preparation methods vary ( NRCS , 2007 , 2012 ; Vaughan et al., 2013 , 2014 ), but can generally be grouped into soil disturbance (in which topsoil is cultivated) or nondisturbance (no-till with herbicide application, solarization, burns, and/or grazing
Ornamental jack-o-lantern–type pumpkins are a widely grown specialty crop that will generally produce similar yields between no-till (NT) and conventional till (CT) production systems ( Harrelson et al., 2007 ; O’Rourke and Petersen, 2016
No-till processing tomato (Lycopersicum esculentum Mill.) production in four winter cover crop-derived mulches was evaluated in 1997 and 1998 in Five Points, Calif. The effectiveness of two medics, `Sava' snail medic (Medicago scutellata Mill.) (sava), and `Sephi' barrel medic (Medicago truncatula Gaertn.) (sephi), and two cereal/legume cover crop mixtures, triticale/`Lana' woolypod vetch (X Triticosecale Wittm./Vicia dasycarpa Ten.) (triticale/vetch) and rye/`Lana' woolypod vetch (Secale cereale L./V. dasycarpa) (rye/vetch), was compared with two conventionally tilled fallow controls (with and without herbicide) (fallow+h and fallow-h) in suppressing weeds and maintaining yields with reduced fertilizer inputs. The comparison was conducted as a split plot, with three N fertilization rates (0, 100, and 200 lb/acre; 0, 112, and 224 kg·ha-1) as main plots and cover crops and fallow controls as subplots. Tomato seedlings were transplanted 3 weeks after the cover crops had been mowed and sprayed with herbicide. There were no significant differences in weed cover in the no-till cover crop treatments relative to the fallow controls in 1997. Early season weed suppression in rye/vetch and triticale/vetch plots was similar to herbicide-treated fallow (fallow+h) in 1998, however, later in the 1998 season weed suppression was best in the fallow+h. Tissue N was highest in the fallow treatments in both 1997 and 1998. Yields were highest in the triticale/vetch and fallow and lowest in sephi treatments in 1997, but there were no differences among treatments in 1998. These results demonstrate the feasibility of no-till mulch production of furrow irrigated processing tomatoes and identify opportunities for further optimization of the system.
advantages in soil erosion control, soil water conservation, reduced energy and labor requirements, and enhanced crop performance ( Frye et al., 1981 ; Phillips, 1984 ; Sprague, 1986 ). In addition, contemporary no-till planting equipment can provide for
because many regions experience drier, hotter summers because of climate change ( Hayhoe et al., 2007 ; Kaye and Quemada, 2017 ). We sought to investigate the potential of reusable tarps to end overwintering cover crops and facilitate organic no-till
pumpkins in no-till production systems. No-till pumpkin production may be a solution to reduce soil erosion on land with relatively high slopes commonly available to growers in the Mountain region of North Carolina. The use of cover crop residues for no-till
( Ashford and Reeves, 2003 ). Use of summer cover crops for no-till fall cropping is an option in climates warm enough for a fall production season. No-till vegetable production after a summer cover crop compared with tilled bare ground resulted in higher
Potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) yields in Virginia and other hot climates are considerably lower than in cooler areas, predominately because of high soil temperatures during set and bulking of the tubers. Although organic surface mulches conserve soil moisture and lower soil temperature, often resulting in increased tuber yields, applying organic mulches is commercially cost-prohibitive. Preliminary experiments were conducted in 1995 and 1996 at the VPI&SU Agricultural Research Farm to compare production of `Yukon Gold' potato in no-till (NT) raised-bed systems with standard conventionally tilled (CT) methods. No-till yields were higher than CT both years, although differences were not significant. Based on these data, the NT production system used in these experiments is a viable management option, at least in hot climates such as Virginia. Rainfall during tuber bulking in 1995 and 1996 was above average, even excessive at times, which possibly negated the beneficial soil-cooling and moisture-conserving effects of the in situ mulches on potato yield enhancement. Greater yield increases would be expected in NT plots in normal rainfall years.
Advantages of no-till (NT) production systems are acknowledged throughout the world. During the 1990s, production of NT vegetable crops has increased for both direct seeded and transplanted crops. Increased interest in reduced-tillage systems among research workers and vegetable growers is attributed to: 1) development and commercialization of NT transplanters and seeders, 2) advancements in the technology and practice of producing and managing high-residue cover crop mulches, and 3) improvements and acceptance of integrated weed management techniques. Results from research experiments and grower's fields over the years has shown that success with NT transplanted crops is highly dependent on achieving key production objectives, including: 1) production of dense, uniformly distributed cover crops; 2) skillful management of cover crops before transplanting, leaving a heavy, uniformly distributed killed mulch cover over the soil surface; 3) establishment of transplants into cover crops with minimum disturbance of surface residues and surface soil; and 4) adoption of year-round weed control strategies.
Cabbage (Brassica oleracea L. Capitata) was grown for five years with treatments comparing no till and conventional production systems. Each year, raised beds were formed in the fall and selected plots were seeded with rye (Secale cereale). The rye was allowed to grow during the winter, and the following spring it was either mowed, killed with herbicide, or allowed to grow indefinitely. Different seeding rates of rye and different fertilizer rates were used. Some plots were mowed and the residue removed from the plots, while certain plots had no rye planted but received the rye residue that was removed from other plots. Rye was also gathered and pulverized, and the liquid extract removed from this suspension was sprayed onto plots. Cabbage was planted into each plot in the spring. The yield of cabbage grown in various rye-covered plots was compared to the yield from bare soil plots and from plots covered with black plastic mulch. In general, the plots covered with the various rye treatments had less yield than did the bare soil plots. Plots covered with black plastic mulch often had a greater yield than did the other plots.