See more from this Session: Cover Crop, Compost, and Soil Management Effects in Organic Management Systems
Monday, November 1, 2010
Long Beach Convention Center, Exhibit Hall BC, Lower Level
Organic vegetable and cover crop rotations and yields are presented based on four compost rates. Compost has been applied annually for three years at 0, 8.5, 25.1, and 42.4 Mg/ha on a dry weight basis. Treatments were triplicated in a random block design. Compost has a 8:1 C:N ratio. There are 144 raised bed plots and the soil is Sullivan silty loam. Plots are drip irrigated. Crop rotations and yield will be presented for tomatoes, squash, corn, green beans, kale, cabbage, broccoli, peppers, cantalope and onions with crimson clover, vetch, rye cover crops. Cover crops are planted after harvest in the fall and used for nitrogen fixation, organic matter increases, and weed and erosion control. Vegetable crops were planted directly into the cover crop from seed or transplants after rolling down the cover during May. Compost rates between 8.5 and 25.1 Mg/ha were optimum to achieve high crop yield for most crops without excessive buildup of nutrients. At high rates of compost soil phosphorus levels were elevated. Cover crop biomass, crop yield, and crop biomass were all correlated. Thirty six of plots have tillage treatments included in the design; no-till, minimum till using a spading implement and conventional till.