Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Using a companion crop to control weeds organically


Since traditional cultivation methods can erode soil, new research taps companion crops for weed control

Organic soybean producers may be able to use winter cereal rye as an inter-seeded companion crop to control weeds, according to research led by a Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) crop and soil scientist.

Traditionally, organic growers have used only mechanical cultivation to control weeds, but this method has been shown to cause soil erosion and lead to poor soil structure. Conventional soybean growers have used cover crops successfully in conjunction with herbicides to reduce cultivation and control weeds. The scientists hypothesized that an adaptation of this technique could also be useful for organic growers. The research is published in the January-February 2004 issue of Agronomy Journal.

"Organic growers needed new techniques that meshed with organic systems and had a more positive effect on soil quality, particularly soil structure," said Kurt Thelen, MAES crop and soil sciences researcher at Michigan State University. "Our research looked at two types of planting systems for organic soybeans to determine if interseeding winter cereal rye in the soybeans could help control weeds."

Thelen worked on the research with MSU Extension district field crops agent Dale Mutch, and Research Assistant Todd Martin. They found that inter-seeded winter cereal rye decreases the amount of weeds in the soybeans and increases soybean yield, in years where soil moisture was not a yield-limiting factor. Two years of the three-year project were drier than the 30-year average, which resulted in decreased soybean yields.

"Our results suggest that some means of terminating the inter-seeded rye is necessary for effective management across a range of precipitation levels," Thelen said. "In 76-cm row organic soybean production systems, mechanical cultivation would be an approved practice for terminating rye growth. However, in 19-cm drill-planted systems, new technology that meets the regulatory criteria for organic production is needed to effectively terminate the inter-seeded rye and alleviate moisture-stress related concerns."

Agronomy Journal, is a peer-reviewed, international journal of agriculture and natural resource sciences published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA). Agronomy Journal contains research papers on all aspects of crop and soil science including agroclimatology and agronomic modeling, military land use and management, environmental quality, international agronomy, agricultural research station management, and integrated agricultural systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) are educational organizations helping their 10,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy, crop and soil sciences by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Forest Management Yields Higher Productivity through Biodiversity
14.10.2016 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Farming with forests
23.09.2016 | University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)

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: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

First-time reconstruction of infectious bat influenza viruses

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Novel method to benchmark and improve the performance of protein measumeasurement techniques

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

Amazon rain helps make more rain

25.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>