hairy vetch– triticale and cereal rye biomass production exceeded 5000 kg ha−1 by Late termination in all site- years. Although hairy vetch–triticale biomass production peaked at early flowering of hairy vetch, control increased as termination was delayed. Hairy vetch regrowth and volunteer hairy vetch in subsequent soybean and winter wheat crops was lower in Late compared to Early termination treatments. Cereal rye biomass increased as termination was delayed but optimal control was achieved with Intermediate termination. Rolling cereal rye Early resulted in tillering and seed production whereas rolling Late allowed kernels to mature. Wheat grain contamination by volunteer hairy vetch ranged from 11 to 29% and by volunteer cereal rye from 3 to 11% at Maryland and Pennsylvania, respectively, demonstrating that minimizing cover crop seed production with strategic termination is critical in rotational no-till.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85010382801&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85010382801&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.2134/agronj2016.05.0266

DO - 10.2134/agronj2016.05.0266

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85010382801

VL - 109

SP - 272

EP - 282

JO - Agronomy Journal

JF - Agronomy Journal

SN - 0002-1962

IS - 1

ER -