Optimizing Winter Cover Crops for Weed Management in Soybeans RENEWAL

Grants and Contracts Details


Winter annual cover crops provide many benefits to Kentucky’s agricultural producers. One particularly important benefit is their contribution towards a program of integrated weed management. While growing, cover crops can suppress both winter annual weeds and early-emerging summer annuals. The ability of cover crops to outcompete and suppress weeds has been linked to the amount of ground that they cover. Species selection (for example, using winter rye or winter wheat), seeding rates, and planting methods all impact the stand establishment and thus the ground cover provided by the cover crop. This trial will compare the weed suppression provided by winter rye and winter wheat, and will also assess how seeding rate (a higher rate often recommended by cover crop researchers vs. a lower rate often used by growers) and planting method (drilling vs. broadcasting seed) affect the weed suppression provided by winter rye. Results from this project will provide guidance on species selection, seeding rate, and planting method for growers seeking to use small grain winter cover crops to help manage weeds. Preliminary results from the first year of this trial suggest that a high seeding rate of rye produces more cover crop biomass and less winter annual weed biomass. Cover crop seeding rate also influenced weed density following soybean planting. A second year of this trial is being conducted, and we are seeking funding to repeat one more time to account for variability between years.
Effective start/end date7/1/176/30/18


  • Kentucky Soybean Promotion Board: $39,993.00


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