- Agronomic: rye
- Crop Production: cover crops
- Pest Management: allelopathy, competition, mulches - killed, mulches - living, weed ecology
- Production Systems: holistic management
Cover crops are valuable tools for farmers in improving the agricultural sustainability of their management plans. They have a variety of functions including weed control, nitrate retention, preventing soil erosion, and improving soil organic matter. An allelopathic cover crop, such as rye (Secale cereale L.), can significantly contribute to weed suppression in an agricultural field. However, weed control provided by rye cover crops varies significantly within the growing season, as well as from year to year. This variation is due to the plant's inherent patterns of allelochemical biosynthesis during its lifecycle, in addition to the plant's response to adverse environmental conditions in the field. Cover crop suppression of weed growth is achieved by competition, due to both physical and chemical interference. Studying the balance between allelopathy and physical suppression is crucial in determining what constitutes an ideal cover crop management plan that maximizes weed control. We want to examine several different cultural methods such as variable planting dates, mowing, and using plant growth regulators to see if we can influence DIBOA availability and allelopathic potential of rye. Our ultimate goal with this project is to develop a viable management plan for farmers to provide maximal weed control in their cropping system.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Evaluate four rye varieties at different developmental stages for differential responses of allelopathic potential to plant growth regulators, including jasmonic acid, salicylic acid, and ethylene. Evaluate different rye varieties at different developmental stages for differential response of allelopathic potential to different mowing dates, and varied planting dates. Determine if re-seeding of different varieties is a viable option.