Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Comparison study of planting methods shows drilling favorable for organic farming

01.07.2014

Drill, broadcast methods compared for establishing cover crops on beds

In the fertile growing regions of the central coast of California, scientists are looking for ways to increase organic production of strawberry and other crops. Because cover crops can provide weed and erosion control, determining the best method for establishing a uniform and dense cover crop stand as soon as possible after planting is a critical first step.

The authors of a new study say that determining optimal planting strategies that accelerate cover crop emergence and reduce light penetration to weeds should be a primary focus. Eric Brennan and Jim Leap from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service (ARS), coauthored the study published in the April 2014 issue of HortScience.

Brennan and Leap evaluated the effectiveness of three secondary tillage implements for soil incorporation of broadcast cover crop seed compared with drilled seed using legume-rye cover crop mixtures. "Our study was motivated by the need for effective strategies that will enable small-scale growers who do not have access to drills to grow uniform and weed-suppressive cover crops on beds," the authors said.

Both drilling and broadcasting methods are commonly used to plant cover crops. In vegetable and strawberry systems in the central coast region of California, grain drills are commonly used by medium- to large-scale farms, whereas smaller-scale organic farms with fewer resources often broadcast cover crop seed onto the soil surface and incorporate it into the soil in a separate pass with a secondary tillage implement.

Brennan and Leap explained that few studies have compared the two methods for their efficacy with planting cover crops. "The effects of these contrasting sowing techniques on crop performance vary depending on a variety of factors, making it difficult to conclude that one method is universally preferable," they said.

The researchers compared four planting treatments (drill, broadcast plus rototiller, broadcast plus cultivator, and broadcast plus disc) and point implements (seeder, seeder plus rototiller, seeder plus cultivator, and seeder plus disc) for planting rye mixed with either purple or common vetch on beds.

"The implements evaluated in the study represent those typically used in organic and conventional vegetable row cropping systems in California and were configured for a 2.03-m wide bed system, which is a standard bed configuration here," the authors said. The experiments were conducted in Salinas, California, with winter- and spring-sown cover crops for establishing rye mixed with either purple or common vetch on bed tops at a seeding rate of 140 kg·ha-1.

Results showed that drilling required less time than broadcasting because the broadcasting methods all used a second pass to incorporate the seed. According to the authors, drilled cover crops had greater uniformity and faster emergence, characteristics that would likely increase their ability to suppress weeds that emerge with the cover crop.

"The main problems with the broadcasting methods were delayed emergence and lower cover crop stands that were likely the result of greater variability in seeding depth," the authors said. The data showed that the best methods for incorporating broadcast seed into the bed were a rototiller or a cultivator with tines and a rolling basket, preferably at 50% to 100% higher seeding rates than drilling.

###

The complete study and abstract are available on the ASHS HortScience electronic journal web site: http://hortsci.ashspublications.org/content/49/4/441.abstract

Founded in 1903, the American Society for Horticultural Science (ASHS) is the largest organization dedicated to advancing all facets of horticultural research, education, and application. More information at ashs.org

Michael W. Neff | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: ASHS HortScience Horticultural crop crops planting strategies strawberry weeds

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Open-access article on Mexican bean beetles offers control tips
03.02.2016 | Entomological Society of America

nachricht Improved harvest for small farms thanks to naturally cloned crops
29.01.2016 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Production of an AIDS vaccine in algae

Today, plants and microorganisms are heavily used for the production of medicinal products. The production of biopharmaceuticals in plants, also referred to as “Molecular Pharming”, represents a continuously growing field of plant biotechnology. Preferred host organisms include yeast and crop plants, such as maize and potato – plants with high demands. With the help of a special algal strain, the research team of Prof. Ralph Bock at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam strives to develop a more efficient and resource-saving system for the production of medicines and vaccines. They tested its practicality by synthesizing a component of a potential AIDS vaccine.

The use of plants and microorganisms to produce pharmaceuticals is nothing new. In 1982, bacteria were genetically modified to produce human insulin, a drug...

Im Focus: The most accurate optical single-ion clock worldwide

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock which attains an accuracy which had only been predicted theoretically so far. Their optical ytterbium clock achieved a relative systematic measurement uncertainty of 3 E-18. The results have been published in the current issue of the scientific journal "Physical Review Letters".

Atomic clock experts from the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) are the first research group in the world to have built an optical single-ion clock...

Im Focus: Goodbye ground control: autonomous nanosatellites

The University of Würzburg has two new space projects in the pipeline which are concerned with the observation of planets and autonomous fault correction aboard satellites. The German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy funds the projects with around 1.6 million euros.

Detecting tornadoes that sweep across Mars. Discovering meteors that fall to Earth. Investigating strange lightning that flashes from Earth's atmosphere into...

Im Focus: Flow phenomena on solid surfaces: Physicists highlight key role played by boundary layer velocity

Physicists from Saarland University and the ESPCI in Paris have shown how liquids on solid surfaces can be made to slide over the surface a bit like a bobsleigh on ice. The key is to apply a coating at the boundary between the liquid and the surface that induces the liquid to slip. This results in an increase in the average flow velocity of the liquid and its throughput. This was demonstrated by studying the behaviour of droplets on surfaces with different coatings as they evolved into the equilibrium state. The results could prove useful in optimizing industrial processes, such as the extrusion of plastics.

The study has been published in the respected academic journal PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America).

Im Focus: New study: How stable is the West Antarctic Ice Sheet?

Exceeding critical temperature limits in the Southern Ocean may cause the collapse of ice sheets and a sharp rise in sea levels

A future warming of the Southern Ocean caused by rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere may severely disrupt the stability of the West...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Travel grants available: Meet the world’s most proficient mathematicians and computer scientists

09.02.2016 | Event News

AKL’16: Experience Laser Technology Live in Europe´s Largest Laser Application Center!

02.02.2016 | Event News

From intelligent knee braces to anti-theft backpacks

26.01.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

New method opens crystal clear views of biomolecules

11.02.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists take nanoparticle snapshots

11.02.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA sees development of Tropical Storm 11P in Southwestern Pacific

11.02.2016 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>