Velvet Bean as a Biological Control of Weeds and Pathogens

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2002: $8,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2004
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Sharad Phatak
UGA - Department of Horticulture

Annual Reports


  • Agronomic: sorghum (milo)


  • Soil Management: general soil management

    Proposal abstract:

    This series of projects will answer a few important questions regarding Velvetbean's effectiveness as a suppressor of some weeds and possibly fungi, as well as Velvetbean's potential for improving the organic matter content and fertility of soils in two important agricultural areas of Georgia. The data collected and to be presented will also provide a reference for farmers in the Southeast region regarding planting dates and specific effects that can be anticipated when using Velvetbean as a cover crop and as part of a comprehensive crop rotation plan.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    objective of this series of experiments is to determine velvetbean’s weed suppression abilities through field experiments that analyze biomass accumulation and nutrient cycling. This part of the study includes growing Sunn hemp and Velvetbean to collect the previously mentioned data on these somewhat common cover crops from the Fabacea family. This experiment was performed Spring/Summer/Fall of 2002. Lab experiments utilizing the residue from the field experiments will also help to determine velvetbean’s allelopathic affects toward four common southern horticultural weeds (sicklepod, redroot pigweed, crabgrass, and beggarweed). These experiments began in May of 2002 and will be completed by the end of April 2003. Another objective of this series of experiments is to determine any suppression velvetbean may have toward Phytophthora capsici and Rhizoctonia solanii, common southern horticultural fungi. This experiment began in January 2003 and will be completed by the end of May 2003.

    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.