Influence of no-tilled organic farming system with cover crops on soil organic matter and weed control

Dr Jung-lai Cho1, Dr Nan-Hee An1, Dr Cho-Rong Lee1, Dr Sang-Min Lee1

1Nias Rda, Wanju-gun, South Korea

In the last decade, interest in no-tillage systems has increased in Korea. The no-tillage system has provided economic benefits and environmental advantage especially when associated with organic farming. The study evaluated the effects of no-tilled organic farming system with cover crops on the soil organic matter and weed control. The field experiment was conducted from 2014 to 2019 at the National Institute of Agricultural Science, Wanju, Korea. Two cover crops rye (Secale cerale L.) and Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), were cultivated in winter season under momo-culture and mixed culture. The cover crops were sown in October from 2014 to 2018, mowed and left as a surface mulch in May of the following year. The statistical design was completely randomized with four replecations. The field was cultivated in 2014 season, but seeding was done after 2015 on no-tilled bed, and covered with plant residues and compost to improve seedling rate. In summer, soybean (Glycine max L.) was cultivated from 2015 to 2017, and with hot pepper (Capsicum annum L.) under mixed cultures in 2018 and 2019. Soil characteristics including soil penetration resistance were investigated before cover crop and summer crop cultivation. In order to compare weed control effects of cover crops, weed weights were measured at 30 day intervals after transplanting. The results showed that four years of no-tillage increased soil organic matter contents from 15.9g/kg to 29.4g/kg and was significantly different with that of conventional tillage. The weed suppression rates of cover crops application for rye and mixture (rye+hairy vetch) treatment during 60 days after transplanting were 80% and 30%, respectively. However, weed suppression rate of hairy vetch treatment was not significantly different as compared to weedy control plots. In summary, th no-tillage cultivation using cover crops was effective in increasing organic matter content and soil improvement.


National Institute of Agricultural Science

Organic Agriculture Division

Rural Development Administration

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