Managing Cover Crop and Conservation Tillage Systems To Enhance Vegetable Crop Yields, Economic Returns and Environmental Quality

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2004: $182,438.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Region: Western
State: Oregon
Principal Investigator:
John Luna
Oregon State University

Annual Reports


  • Vegetables: beans, broccoli, sweet corn


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage
  • Education and Training: decision support system, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, mentoring, networking, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research, technical assistance
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning, budgets/cost and returns, cooperatives, agricultural finance, risk management, value added
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, soil stabilization, wildlife
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, cultural control, economic threshold, field monitoring/scouting, flame, integrated pest management, mulches - living, physical control, cultivation, precision herbicide use, prevention, smother crops, mulching - vegetative, weed ecology
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, transitioning to organic, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Soil Management: earthworms, green manures, organic matter, soil analysis, composting, nutrient mineralization, soil quality/health
  • Sustainable Communities: new business opportunities, partnerships

    Proposal abstract:

    In this on-farm research and education project, we will continue the development of conservation tillage production systems for vegetable crops. Our focus will be on evaluating cover crop mixtures for increasing sweet corn yield and for improving efficiency of strip-tillage operations. We will conduct eight on-farm trials on five farms in the Willamette Valley. Mechanical methods of cover crop suppression will be investigated for organic production, with a focus on a phacelia-vetch cover crop mixture.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    To enhance farmers’ ability to select and manage cover crops in conservation tillage vegetable crop production systems.

    To develop and evaluate conservation tillage practices for sustainable and organic farming systems.

    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.