Winter Cover Crops by IFAS

Winter Cover Crops by IFAS here

Winter cover crops such as rye (Secale cereale) (Figure 12), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa) (Figure 13), wheat (Triticum aestivum) (Figure 14), crimson clover (Trifolium incarnatum) (Figure 15), and lupine (Lupinus angustifolius) (Figure 16) are used where summer is the main cropping season (Wang et al. 2004).

Rye is a commonly used winter cover crop in the southeastern United States and a poor host of Meloidogyne spp. (McSorley and Dickson, 1989). Population densities of M. incognita remained low throughout the winter cover-cropping season on several crops (wheat, rye, oat, lupine, hairy vetch, and crimson clover). However, their numbers increased after a susceptible corn crop was planted in the spring (Table 2), especially following hairy vetch, crimson clover, and lupine (Wang et. al. 2004).

Leguminous cover crops are important for providing nitrogen, but most winter legumes can increase population levels of root-knot nematodes, and hairy vetch and crimson clover are particularly troublesome.

Some cultivars of winter legumes show promise in nematode management. ‘Cahaba’ White vetch (Vicia sativa) was reported effective in managing M. incognita race 3 in a greenhouse experiment conducted in Georgia (Timper et al. 2006). ‘Cherokee’ red clover (Trifolium pratense) had reduced root galling and nematode reproduction compared to other germplasm of red clover in response to M. arenaria, M. hapla, M. incognita, and M. javanica (Quesenberry et al. 1989).

Rye and oat were most effective in keeping nematode numbers low, and in general, cereal cover crops are better than leguminous crops for nematode suppression (Wang et al. 2004) (Table 2).

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