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Danielle D. Treadwell and Nancy G. Creamer

Row intercropping sweet corn (Zea mays L.) with a living mulch of buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench) may reduce weed competition without reducing sweet corn yields. The objective of this experiment was to examine competition for nutrients, crop water use, and plant growth between weeds, buckwheat, and organically grown sweet corn, and examine the impact of buckwheat on weed densities and corn yields. In 1999, `Bodacious' (sehybrid) sweet corn was planted to 41,000 plants/ha stand and the following treatments were applied: 1) `Manor' buckwheat planted at 0 kg·ha–1, 56 kg·ha kg·ha–1, and 112 kg·ha–1, 2) buckwheat planted at three times: planting corn, at four-leaf corn and eight-leaf corn stage. A RCB design with four replications including a weedy/weed-free split was used. Above ground biomass of buckwheat was measured within a 1/2-m2 quadrat 8WAP and analyzed for C and N. Weed densities were taken within a 1/2-m2 quadrat 4WAP and 8WAP following each buckwheat planting. Buckwheat and corn tissue samples were analyzed for total nutrient content 8WAP. Soil samples were taken in corn and buckwheat interrows at emergence, 4 WAP, 8 WAP, and at harvest, and evaluated for inorganic nitrogen and soil moisture. Within rate treatments, yield was highest in weed and buckwheat-free (16.3 MT·ha–1) and lowest in weed-free 112 kg·ha–1 buckwheat (8.5 MT·ha–1). Within buckwheat timing treatments, yield was highest in 8 leaf (18.2 MT·ha–1) relative to at plant buckwheat. Weed densities were highest in no buckwheat (281 no/m2) and lowest in 56 kg·ha–1 buckwheat (28 no/m2) compared to the controls. These findings indicate buckwheat rate influences yield and weed density more than timing of buckwheat plant.

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Laura K. Hunsberger

Vegetable soybeans [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] (edamame) are growing in popularity as a niche crop grown by traditional grain producers. Edamame were grown in an organically transitional system from 2004–2005 at the University of Maryland Lower Eastern Shore Research and Education Center in Salisbury, Md. Four weed suppressing treatments were used in order to determine if this crop would grow well in an organic production system. Five varieties; BeSweet 2020S, BeSweet 292, 414F, Dixie (2004 only), and Mooncake (2005 only) were grown in a RCB design with 4 reps. The weed suppression systems included; a ground cover of commercially purchased compost in a 4-inch layer, a ground cover of straw in a 4-inch layer, New Zealand Clover applied as a living mulch at a rate of 35#/A and an untreated control. Soybeans grown in both commercial compost and clover had significantly higher yields (6,606 and 5,578 lb/acre, respectively) than those grown in the untreated control (4,283 lb/acre), but were not different from those grown in straw (5,578 lb/acre). Weed suppression system also had an affect on the pod number per plant. On average, compost, clover and straw had 49% more pods per plant than the control. Over both years, BeSweet 2020S, BeSweet 292, 414F, and Dixie all had significantly higher yields than Mooncake (5,003, 5,613, 5,522, 7,138 and 1,875 lb/acre, respectively). Variety also had an effect on pod number per plant, with BeSweet 2020S having a 37% higher pod number that BeSweet 292. It is feasible that vegetable soybeans can be grown organically or in a low input system. This value added crop could fill an important niche for both market growers and small traditional grain producers growers.

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Carlene A. Chase, Odemari S. Mbuya, and Danielle D. Treadwell

The effect of living mulches (LM) on weed suppression, crop growth and yield, and soil hydraulic conductivity were evaluated in broccoli in North Central Florida at Citra and in North Florida at Live Oak, using organic production methods. `Florida 401' rye, `Wrens Abruzzi' rye, black oat, and annual ryegrass, were either mowed or left untreated and compared with weedy and weed-free controls. Cover crop biomass was highest with `Florida 401' at both locations, intermediate with black oat and `Wrens Abruzzi', and lowest with ryegrass. The greatest weed infestation occurred with the weedy control. In Citra, ryegrass decreased weed biomass by 21% compared with ≈45% by the other LM with no differences due to mowing. However, at Live Oak, mowed LM and the weedy control had similar amounts of weed biomass; whereas unmowed LM had 30% to 40% less weed biomass than the weedy control. At both locations, broccoli heights were greatest with the weed-free control, intermediate with the cover crops, and lowest with the weedy control. Total above-ground broccoli biomass and marketable weight of broccoli at Live Oak, and number of marketable heads at both locations, were unaffected by the LM. At Citra, total broccoli biomass with LM and the weedy control decreased in a similar manner, so that total broccoli biomass was highest with the weed-free control. Ryegrass and the weedy control suppressed marketable broccoli weight by 24%; however, greater decrease in marketable weight (39% to 43%) occurred with `Florida 401', `Wrens Abruzzi', and black oat. At both locations, mowing of LM had no effect on broccoli growth or yield. There was no difference in saturated hydraulic conductivity among treatments.

Open access

Kaitlyn M. Orde, Rich Marini, Kathleen Demchak, and Rebecca Sideman

(Pritts, personal communication). Interestingly, all published low tunnel studies with strawberry have used white (or white-on-black) plastic as the ground mulch ( Anderson et al., 2019 ; Lewers et al., 2017 , 2020 ; Petran et al., 2016 ; Willden et

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Tom Forge, Gerry Neilsen, Denise Neilsen, Eugene Hogue, and Dana Faubion

groups, and the bacterivorous nematode community was in turn dominated (greater than 90%) by members of the Rhabditida classified as enrichment opportunists ( Bongers, 1999 ). Consequently, the responses to mulch of total free-living nematodes and the

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H.F. Abouziena, O.M. Hafez, I.M. El-Metwally, S.D. Sharma, and M. Singh

extensively in agriculture, but problems with these materials include increased runoff compared with living mulches, disposal and landfill concerns, and their restriction in “certified organic” production as a long-term management strategy. Consumption of

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Makhan S. Bhullar, Simerjeet Kaur, Tarundeep Kaur, and Amit J. Jhala

( Khurana et al., 1993 ). Properly timed straw mulch can suppress early germinating annual broadleaf and grass weeds and will be sustainable for a long period of time. Mulch, whether living or dead, inhibits the light necessary for weed shoot emergence and

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Emily E. Braun, Sarah Taylor Lovell, Mohammad Babadoost, Frank Forcella, Sharon Clay, Daniel Humburg, and Sam E. Wortman

living mulches J. Amer. Soc. Hort. Sci. 119 1193 1199 Sarkar, S. Singh, S.R. 2007 Interactive effect of tillage depth and mulch on soil temperature, productivity and water use pattern of rainfed barley ( Hordium vulgare L.) Soil Tillage Res. 92 1 1509

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Caitlin E. Splawski, Emilie E. Regnier, S. Kent Harrison, Karen Goodell, Mark A. Bennett, and James D. Metzger

vegetable crops with the added benefit that it limits the need for tillage and exposure of beneficial insects to potentially harmful pesticides. A wide variety of mulch materials have been studied, including plastic film, wood fiber, paper, and living or

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Tracy Monique Magellan, Chad Husby, Stella Cuestas, and M. Patrick Griffith

were observed living in the coffee grounds mulch [centipedes (Chilopoda), wasps (Hymenoptera), and cockroaches (Dictyoptera)], despite frequent reapplication of spent grounds. Although counts were not taken on these insects, this suggests no direct