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Agronomy Journal Abstract - Cropping Systems

Self-Seeding Winter Cereal Cover Crops in Soybean


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 99 No. 1, p. 73-79
    Received: Feb 3, 2006

    * Corresponding author(s): singer@nstl.gov
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  1. Jeremy W. Singer *a,
  2. Keith A. Kohlera and
  3. Paul B. McDonaldb
  1. a USDA-ARS, National Soil Tilth Lab., Ames, IA 50011
    b Dep. of Agronomy, Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA 50011


Soil protection and nutrient scavenging benefits of cover crops have been widely reported. Nevertheless, adoption of cover crops in agronomic farming systems is low. Cover crop systems that do not require annual planting may increase adoption. The objectives of this study were to compare self-seeding and competitiveness of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), triticale (x Triticosecale Wittmack), and rye (Secale cereale L.) using different planting configurations and management options while growing concurrently with soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.]. Cover crops were planted with two or four 19-cm rows between each 76-cm soybean row. A no-cover crop check treatment was also included for comparison. Cover crop species and species × management system interactions were not significant for seed production or soybean seed yield. Averaged across management system, cereals produced 10 656 and 4051 seeds m−2 in 2004 and 2005. The two-row band, no-chop treatment (2RBNC) produced the most seed (20 347 and 14 511 seeds m−2) in 2004 and 2005, but also lowered soybean yield the greatest (45 and 40%). The four-row treatment with a late glyphosate band (4RLB) was the least competitive and yielded 3114 and 3717 kg ha−1 compared to 4019 and 4391 kg ha−1 in the check. Wheat had the greatest self-seeding, averaging about 31% of the original plant density. The four-row treatment without a glyphosate band (4RNB) could be used in organic production systems, although additional research is needed to develop less competitive self-seeding systems for conventional production systems.

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