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  • Author or Editor: Michael J. Adler x
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The phytotoxicity of aqueous foliar extracts and ground dried residues of sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.), cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L.) Walp. cv. Iron Clay], and velvetbean [Mucuna deeringiana (Bort) Merr.] to crop and weed germination and growth was evaluated to compare the allelopathic potential of the cover crops. By 14 days after treatment (DAT), goosegrass [Eleusine indica (L.) Gaertn.] germination with 5% aqueous extracts of all cover crops (w/v fresh weight basis) was similar and greater than 75% of control. However, with the 10% extracts, goosegrass germination was lowest with cowpea extract, intermediate with velvetbean extract, and highest with sunn hemp extract. Livid amaranth (Amaranthus lividus L.) germination declined to ≈50% with cowpea and sunn hemp extracts and even lower to 22% with velvetbean extract. The suppression of livid amaranth germination was greater with the 10% extracts than the 5% extracts. Bell pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) germination was unaffected by velvetbean extract, inhibited more by the 5% cowpea extract than the 10% extract, and was also sensitive to the 10% sunn hemp extract. All cover crop extracts resulted in an initial delay in tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill.) germination, but by 14 DAT, inhibition of germination was apparent only with cowpea extract. The phytotoxicity of ground dried residues of the three cover crops on germination, plant height, and dry weight of goosegrass, smooth amaranth (A. hybridus L.), bell pepper, and tomato was evaluated in greenhouse studies. Goosegrass germination was inhibited in a similar manner by residues of the three cover crops to 80% or less of control. Smooth amaranth germination, plant height, and dry biomass were more sensitive to sunn hemp residues than to cowpea and velvetbean residues. Bell pepper germination, plant height, and dry weight were greater than 90% of control except for dry weight with cowpea residue, which was only 78% of control. The greatest effect of cover crop residue on tomato occurred with dry weight, because dry weights with cowpea and sunn hemp were only 76% and 69% of control, respectively, and lower than with velvetbean. There was more evidence of cover crop phytotoxicity with the weed species than with the crop species and cowpea extracts and residue affected all species more consistently than those of sunn hemp and velvetbean.

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