Study

Influence of winter cover crop residue management on weeds and yield in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in a Mediterranean environment

  • Published source details Radicetti E., Mancinelli R. & Campiglia E. (2013) Influence of winter cover crop residue management on weeds and yield in pepper (Capsicum annuum L.) in a Mediterranean environment. Crop Protection, 52, 64-71

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Pest regulation: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Pest regulation: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Pest regulation: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Pest regulation: Grow cover crops in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Use no tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Grow cover crops in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland

Crop production: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

Action Link
Mediterranean Farmland
  1. Pest regulation: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy, found fewer weeds in plots with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage, but tillage had inconsistent effects on weed biomass. Pest numbers: Fewer weeds were found in plots with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage, in five of eight comparisons (14–50 vs 53–152 plants/m2). Less weed biomass was found in plots with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage, in two of eight comparisons (inside pepper rows: 7–37 vs 47–58 g dry matter/m2), but more was found in one of eight comparisons (outside pepper rows: 54 vs 31). Methods: A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) was used on all plots in autumn, before winter cover crops were planted. Cover crops were mown or chopped in spring, before tillage. No tillage or reduced tillage was used on 12 plots each (6 x 12 m plots), in May 2010–2011. A rotary hoe (10 cm depth) was used for reduced tillage (which incorporated the cover crop residues into the soil). Cover crop residues were mulched and herbicide was used for no tillage. Pepper seedlings were transplanted into the plots in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. Weeds were sampled 30 days after transplanting (six samples/plot). All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

  2. Pest regulation: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy found more weeds in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage. Pest numbers: More weeds were found in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in four of eight comparisons (94–152 vs 73–122 plants/m2). More weed biomass was found in plots with reduced tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in three of eight comparisons (31–58 vs 25–36 g dry matter/m2). Methods: A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) was used on all plots in autumn, before winter cover crops were planted. Cover crops were mown or chopped in spring, before tillage. Conventional tillage or reduced tillage was used on 12 plots each (6 x 12 m plots), in May 2010–2011. A mouldboard plough and a disc (two passes) were used for conventional tillage (which incorporated the cover crop residues into the soil to a depth of 30 cm). A rotary hoe was used for reduced tillage (which incorporated the cover crop residues into the soil to a depth of 10 cm). Pepper seedlings were transplanted into the plots in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. Weeds were sampled 30 days after transplanting (six samples/plot). All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

  3. Crop production: Use no tillage instead of reduced tillage

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy found that tillage had inconsistent effects on crop yields. Crop yield: Higher pepper yields were found in plots with no tillage, compared to reduced tillage, in four of eight comparisons (18–38 vs 7–18 t/ha, fresh weight), but lower yields were found in one of eight comparisons (10 vs 15). Methods: A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) was used on all plots in autumn, before winter cover crops were planted. Cover crops were mown or chopped in spring, before tillage. No tillage or reduced tillage was used on 12 plots each (6 x 12 m plots), in May 2010–2011. A rotary hoe (10 cm depth) was used for reduced tillage (which incorporated the cover crop residues into the soil). Cover crop residues were mulched and herbicide was used for no tillage. Pepper seedlings were transplanted into the plots in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

  4. Pest regulation: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy found fewer weeds in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, but tillage had inconsistent effects on weed biomass. Pest numbers: Fewer weeds were found in plots with no tillage, compared conventional tillage, in five of eight comparisons (14–50 vs 43–122 plants/m2). Lower weed biomass was found in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in one of eight comparisons (inside pepper rows: 7 vs 36 g dry matter/m2), but higher weed biomass was found in two of eight comparisons (outside pepper rows: 41–54 vs 25–31). Methods: A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) was used on all plots in autumn, before the winter cover crops were planted. Cover crops were mown or chopped in spring, before tillage. No tillage or conventional tillage was used on 12 plots each (6 x 12 m plots), in May 2010–2011. A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) and a disk (two passes) were used for conventional tillage, incorporating the cover crop residues. Cover crop residues were mulched and herbicide was used for no tillage. Pepper seedlings were transplanted into the plots in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. Weeds were sampled 30 days after transplanting (six samples/plot). All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

  5. Pest regulation: Grow cover crops in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy, found fewer weeds in plots with winter cover crops, compared to plots without cover crops, and oat was a better cover crop than hairy vetch or canola for controlling weeds. Pest numbers: Fewer weeds were found in plots with cover crops, compared to plots without cover crops, in 16 of 18 comparisons (0–117 vs 48–152 plants/m2). Implementation options: Fewer weeds were found in plots with oats as the winter cover crop, compared to hairy vetch, in five of six comparisons (0–7 plants/m2), and compared to canola, in all comparisons (0–10 vs 38–117). Fewer weeds were found in plots with hairy vetch as the cover crop, compared to canola, in three of six comparisons (26–94 vs 38–117 plants/m2). Methods: Three species of winter cover crops (Vicia villosa hairy vetch, Brassica napus canola, or Avena sativa oats) were sown on nine plots each (6 x 12 m plots) in September 2009–2010, and no cover crops were sown on nine plots (weeded, bare soil). The cover crops were mown and used as mulch (50 cm wide) in some plots, or were chopped and tilled into the soil in other plots, in May 2010–2011. Pepper seedlings were transplanted into these plots in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. Weeds were sampled 30 days after transplanting (six samples/plot). All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

  6. Crop production: Use no tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy found that tillage had inconsistent effects on crop yields. Crop yield: Higher pepper yields were found in plots with no tillage, compared to conventional tillage, in five of eight comparisons (14–38 vs 6–20 t/ha, fresh weight), but lower yields were found in one of eight comparisons (21 vs 26). Methods: A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) was used on all plots in autumn, before winter cover crops were planted. Cover crops were mown or chopped in spring, before tillage. No tillage or conventional tillage was used on 12 plots each (6 x 12 m plots), in May 2010–2011. A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) and a disk (two passes) were used for conventional tillage (which incorporated the cover crop residues into the soil). Cover crop residues were mulched and herbicide was used for no tillage. Pepper seedlings were transplanted into the plots in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

  7. Crop production: Grow cover crops in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy found that cover crops had inconsistent effects on crop yields. Crop yield: Higher pepper yields were found in plots with cover crops, compared to plots without cover crops, in 15 of 27 comparisons (9–41 vs 2–15 t/ha, fresh weight), but lower pepper yields were found in one of 27 comparisons (8 vs 15). Implementation options: Higher pepper yields were found in plots with hairy vetch as the winter cover crop (9–41 t/ha, fresh weight), compared to canola (3–26 t/ha) or oats (4–21 t/ha). Higher pepper yields were found in plots with canola as the winter cover crop, compared to oats, in two of nine comparisons (25–26 vs 8–10 t/ha, fresh weight), but lower yields were found in one of nine comparisons (14 vs 18). Methods: Three species of winter cover crops (Vicia villosa hairy vetch, Brassica napus canola, or Avena sativa oats) were sown on nine plots each (6 x 12 m plots) in September 2009–2010, and no cover crops were sown on nine plots (weeded, bare soil). The cover crops were mown and used as mulch (50 cm wide) in some plots, or were chopped and tilled into the soil in other plots, in May 2010–2011. Pepper seedlings were transplanted into these rows in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

  8. Crop production: Use reduced tillage in arable fields

    A replicated, randomized, controlled study in 2009–2011 in two irrigated pepper fields in central Italy found no difference in crop yields between plots with reduced tillage or conventional tillage. Crop yield: No difference in pepper yields was found between plots with reduced tillage or conventional tillage (3.7–41.4 vs 2.2–40.2 t/ha, fresh weight). Methods: A mouldboard plough (30 cm depth) was used on all plots in autumn, before winter cover crops were planted. Cover crops were mown or chopped in spring, before tillage. Conventional tillage or reduced tillage was used on 12 plots each (6 x 12 m plots), in May 2010–2011. A mouldboard plough and a disc (two passes) were used for conventional tillage (which incorporated the cover crop residues into the soil to a depth of 30 cm). A rotary hoe was used for reduced tillage (which incorporated the cover crop residues into the soil to a depth of 10 cm). Pepper seedlings were transplanted into the plots in May, and fruits were harvested twice/year in August–October 2010–2011. All plots were fertilized before the cover crops, but not after. All plots were irrigated.

     

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