Cover crop termination options and application of remote sensing for evaluating termination efficiency


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Public Library of Science


Efficient termination of cover crops is an important component of cover crop management. Information on termination efficiency can help in devising management plans but estimating herbicide efficacy is a tedious task and potential remote sensing technologies and vegetative indices (VIs) have not been explored for this purpose. This study was designed to evaluate potential herbicide options for the termination of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), cereal rye (Secale cereale L.), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth.), and rapeseed (Brassica napus L.), and to correlate different VIs with visible termination efficiency. Nine herbicides and one roller-crimping treatment were applied to each cover crop. Among different herbicides used, glyphosate, glyphosate + glufosinate, paraquat, and paraquat + metribuzin provided more than 95% termination for both wheat and cereal rye 28 days after treatment (DAT). For hairy vetch, 2,4-D + glufosinate and glyphosate + glufosinate, resulted in 99 and 98% termination efficiency, respectively, followed by 2,4-D + glyphosate and paraquat with 92% termination efficiency 28 DAT. No herbicide provided more than 90% termination of rapeseed and highest control was provided by paraquat (86%), 2,4-D + glufosinate (85%), and 2,4-D + glyphosate (85%). Roller-crimping (without herbicide application) did not provide effective termination of any cover crop with 41, 61, 49, and 43% termination for wheat, cereal rye, hairy vetch, and rapeseed, respectively. Among the VIs, Green Leaf Index had the highest Pearson correlation coefficient for wheat (r = -0.786, p = <0.0001) and cereal rye (r = -0.804, p = <0.0001) with visible termination efficiency rating. Whereas for rapeseed, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) had the highest correlation coefficient (r = -0.655, p = <0.0001). The study highlighted the need for tankmixing 2,4-D or glufosinate with glyphosate for termination instead of blanket application of glyphosate alone for all crops including rapeseed and other broadleaf cover crops.



Leaf Chlorophyll Content, Cereal Rye, Chemical Termination, Vegetation Indexes, Roller-Crimper, Area Index, Corn, Yield, Reflectance, Management