* Yes, vetch can become a weed, especially in small grains.
* This is of greatest concern if growing certified seed!
* In most situations, this is due to hard seed germinating in
subsequent years. However, if you allow vetch to go to seed, this will
add to the seed bank,too.
* In small grains, vetch is easily controlled using 2,4-D and/or Banvel.
* The many, many benefits of any cover crop, including vetch, go a
long way to overcoming the potential problems... In many cropping
systems, a few nitrogen-fixing weeds should not be a concern, but the
potential for vetch as a weed is real.
For more information about cover crops in general, a great resource is
the first book published by the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) in
1992: Managing Cover Crops Profitably. We have the complete text on the
web at http://www.sare.org/htdocs/pubs/
OR, in a different, easily searchable format, scroll down the same page
to the list of *databases* that SAN maintains thanks to the Western SARE
program at Utah State University. In this Folio InfoBase format, you can
search the entire book for one or more keywords at the same time. This
is a powerful search engine!
When you get there (http://extnt2.agsci.usu.edu/folio.pgi/COVERS2.NFO?),
Click on QUERY, then put in a couple of words (i.e., vetch rye) separated
by a space, then hit SEARCH. You'll see how many hits you've gotten.
This will tell you if you need to refine your search terms.
Click now on Contents, click on the list of hits, then use NEXT HIT,
PREVIOUS HIT to scroll through the parts of the book dealing with your
SAN is in the final stages of the 2nd Edition of Managing Cover Crops
Profitably, due in May of 1998. You'll be hearing more from me on that
when the book is in print :^)
For more detailed information about managing vetch and vetch/rye mixtures
(SARE funded research on corn production in the Mid-Atlantic, but NOT
ABOUT WEEDS), see also:
Clark, Andrew J., et al. 1994. Seeding rate and kill date effects on
hairy vetch-cereal rye cover crop mixtures for corn production. Agron.
Clark, A.J., et al. 1995. Hairy vetch kill date effects on soil water and
corn production. Agron. Jour. 87:579-585.
Clark, A.J., et al. 1997a. Kill date of vetch, rye and a vetch-rye
mixture: I. Cover crop and corn nitrogen. 1997. Agron. Jour. 89:427-434.
Clark, A.J., et al. 1997b. Kill date of vetch, rye and a vetch-rye
mixture: II. Soil moisture and corn yield. Agron. Jour. 89:434-441
Decker, A.M. et al. 1994. Legume cover crop contributions to no-tillage
corn production. Agron. J. 86:126-136.
Use the SEARCH engine on the SAN home page to hit many different sources
of information, on cover crops or other sustainable agriculture topics:
UC SAREP cover crop database
Sustainable Farming Connection cover crop pages:
Dr. Aref Abdul-Baki's publications (cover crops for vegetable production):
How to Grow Fresh-Market Tomatoes (using organic mulches) by Abdul-Baki
and John Teasdale, Beltsville Agricultural Research Center:
Sustainable Agriculture at the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center:
Andy Clark, Ph.D.
c/o AFSIC, Room 304
National Agricultural Library
10301 Baltimore Ave.
Beltsville, MD 20705-2351
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