Role of Cover Crops in Converting Perennial Pasture to Vegetable Ground
Scattergood Farm measured the effects of two cover crops or no cover crop on numbers of weeds and compaction measured by soil density in a vegetable crop following a transition from a pasture. The treatments tested were buckwheat followed by winter rye mixed with hairy vetch cover crop, buckwheat followed by tillage radish cover crop, and no cover crop. In the past Scattergood Farm has transitioned pasture to vegetable-production fields with excessive tillage and faced significant weed pressure and compaction in these newly transitioned fields. Results from this study did not show statistically significant differences in numbers of weeds between cover crop or no cover crop treatments. However, farm manager Mark Quee observed differences in the field and plans to incorporate more cover crops into his pasture-to-vegetable-ground transitions.