Weed management by cover crops in organic Mediterranean vineyards


Abstract: Cover crops are a sustainable agricultural practice that can provide multiple
ecosystem services, such as reducing erosion, improving water infiltration, managing weeds,
and retaining nitrogen. The appropriate species and termination method are key challenges to successfully implementing cover crops. This study aims to determine which cover crop species and termination methods are most suitable for Mediterranean vineyards (Vitis vinifera) and their potential to control weeds. To achieve the proposed objectives, an experiment was set up in two fields of organic vineyards located in Raimat (Lleida, NE Spain) to test the effect of the cover crop termination method (roller-crimper or shredder) of two cover crop species (Triticale and Phacelia tanacetifolia, sown on late October 2022), on weed emergence and cover persistence during the summer. Both sown cover crops effectively suppressed winter weeds. However, despite expectations, more weed biomass was found in cover crops terminated with the rollercrimper.

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