Cover Crops for Weed Suppression. Are They an Option for Texas Growers?

Texas A&M weed specialists are working hard to help farmers in Southeast Texas manage herbicide-resistant weeds using cover crops.

Cover crops are not widely adopted in Texas and knowledge is limited on species suitability for specific regions, so researchers have been studying what species are adaptable, with a particular focus on the Southeast Texas region.

After cover crops are well established, termination timing is key to achieving effective weed suppression.  Appropriate termination timing to maximize weed suppression potential is rooted in an understanding of cover crop biomass production and life cycle.

This three-year experiment showed consistent results on weed suppression when the cover crops were terminated two to four weeks prior to planting soybeans.

Even though the best results were achieved when high biomass was accumulated, intermediate-term termination (four weeks prior to planting) also showed satisfactory results, possibly due to allelopathic effects on weed species.

This work demonstrates the great potential for cereal rye to suppress weeds in Southeast Texas.

Researchers:

Muthukumar Bagavathiannan, Texas A&M University

Spencer Samuelson, Texas A&M University

Edits:

Victoria Ackroyd and Mark VanGessel.

Video edit: Claudio Rubione

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