Viability of a Mechanically Killed Cover Crop in NE Vegetable Cropping

Final Report for FNE95-098

Project Type: Farmer
Funds awarded in 1995: $1,150.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/1998
Region: Northeast
State: New York
Project Leader:
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Project Information


Note to readers, attached is the complete final report for FNE95-098.

Mr. Lucey built a machine he calls an “undercutter;” what it’s supposed to do is cut down a cover crop by slicing off the roots below the soil surface. His intention was then to plant or transplant vegetables directly into the killed cover; the latter would provide protection from weeds and, later in the season, supply organic nitrogen and other nutrient elements as well.

He built the machine according to a design he obtained from someone at Ohio State University. He tried it on a field of hairy vetch and winter rye, but found that as the machine traveled over the field vegetation accumulated under the cutter in such a manner as to raise it up off the ground, rendering it useless.

Mr. Lucey considered adding rolling colters in front of the cutter bars, but he went out of business before he was able to make any modifications to the machine.


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  • Paul Westphal


Participation Summary
Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.