Individual study: Rye cover crop management affects weeds and yield of corn (Zea mays L.)
Mafakheri S., Ardakani M.R., Meighani F., Mirhadi M.J. & Vazan S. (2010) Rye cover crop management affects weeds and yield of corn (Zea mays L.). Notulae Botanicae Horti Agrobotanici Cluj-Napoca, 38, 117-123
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Incorporate plant remains into the soil that produce weed-controlling chemicals
A randomised, replicated, controlled trial in 2008-2009 in Iran (Mafakheri et al. 2010) found incorporating rye Secale cereale plant material into the soil resulted in a significant increase in weed density when material was incorporated 54 days before sowing maize Zea mays, but a significant reduction in weed density when incorporated 12 or 34 days before maize. Plots with material incorporated 54 days before maize showed a 1.1% decrease in maize grain production compared to unweeded controls, while incorporating material nearer the time of maize sowing increased maize grain production (4.2-7.9% increase). However, grain production in weeded controls was 39.6% higher than unweeded controls. Rye was sown as a cover crop in November 2008 at three different seeding rates and cut down 21-28 days before the plant material was incorporated. Controls for testing weed density were not sown with rye. Maize was sown on 12th June with controls divided into weed free and unweeded plots. Treatments were tested in 3 x 4 m plots replicated four times. Weed biomass and density was surveyed in 50 x 50 cm quadrats 4, 6 and 8 weeks after planting. The study does not separate the effects of growing a cover crop and incorporating plant material into the soil.