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Cover crops improve early season natural enemy recruitment and pest management in cotton production

In fall 2000, a non-farm sustainable agricultural research project was established fo rcotton, Gossypium hirsutum L., in Tift County, Georgia. The objective of our 2-yr research project was to determine the impact of several cover crops on pest and predator insects in cotton. The cover cover crop treatments included 1) cerealrye, Secale cereale L., a standard grass cover crop; 2) crimson clover, Trifolium incarnatum L., a standard legume cover crop; 3) a legume mixture of balansa clover, Trifolium michelianum Savi; crimson clover; and hairy vetch, Vicia villosa Roth; 4) a legume mixture rye combination; and 5) no cover crop in conventionally tilled fields.

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