February 2024 - 24

VEG CONNECTIONS
Replacing plastic with cover crops
TESTING CLOVER AS
LIVING MULCH IN
CONNECTION WITH
TILLAGE STRATEGIES
BY ALEXIS BARNES, KRISTINE LANG
AND RHODA BURROWS
M
anaging weeds, improving
soil health and the
management of plastic mulch
continue to be priorities for vegetable
farmers. South Dakota vegetable
farmers have expressed an interest
in incorporating cover crops to
reduce the use of single-use plastic
and increase soil health benefits.
Perennial legume cover crops provide
nutrients to soil prior to planting
and may overwinter to become living
mulches for future seasons.
During the growing season,
clover cover crops may suppress
weeds, contribute nitrogen after
establishment and prevent soil
erosion. However, previous research
has shown that using clovers as
a living mulch or living pathway
between planting rows can compete
with cash crops and result in lower
vegetable yields.
Research design
Research was conducted in
South Dakota in 2022 and 2023 to
investigate the effects of three clover
living mulches in combination with
four different row management
practices. Cover crops selected were
Dynamite (red clover), Domino (white
clover), Aberlasting (white x kura)
clover and a bare ground control.
Soil management treatments
were no-till with fabric, no-till
without fabric, tilled with fabric and
tilled without fabric. Cash crops
were Imperial broccoli planted at
the South Dakota State University
24 | FEBRUARY 2024
Alexis Barnes, graduate research assistant, and Joslyn Fousert, Southeast
Research Farm horticulture technician, install landscape fabric prior
to squash planting. Photos courtesy of South Dakota State University
Department of Agronomy, Horticulture and Plant Science.

February 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2024

Editor's Letter
Michigan Vegetable Council honors experts
GLEXPO Bus Tour
2023 Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 awards
A different tool in fighting herbicide resistance
Going greens
Replacing plastic with cover crops
Farm Market & Agritourism
Classifieds
Advertiser Index
February 2024 - 1
February 2024 - 2
February 2024 - Editor's Letter
February 2024 - 4
February 2024 - 5
February 2024 - Michigan Vegetable Council honors experts
February 2024 - 7
February 2024 - GLEXPO Bus Tour
February 2024 - 9
February 2024 - 10
February 2024 - 11
February 2024 - 2023 Fruit + Vegetable 40 Under 40 awards
February 2024 - 13
February 2024 - A different tool in fighting herbicide resistance
February 2024 - 15
February 2024 - 16
February 2024 - 17
February 2024 - Going greens
February 2024 - 19
February 2024 - 20
February 2024 - 21
February 2024 - 22
February 2024 - 23
February 2024 - Replacing plastic with cover crops
February 2024 - 25
February 2024 - 26
February 2024 - 27
February 2024 - 28
February 2024 - 29
February 2024 - Farm Market & Agritourism
February 2024 - 31
February 2024 - Classifieds
February 2024 - 33
February 2024 - Advertiser Index
February 2024 - 35
February 2024 - 36
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