Skip to main content Accessibility help

Influence of Various Cover Crop Species on Winter and Summer Annual Weed Emergence in Soybean

  • Cody D. Cornelius (a1) and Kevin W. Bradley (a1)


Field experiments were conducted in 2013, 2014, and 2015 in Columbia and Moberly, Missouri to determine the effects of cereal rye, Italian ryegrass, winter wheat, winter oat, crimson clover, Austrian winterpea, hairy vetch, oilseed radish, and cereal rye plus hairy vetch on winter and summer annual weed emergence in soybean. For comparison purposes, each experiment in each year included a Fall PRE, Spring PRE without residual, and Spring PRE residual herbicide programs. Cereal rye and cereal rye plus hairy vetch reduced winter annual weed emergence by 72 and 68%, respectively, but were not comparable to the Fall PRE which reduced winter annual weed emergence by 99%. The following spring, early-season waterhemp emergence was similar among treatments of cereal rye, cereal rye plus hairy vetch, and the Spring PRE residual herbicide program. In contrast, all cover crop species other than Italian ryegrass reduced late season waterhemp emergence between 21 and 40%, but were not comparable to the Spring PRE residual herbicide program, which reduced late season waterhemp emergence by 97%. All other summer annual weeds excluding waterhemp showed a similar response among cover crop and herbicide treatments. Overall, results from this experiment indicate that certain cover crops are able to suppress winter and summer annual weed emergence, but not to the extent of soil-applied residual herbicides.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author’s E-mail:


Hide All

Associate Editor for this paper: Aaron Hager, University of Illinois.



Hide All
Ateh, CM, Doll, JD (1996) Spring-planted winter rye (Secale cereale) as a living mulch to control weeds in soybean (Glycine max). Weed Technol 10:347353
Barlow, BR, Biggs, ME, Long, AR, Bish, MD, Bradley, KW (2016) Investigation of multiple herbicide resistance in a Missouri waterhemp population. Paper 39 in Proceedings of the 2016 Weed Science Society of America Annual Meeting. San Juan, Puerto Rico: Weed Science Society of America
Barnes, JP, Putnam, AR (1986) Evidence for allelopathy by residues and aqueous extracts of rye (Secale cereale L.). Weed Sci 34:384390
Barnes, JP, Putnam, AR, Burke, BA, Aasen, AJ (1987) Isolation and characterization of allelochemicals in rye herbage. Phytochem 26:13851390
Bernards, ML, Crespo, RJ, Kruger, GR, Gaussoin, R, Tranel, PJ (2012) A waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) population resistant to 2,4–D. Weed Technol 60:379384
Blouin, DC, Webster, EP, Bond, JA (2011) On the analysis of combined experiments. Weed Technol 25:165169
Brown, PD, Morra, MJ (1996) Hydrolysis products of glucosinolates in Brassica napus tissues as inhibitors of seed germination. Plant Soil 181:307316
Burgos, NR, Talbert, RE, Mattice, JD (1999) Cultivar and age differences in the production of allelochemicals by Secale cereale . Weed Sci 47:481485
Carmer, SG, Nyuist, WE, Walker, WM (1989) Least significant differences for combined analysis of experiments with two of three-factor treatment designs. Agron J 81:655672
Christenson, AM, Dille, JA, Roozenboom, KL, Peterson, DE (2014) Comparison of herbicide and cover crop utilization for horseweed suppression before and during a soybean crop. Page 20 in Proceedings of the 69th Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN: North Central Weed Science Society
Collins, AS, Chase, CA, Stall, WM, Hutchinson, CM (2007) Competitiveness of three leguminous cover crops with yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) and smooth pigweed (Amaranthus hybridus). Weed Sci 55:613618
Davis, VM, Gibson, KD, Bauman, TT, Weller, SC, Johnson, WG (2007) Influence of weed management practices and crop rotation on glyphosate-resistant horseweed population dynamics and crop yield. Weed Sci 55:508516
Hager, A, Wax, L, Simmons, W, Sprague, C (2000) Waterhemp Management in Illinois Agronomic Crops. 2000 Illinois Agricultural Pest Management Handbook. Champaign, IL: University of Illinois Extension. 294 p
Hartzler, RG, Battles, BA, Nordby, D (1999) Effect of common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) emergence date on growth and fecundity in soybean. Weed Sci 52:242245
Hayden, ZD, Brainard, CD, Henshaw, B, Ngouajio, M (2012) Winter annual weed suppression in rye-vetch cover crop mixtures. Weed Technol 26:818825
Heap, I (2015) The International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds. Accessed December 21, 2015
Horak, MJ, Loughin, TM (2000) Growth analysis of four Amaranthus species. Weed Sci 48:347355
Johnson, TJ, Kaspar, TC, Kohler, KA, Corak, SJ, Logsdon, SD (1998) Oat and rye overseeding into soybean as fall cover crops in the upper Midwest. J Soil Water Conserv 53:276279
Kuo, S, Sainju, UM, Jellum, EJ (1997) Winter cover cropping influence on nitrogen in soil. Soil Sci Soc Am J 61:13921399
Legleiter, TR, Bradley, KW (2008) Glyphosate and multiple herbicide resistance in common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) populations from Missouri. Weed Sci 56:582587
Mallory, EB, Posner, JL, Baldock, OJ (1998) Performance, economics, and adoption of cover crops in Wisconsin cash grain rotations: on farm trials. Am J Alternative Agriculture 13:211
Massinga, RA, Currie, RS, Trooien, TP (2003) Water use and light interception under Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) and corn competition. Weed Sci 51:523531
Meyer, CJ, Norsworthy, JK, Young, BG, Steckel, LE, Bradley, KW, Johnson, WG, Loux, MM, Davis, VM, Kruger, GR, Bararpour, MT, Ikley, JT, Spaunhorst, DJ, Butts, TR (2016) Early-season Palmer amaranth and waterhemp control from preemergence programs utilizing 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase-inhibiting and auxinic herbicides in soybean. Weed Technol 30:6775
Mirsky, SB, Curran, WS, Mortensen, DM, Ryan, MR, Shumway, DL (2011) Timing of cover crop management effects on weed suppression in no-till planted soybean using a roller-crimper. Weed Sci 59:380389
[NCDC] National Climatic Data Center (2011) National Centers for Environmental Information. Accessed June 26, 2017
Norsworthy, JK, Ward, SM, Shaw, DR, Llewellyn, RS, Nichols, RL, Webster, TM, Bradley, KW, Frisvold, G, Powles, BS, Burgos, WW, Barrett, M (2012) Reducing the risks of herbicide resistance: best management practices and recommendations. Weed Sci 60(Spec. Issue), 3162
Olofsdotter, M, Jensen, LB, Courtois, B (2002) Improving crop competitive ability using allelopathy – an example from rice. Plant Breed 121:19
Pimentel, D, Zuniga, R, Morrison, D (2005) Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States. Ecol Econ 52:273288
Putnam, AR, Duke, WB (1978) Allelopathy in agroecosystems. Ann Rev Phytopathol 16:431451
Reddy, KN (2001) Effects of cereal rye and legume cover crop residues on weeds, yield, and net return in soybean (Glycine max). Weed Technol 15:660668
Rosenbaum, KK, Bradley, KW (2013) A survey of glyphosate resistant waterhemp in Missouri soybean fields and prediction of glyphosate resistance in future waterhemp populations based on in-field observations and management practices. Weed Technol 27:656663
Sainju, UM, Singh, BP (1997) Winter cover crops for sustainable agriculture systems: influence on soil properties, water quality, and crop yields. Hort Sci 32:2128
Sauer, J (1957) Recent migration and evolution of the dioecious amaranths. Evolution 11:1131
Schultz, JL, Chatham, LA, Riggins, CW, Tranel, PJ, Bradley, KW (2015) Distribution of herbicide resistance and molecular mechanisms conferring resistance in Missouri waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis Sauer) populations. Weed Sci 63:336345
Sellers, BA, Smeda, RJ, Johnson, WG, Ellersieck, MR (2003) Comparative growth of six Amaranthus species in Missouri. Weed Sci 51:329333
Shoup, DE, Al-Khatib, K, Peterson, DE (2003) Common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) resistance to protoporphyrinogen oxidase-inhibiting herbicides. Weed Sci 51:145150
Smith, AN, Reberg-Horton, CS, Place, TG, Meijer, AD, Arellano, C, Mueller, PJ (2011) Rolled rye mulch for weed suppression in organic no-tillage soybeans. Weed Sci 59:224231
Steckel, LE, Sprague, CL, Hager, AG, Simmons, FW, Bollero, GA (2003) Effects of shading on common waterhemp (Amaranthus rudis) growth and development. Weed Sci. 51:898903
[SARE] Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education, Conservation Technology Information Center (2014) Cover Crop Survey. Accessed March 20, 2015
Teasdale, JR (1996) Contribution of cover crops to weed management in sustainable agriculture systems. J Prod Agric 9:475479
Teasdale, JR, Beste, CE, Potts, WE (1991) Response of weeds to tillage and cover crop residue. Weed Sci 39:195199
Teasdale, JR, Brandsaeter, LO, Calegari, A, Neto, FS (2007) Cover Crops and Weed Management. Pages 4964 in Upadhyaya MK & Blackshaw RE eds., Non-Chemical Weed Management Principles, Concepts and Technology. Wallingford, UK: C.A.B. International
Teasdale, JR, Moehler, CL (1993) Light transmittance, soil temperature, and soil moisture under residue of hairy vetch and rye. Agron J 85:673680
Teasdale, JR, Moehler, CL (2000) The quantitative relationship between weed emergence and the physical properties of mulch. Weed Sci 48:385392
Varco, JJ, Spurlock, SR, Sanabria-Garro, OR (1999) Profitability and nitrogen rate optimization associated with winter cover management in no-tillage cotton. J Prod Agric 12:9195
Webster, TM (2013) Weed survey-southern states. Pages 275–287 in Proceedings of the 66th Annual Southern Weed Science Society Meeting. Houston, TX: Southern Weed Science Society
Webster, TM, Scully, BT, Grey, TL, Culpepper, AS (2013) Winter cover crops influence Amaranthus palmeri establishment. Crop Prot 52:130135
Weston, L (1990) Cover crop and herbicide influence on row crop seedling establishment in no-tillage culture. Weed Sci 38:166171
White, RH, Worsham, AD, Blum, U (1989) Allelopathic potential of legume debris and aqueous extracts. Weed Sci 37:674679
Wiggins, MS, Hayes, RM, Steckel, LE (2016) Evaluating cover crops and herbicides for glyphosate resistant Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) control in cotton. Weed Technol 30:415422
Wiggins, MS, McClure, MA, Hayes, RM, Steckel, LE (2015) Integrating cover crops and POST herbicides for glyphosate-resistant Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) control in corn. Weed Technol 29:412418
Yenish, JP, Worsham, AD, York, AC (1996) Cover crops for herbicide replacement in no-tillage corn (Zea mays). Weed Technol 10:815821



Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed