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 New research recovers nutrients from seafood process water
31.10.2018 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Plant Hormone Makes Space Farming a Possibility
17.10.2018 | 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: A Chip with Blood Vessels

Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.

Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

The dawn of a new era for genebanks - molecular characterisation of an entire genebank collection

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Fish recognize their prey by electric colors

13.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Ultrasound Connects

13.11.2018 | Awards Funding

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>