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Orion P. Grimmer and John B. Masiunas

Winter-killed oats (Avena sativa) may have potential for use to suppress weeds in early seeded crops such as pea (Pisum sativum). Residue biomass and surface coverage are generally correlated with weed suppression. Oat residues also contain allelochemicals. Our objective was to determine if oat cultivars vary in residue production and allelopathy. Differences between oat cultivars were observed in residue production, and for effects on emergence of common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) and shepherd's-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) in the greenhouse, and germination of pea and common lambsquarters in an infusion assay. Two of the oat cultivars producing the greatest biomass, `Blaze' (in the field) and `Classic' (in the greenhouse), interfered minimally with pea germination and were among the best cultivars in inhibiting common lambsquarters and shepherd's-purse. `Blaze' also greatly inhibited common lambsquarters germination in the infusion assay that measured allelopathy. Thus, `Blaze' and `Classic' possess suitable characteristics for use as a cover crop preceding peas.

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Panayiotis A. Nektarios, Garyfalia Economou, and Christos Avgoulas

Fresh, senesced, and decaying pine needles from Pinus halepensis were evaluated for their allelopathic potential on Festuca arundinacea, Cynodon dactylon and the biosensor plants Avena sativa and Lemna minor through in vivo and in vitro studies. The in vivo study was performed in growth chambers, using 6, 12, and 18 g of pine needle tissue mixed with screened perlite as a substrate. The effects of the different pine needle types were evaluated by determining the total root length, total root surface, root dry weight, total shoot length, total shoot surface, and shoot dry weight. The in vitro study was performed in Petri dishes where seeds from each species were subjected to an increasing concentration of pine needle extract. The extracts were obtained from pine needle ground tissue that was diluted with water and either shacked at room temperature or placed in water bath at 40 °C for 24 h. The evaluation of the allelopathic potential was performed with the determination of radicle length. The allelopathic potential of the pine needle tissues was confirmed with bioassays using oat (A. sativa) and duckweed (L. minor). The results strongly suggested the allelopathic potential of the pine needle tissue, being more pronounced in the fresh, moderate in the senesced, and low in the decaying pine needles. The allelopathic substances were species-specific, and the inhibition resistance of the species tested followed the order F. arundinacea > C. dactylon > A. sativa. The inhibition of the L. minor suggested that the water soluble phytotoxic compounds were inhibitors of Photosystem II.

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Orion P. Grimmer and John B. Masiunas

Winter-killed cover crops may protect the soil surface from erosion and reduce herbicide use in an early planted crop such as pea (Pisum sativum). Our objective was to determine the potential of winter-killed cover crops in a snap pea production system. White mustard (Brassica hirta) produced the most residue in the fall but retained only 37% of that residue into the spring. Barley (Hordeum vulgare) and oats (Avena sativa) produced less fall residue but had more residue and ground cover in the spring. Greater ground cover in the spring facilitated higher soil moisture, contributing to higher weed numbers and weight and lower pea yields for oat and barley compared with a bare ground treatment. White mustard had weed populations and pea yields similar to the bare ground treatment. Within the weed-free subplot, no differences in pea yields existed among cover crop treatments, indicating no direct interference with pea growth by the residues. In greenhouse experiments, field-grown oat and barley residue suppressed greater than 50% of the germination of common lambsquarters (Chenopodium album) and shepherd's-purse (Capsella bursapastoris), while in the field none of the cover crop provided better weed control than the fallow.

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Bruce P. Bordelon and Stephen C. Weller

Use of in-row cover crops for weed management in first-year vineyards was investigated in two studies. In the first study, rye (Secale cereal L. 'Wheeler') was fall-planted, overwintered, then managed by three methods before vine planting. Rye was either herbicide-desiccated with glyphosate and left on the surface as a mulch, mowed, or incorporated into the soil (cultivated). Weed density and growth of grapevines (Vitis spp.) were evaluated. Herbicide desiccation was superior to the other methods for weed suppression, with weed densities 3 to 8 times lower than for mowed or cultivated plots. Vine growth was similar among treatments, but the trend was for more shoot growth with lower weed density. In a second study, four cover crops, rye, wheat (Triticum aestivum L. 'Cardinal'), oats (Avena sativa L. 'Ogle'), and hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), were compared. Wheat and rye were fall- and spring-planted, and oats and vetch were spring-planted, then desiccated with herbicides (glyphosate or sethoxydim) after vine planting and compared to weed-free and weedy control plots for weed suppression and grapevine growth. Cover crops provided 27% to 95% reduction in weed biomass compared to weedy control plots. Total vine dry mass was highest in weed-free control plots, was reduced 54% to 77% in the cover crop plots, and was reduced 81% in the weedy control. Fall-planted wheat and rye and spring-planted rye plots produced the highest vine dry mass among cover crop treatments. Spring-planted rye provided the best combination of weed suppression and vine growth. Chemical names used: N-(phosphonomethyl) glycine (glyphosate isopropylamine salt); 2-[l-(ethoxyimino)butyl]5-[2-(ethylthio)propyl]-3-hydroxy-2-cyclohexen-1-one (sethoxydim).

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Virender Kumar, Daniel C. Brainard, and Robin R. Bellinder

( Sinapis alba L.), and oat ( Avena sativa L.) cover crops on hairy galinsoga growth and seed production during cover crop growth; and 2) residue effects of these cover crops on establishment of hairy galinsoga and four short-duration vegetable crops

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Bernard H. Zandstra, William R. Chase, and Joseph G. Masabni

Pickling cucumbers (Cucumis sativus L.) for machine harvest were interplanted with barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), oat (Avena sativa L.), rye (Secale cereale L.), sorghum-sudan (Sorghum vulgare L.), or wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Cover crops 3 to 5 (7.6 to 12.7 cm) or 6 to 10 inches (15.2 to 25.4 cm) tall were killed with sethoxydim. Cover crops seeded at ≈12 seeds/ft2 (129 seeds/m2) provided protection from wind erosion and minimal crop competition. Additional nitrogen to obtain maximum yield was required when small grain cover crops were interplanted with cucumbers. Barley emerged rapidly, grew upright, and was killed easily with sethoxydim, making it ideal for interplanting. All cover crops caused some cucumber yield reduction under adverse growing conditions.

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M.A. Chandler, V.A. Fritz, F.L. Pfleger, and R.R. Allmaras

Pea root rot is a serious economic threat to pea production in the Great Lakes region. The primary causal organism is Aphanomyces euteiches Drechs., which is responsible for an estimated 10% annual crop loss. A fall oat (Avena sativa) rotation before spring pea planting reduces disease severity. To better understand the beneficial effect of oat on A. euteiches, isolated individual pathogen lifecycle stages of zoospores, mycelium, and oospores were treated in culture with oat extract. Resulting mycelial mats were dried and weighed. Treatment with 90%, 70%, 50%, and 30% oat extract resulted in significant spore germination and mycelial growth of A. euteiches. In the presence of nutrient solution, oat extract concentrations of 90%, 70%, 50%, and 30% significantly enhanced spore germination and mycelial growth of the pathogen. These results demonstrate that the use of oat extract results in dosage dependent germination and growth of A. euteiches.

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Lydia Stivers-Young

Vegetable growers in the northeastern United States who want to use cover crops are limited by the relatively short growing season and by a lack of cover crop species options. Seven cover crops that winter-kill under NE US conditions were evaluated in on-farm trials for their suitability for following early harvested vegetables. Plots of oilseed radish (Raphanus sativus), white senf mustard (Brassica hirta), phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia), oats (Avena sativa), and a bare control were planted on 25 Aug. and 8 Sept. 1993, following a lettuce crop. In the early planting, oilseed radish, white senf mustard, and phacelia produced more than 3000 kg·ha–1 dry matter in 11 weeks, while oats produced just more than 2000 kg·ha–1. A smaller proportion of the accumulated biomass from these cover crops remained on the surface in the spring compared to oats. In the first planting, 80–107 kg·ha–1 N were accumulated in the above-ground biomass of the cover crops. On 3 and 16 Sept. 1994, plots of oilseed radish, white senf mustard, oats, yellow mustard (Brassica hirta), forage kale (Brassica oleracea), forage turnip (Brassica rapa), canola (Brassica napus cv. Sparta), and a bare control were established following potatoes. All cover crops except kale produced more than 3800 kg·ha–1 dry matter by late November in the early planting.

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Thierry Vrain, Robyn DeYoung, John Hall, and Stan Freyman

Cover crops used in red raspberry plantings (Rubus idaeus L.) are often good hosts of the root-lesion nematode (Pratylenchus penetrans Filipjev & Sch. Stekoven), a major soilborne pathogen of raspberry. The effects of two susceptible cover crops, white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), planted in between rows, on nematode density and growth of raspberry plants were compared to those of three cover crops resistant to the nematode: redtop (Agrostis alba L.), creeping red fescue (Festuca rubra L.), and `Saia' oat (Avena sativa L.). Nematode multiplication in raspberry roots and in cover crop roots was assessed over 4 years. Growth and vigor of plants were estimated at the end of the experiment by counting primocanes and determining height and biomass. Nematode multiplication was suppressed in roots of `Saia' oat, fescue, and redtop compared to barley or white clover. Nematode density in roots and rhizosphere soil of raspberry was not affected by the choice of cover crops. Nematode suppression in the three resistant cover crops did not translate into increased vigor of raspberry plants.

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Guangyao Wang and Mathieu Ngouajio

The effects of two cover crops [cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) and oat (Avena sativa L.)], four tillage systems [no tillage (NT), strip tillage (ST), conventional tillage with cover crops incorporated (CTC), and conventional tillage without cover crop (CTN)], and three pre-emergence herbicide rates (full rate, half rate, and no herbicide) on pickling cucumber (Cucumis sativus L.) growth and production, weed populations, and the incidence of pythium fruit rot were studied. Weed infestations, cucumber establishment, and cucumber leaf chlorophyll content were similar between the rye and oat treatments. However, the oat treatment had higher cucumber fruit number and weight and a lower percentage of cucumber fruit infected with Pythium spp. compared with the rye treatment. The NT and CTC systems reduced cucumber stand and leaf chlorophyll content, but had equivalent cucumber fruit number and weight compared with CTN. The NT and ST had lower weed biomass and weed density than CTN and CTC. The NT also reduced the percentage of cucumber fruit affected with pythium compared with CTN and CTC. Reducing the pre-emergence herbicide rate by half did not affect weed control or cucumber fruit yield compared with the full rate. However, weeds escaping herbicide application were larger in the half-rate treatment. The experiments indicate that with the integration of cover crops and conservation tillage, it is possible to maintain cucumber yield while reducing both herbicide inputs (by 50%) and the incidence of fruit rot caused by Pythium spp. (by 32% to 60%).