Growing Mustard for Biofumigation

Biofumigation is the suppression of soil born pests and diseases through the use of plants that produce inhibitory chemicals, also known as secondary metabolites. In most cases these biofumigant plants are chopped and incorporated into the soil so they can release their inhibitory chemicals. Mustard is a well understood biofumigant. Its biofumigation properties have been […]

Conservation Tillage Tomato Production in California’s San Joaquin Valley

In California’s Central Valley, CT approaches are receiving interest as a means to cut costs and reduce dust and diesel fuel emissions from production fields. However, very little information currently exists on using CT for processing tomato production, most likely because of the recognized need for clean bed conditions for planting, harvesting, and incorporating herbicides, […]

Evaluation of Drought Tolerant Cover Crops for California’s Central Valley

Winter cover crops are grown infrequently by farmers in California’s Central Valley because dry seasons are common over the winter. The potential requirement for irrigation during a dry year serves as a barrier to increased implementation of cover crops and growers frequently leave fields fallow.  This study was conducted at the USDA Natural Resources Conservation […]

Long-term use of cover crops and no-till shift soil microbial community life strategies in agricultural soil

Reducing tillage and growing cover crops, widely recommended practices for boosting soil health, have major impacts on soil communities. Surprisingly little is known about their impacts on soil microbial functional diversity, and especially so in irrigated Mediterranean ecosystems. In long-term experimental plots at the West Side Research and Extension Center in California’s Central Valley, we […]

The Effect of an Irrigated Buckwheat Cover Crop on Grape Vine Productivity, and Beneficial Insect and Grape Pest Abundance in Southern California

The effect of an irrigated buckwheat cover crop on populations of beneficial insects and grape pests, vine growth, grape yield, and berry quality was investigated over 1 year in a commercial organic vineyard in southern California, USA. Buckwheat was grown in the spring and summer with additional irrigation that supplemented prevailing vine watering regimens.

Cover Crops Prove Effective at Increasing Soil Nitrogen for Organic Potato Production

This study assessed the use of cover crops and organic amendments for increasing soil nitrogen for potato production at the Intermountain Research and Extension Center in Tulelake. Researchers evaluated several cover crop species, three planting dates and multiple cover crop mixes. Amendments included composts, manures, bloodmeal and soymeal. The data collected in the study included […]

Research trials examine potential benefits of cover crops in watermelon production

Amanda McWhirt, extension fruit and horticulture specialist for the Division of Agriculture, said two major research trials, being held at both the Southwest Research and Extension Center in Hope, and the Vegetable Research Station in Kibler, Arkansas, are examining the potential benefits of cover crops in watermelon production. A third trial, led by Matthew Bertucci, […]

A Study of Short-Season Winter Cover Crops for Organic High Tunnel Production Systems

This two-year study investigated short-season winter cover crops to improve soil quality and growth of subsequent vegetable crops in an organic high tunnel production system. Five winter cover crop treatments including a nontreated control, Austrian winter peas (Pisum arvense), bell beans (Vicia faba), mustard (Brassica juncea cv. Kodiak), and Daikon radish (Raphanus sativus var. longipinnatus) […]

Winter Field Pea as a Leguminous Cover Crop in Corn Production

Leguminous cover crops, which fix nitrogen (N) from the atmosphere and add to the N content of the soil, have the potential to replace or partially replace commercial nitrogen fertilizers.  In this experiment, field pea (Pisum arvense) was used as the leguminous cover crop in a conventional tilled corn (Zea mays) production system.

Effects of Cover Crop Treatments on Apple Trees

Ground cover management systems affect soil quality and health and thereby orchard growth and productivity.  There have been few studies in the southern US on the effects of managed drive-rows using cover crops as part of a sustainable apple orchard management system.  A field study used treatments of 1) seasonal legumes (cowpea [Vigna unguiculata] and […]

Value of Cover Crops in Suppressing WEeds and Protecting Cotton Yields and Likelihood of Residual Herbicide Carryover to Cover Crops

Weed-resistance management has become a topic of concern for modern agriculture. Cost related to herbicide usage has increased greatly due to evolution and proliferation of resistant weeds. Therefore, experiments were conducted to investigate the potential for using cover crops to suppress problematic weeds in cotton as well as chemical options for cover crop dessication, and […]

Cover Crops in Alaska

Multi species mix of cover crops at wrigley Farms. This field is in fallow rotation with barley for Alaska Flour Company.

BLOG: Cover Crops

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