Combining Roller Crimpers and Electrical Methods for Termination of Cover Crops in Herbicide-free Reduced-tillage Vegetable Crop Production Systems

Project Overview

Project Type: Graduate Student
Funds awarded in 2021: $16,326.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2024
Grant Recipient: North Carolina State University
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Graduate Student:
Major Professor:


  • Vegetables: cucurbits, sweet potatoes


  • Crop Production: conservation tillage, cover crops, appropriate technology

    Proposal abstract:

    Electric cover crop termination holds great potential to increase sustainability of reduced-tillage systems by minimizing the need for herbicides and reducing the disturbance of the soil during traditional cover crop termination practices. There exists a critical need for recommendations for the timing and use of electric cover crop termination in reduced-tillage vegetable systems. The objectives of this project are to fill this need by developing recommendations for and evaluating the economic viability of using electric termination of cover crops in reduced-tillage vegetable systems. Three separate studies will be conducted in sweetpotato, cucumber, and a brassica crop to determine the impacts of electric termination of cover crops on crop yield and quality. Additionally, an economic analysis on the cost/benefit ratio of this technique will be conducted and compared with existing practices to determine the economic viability of electric termination of cover crops. Effective recommendations will be developed and disseminated to growers following the conclusion of these studies, in addition to the development of future research objectives based on the results of this work.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    1. Develop recommendations needed for electric cover crop termination to optimize vegetable crop yield and quality.

    2. Assess the cost to benefit economics for using the electric method of cover crop termination and disseminate research-based knowledge and recommendations through grower meetings, technical extension articles, and refereed journal publications.

    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.