Cover Crops and Cotton in the Texas High Plains: SARE research summary, 2007-2009

Southern SARE

The use of small grain cover crops, like rye and wheat, is important across the region in reducing soil erosion, managing weeds, and retaining soil nutrients and organic matter. In long-term integrated crop/livestock production systems research where cotton was grown in alternate rotation with small grains, research results showed that rye or wheat cover crops reduced the growth and lint yield of cotton compared to a monoculture cotton production system.

In a Southern SARE-funded Graduate Student Grant (GS07-056), “Allelopathic Effects of Small Grain Cover Crops on Cotton Plant Growth and Yields,” Texas Tech University researchers investigated allelopathy as the possible cause of the observed suppression and to incorporate livestock grazing as a means of reducing the allelopathic effects on the cotton crop. This bulletin highlights that research.

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