Optimizing buckwheat use as a weed suppressive cover crop for sustainable cropping systems in Florida

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2007: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2009
Grant Recipient: University of Florida
Region: Southern
State: Florida
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:
Dr. Carlene Chase
University of Florida

Annual Reports


Not commodity specific


  • Crop Production: cover crops
  • Pest Management: allelopathy, competition, cultural control, physical control, weed ecology

    Proposal abstract:

    Effective nonchemical weed management approaches can assist with weed management problems for which there are no registered herbicides, reduce the use of herbicides in conventional production systems, provide increased options for sustainable systems, and result in more profitable, less labor intensive organic production systems. Buckwheat has the potential to suppress weeds by competing for resources, by limiting weed seed germination and propagule sprouting through soil microclimate modification, and by allelopathy. Experiments are proposed to (1) determine the optimal environmental conditions and range of effective planting dates for production of buckwheat, and its effects on weed emergence and growth and (2) assess the impact of different incorporation practices on buckwheat decomposition, regrowth, and weed suppression. This work will facilitate the effective use of buckwheat in suppressing specific problematic weeds in Florida and the southeastern US and contribute to the aggregate data being generated on effective planting windows for buckwheat in other regions of the U.S. Increased use of cover crops for weed management in sustainable agricultural systems, and a decrease in tillage, cultivation and hand weeding in organic systems can be expected, in conjunction with improved weed control and crop yield.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. To determine the optimal environmental conditions and range of effective planting dates for buckwheat as a weed suppressive cover crop in Florida.

    2. To determine the optimal incorporation practice for buckwheat grown as a cover crop in Florida.

    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.