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  • Author or Editor: William R. Chase x
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Small grains are interseeded with several vegetable crops in Michigan to protect them from wind and water erosion. When the vegetable crop is well-established, the small grain is killed with a graminicide. Research was conducted to determine the optimum combination of small grain species, age of kill, and nitrogen application rate for acceptable pickling cucumber yield in a single harvest. In several experiments, barley, oats, rye, and wheat were seeded at 130 seeds/m2 in the field. Cucumbers were seeded 1 week later. The cover crops were treated with sethoxydim at 0.21 or 0.31 kg·ha–1 plus 1.25% COC when they were 7 to 10 or 13 to 16 cm tall. Small grain size at application had no effect on their kill with sethoxydim or on cucumber yields. Barley and rye were the most vigorous small grains up to 3 weeks after seeding, but oats were similar in size by 4 weeks. Wheat was slower to develop, and more difficult to kill with sethoxydim. The optimum nitrogen treatment was 34 kg·ha–1 before planting the cover crop, followed by 45 kg·ha–1 at the two- to three-leaf stage of cucumber.

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