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Cornell University

Cover Crop Guide for NY Growers

Dr. Thomas Björkman, Horticulture Section, Cornell AgriTech

Weed suppression in spring

Plots were photographed on May 1, 2008


Fallow ground was covered with shepherd’s purse and chickweed, both making seeds.



‘Bonar’ forage rape had almost decomposed, but there were virtually no weeds. The ground below was in excellent condition.


‘Appin’ forage turnips had decomposed except for short (3 inch) pieces of stem. There were virtually no weeds.


‘Pasja’ forage turnips survived partially, but not enough to be useful for organic matter production or further weed suppression. All the surviving plants were ones that did not bulb in the fall.



‘Tilney’ mustard had standing straw about 18″ tall. There were few weeds, mostly annual bluegrass.


Wheat was weed free and growing vigorously. Not heading yet, about 14″ high.