Evaluation of Summer Cover Crops for Rotations with Vegetable Crops
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AbstractFive different crops were evaluated in exploratory and observational field studies for potential use as a summer cover crop in a rotation with commonly grown vegetable and field crops. Sesbania ( Sesbania exaltata), cowpea (ViRna unguiculata), sunnhemp (Crotalaria iuncea var. Tropic Sun), sudangrass (Sorghum sudanense cv. Piper), and kenaf (Hibiscus cannabinus) were drill seeded and grown with 2-3 irrigations during the summer months in two field tests. In one test, fresh weight yields were: 7,794 lb/A for sesbania; 10,551 lb/A for sunnhemp; 5,184 lb/A for cowpea; 19,816 lb/A for sudangrass; and 2,390 lb/A for kenaf General observations indicated that adult whiteflies were attracted to sunnhemp at one test site but not at the other. Broccoli, cabbage, and barley were planted in the fall following the cover crops and general observations indicated that sudangrass significantly reduced all of the crops' stand and measurable responses were not evident where the other cover crops were planted.