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Weed Management in Organically Grown Kale Using Alternative Cover Cropping Systems
Husrev Mennan, Mathieu Ngouajio, Emine Kaya and Dogan Isik
Vol. 23, No. 1 (JANUARY-MARCH 2009), pp. 81-88
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40587045
Page Count: 8
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Organic vegetable producers have limited options for managing weeds. They cite weed management as their number one research priority. Studies were conducted in 2004 and 2005 at the Black Sea Agricultural Research Institute, Samsun, Turkey, to determine the weed suppressive effects of summer cover crops in organic kale production. Treatments consisted of grain sorghum, sudangrass, hairy vetch, grain amaranth, pea, and fallow. Weed density and total weed dry biomass were assessed before and at 14, 28, and 56 d after incorporation (DAI) of the cover crops. Kale was transplanted 14 DAI and hand weeded once after last weed evaluation (56 DAI). All cover crops produced at least 1 ton/ha (t/ha) biomass; grain sorghum produced more dry matter than all other cover crops in both years. After incorporation of the cover crops, hairy vetch and sorghum treatments showed fewer species, lower weed density, and total weed dry biomass compared with other treatments. Cover crops suppressed emergence of common purslane, common lambsquarters, redroot pigweed, European heliotrope, field pennycress, annual sowthistle, black nightshade, shepherd's-purse, wild mustard, sun spurge, Persian speedwell, annual mercury, and jimsonweed up to 56 DAI. Total kale yield in hairy vetch treatments was more than double that of the no cover crop, and was significantly higher than yield from the other cover crop treatments. These results indicate that hairy vetch, grain sorghum, and sudangrass have ability to suppress early-season weeds in organic kale production.
Weed Technology © 2009 Weed Science Society of America