The evaluation of cereal grains, legumes and selected winter annuals as cover crops for the Willamette Valley Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/0z709088b

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  • Annual cover crops are widely used in the Willamette Valley of Oregon on hill land, in orchards and on overflow river bottom land. Cover crops are grown to prevent soil erosion and to increase soil organic matter. The objectives of this study were to determine the crops that would be most suitable as cover crops in the Willamette Valley as measured by their green and dry matter production at different times during the early spring. Twelve crop species including winter wheat, oats, barley, rye, annual brome and ryegrass, vetches, turnips, crimson and subterranean clover were seeded alone and in certain combinations on two different soil types near Corvallis, Oregon. The winter cereal grains produced the greatest amount of ground cover and green and dry matter at both locations. The cereal grain-legume mixtures were not significantly different from the pure stands of grain. During the season that this trial was conducted the Austrian winter peas were damaged by freezing, suggesting that this crop might have limited usefulness as a cover crop. Based on total production, Abruzzi rye, and the combination of Abruzzi rye and legumes were the most favorable crops to be used as cover crops at both locations. Annual ryegrass was comparable to Abruzzi rye and would certainly be useful under certain conditions.
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