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Weed Management and Fast Ground Cover

We set out to understand the mechanism by which our cover crops suppress weeds. We also wanted to identify the key time period for cover crop weed suppression. So, we assessed cover crop ground cover and light interception (shading of the ground) at multiple time points in the fall. We have found that the earliest time period is the best predictor of weed suppression. This has two practical implications: 1) it is crucial to have species in your cover crop mix that jump out of the ground quickly and keep weed seeds from germinating and growing, and 2) cover crops that die over the winter (e.g., oats and radish) can help keep weeds down through the spring, if they grow quickly in the fall.
Weed Management and Fast Ground Cover
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