Spring- and Fall-Seeded Radish Cover-Crop Effects on Weed Management in Corn

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3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Weeds often limit productivity of organic cropping systems. Radish is a fast-growing, potentially allelopathic cover crop that has the potential to improve weed management in organic systems. To evaluate the effect of radish on density, cover, and biomass of weeds in organically managed corn, 2-yr field experiments were conducted over 4 site years. Four cover-crop planting treatments (fall-only, spring-only, fall + spring, and no cover) were tested in factorial with three cultivation treatments (standard [three to four passes], false seedbed [standard with a false seedbed], and reduced [two passes]). All plots were tilled before planting. Shoot biomass averaged 3,057 kg ha-1 for fall-seeded radish and 385 kg ha-1 for spring-seeded radish. Radish cover crops generally did not improve management of weeds during the corn growing season. However, in the absence of a false seedbed, fall-seeded radish reduced field pennycress density from 9 to < 1 plant m-2 and horseweed density from 6 to 2 plants m-2 in spring in site years where these weeds were present. Fall-seeded radish also reduced cover of summer annual weeds during the fall cover-crop growing season from 4 to 0% in 1 site year, preventing these weeds from setting seed. Radish cover crops did not affect corn grain yield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)559-572
Number of pages14
JournalWeed Technology
Volume30
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016

Keywords

  • Brassica
  • ecological weed management
  • frost seeding
  • green manures
  • organic cropping systems

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