Effect of Management Practices Applied to Cover Crops with Biofumigation Properties on Cover Crop Performance and Weed Control in a Vineyard
AbstractThis five-year trial (2009 to 2013) was carried out in a full-bearing seven-year-old Shiraz/101-14
vineyard established on a sandy to sandy clay loam soil at Blaauwklippen farm (33°58’S, 18°50’E) near
Stellenbosch, South Africa. Fourteen treatments were applied, consisting of two management practices
applied to five cover crop species, winter-growing weeds (no cover crop), and winter-growing weeds (no
cover crop) combined with a nematicide application in the vine row. The dry matter production (DMP)
increased between 0.55 and 2.62 t/ha from 2009 to 2010 for the small-seeded Sinapis alba cv. Braco (white
mustard), Brassica napus cv. AVJade (canola), Brassica juncea cv. Caliente 199 (Caliente) and Eruca
sativa cv. Nemat (Nemat). This was attributed to the finer seedbed that could be created. All cover crops
suppressed the winter-growing weeds throughout the study. Although the stand of summer-growing
weeds differed significantly between treatments in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the cover crop treatments did not
suppress these weeds significantly. However, for the duration of the study, the weed stand in the canola
controlled chemically full surface (CC) during grapevine bud break tended to be lower than that of the
canola controlled mechanically (MC) during grapevine bud break. The same trend occurred between CC
and MC for Avena sativa cv. Pallinup (Pallinup oats) and the treatments in which no cover crops were
sown, with the exception of in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
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