Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Varco, Jac J.

Committee Member

Henry, W. Brien

Committee Member

Cox, Michael S

Committee Member

Lemus, Rocky W

Date of Degree


Document Type

Graduate Thesis - Open Access


Plant and Soil Sciences||Concentration in Agronomy

Degree Name

Master of Science


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


Department of Plant and Soil Sciences


Improved N management is required to enhance crop productivity, while reducing concomitant losses. Research was conducted for 4-y studying winter cover crops. Three legume species grown alone or with either cereal rye (Secale cereale) or ‘Tillage Radish®’ (Raphanus sativus L.) were used to quantify cover crop biomass and N content plus their effects on corn grain yield and N recovery. The effects of these cropping systems on selected soil health indicators was also determined. Rye bicultures enhanced biomass production, but antagonistically affected corn performance. Radish inclusion resulted in equal or greater cover crop N than rye. In year 3, the addition of radish across legume species increased corn N content (10.6 kg ha-1) and grain yield (1050 kg ha-1). Although cover crops did not affect soil bulk density, both bicultures increased soil C/N. The legume-radish association offers a novel practice towards improving crop performance and soil quality.



Soil Fertility||Cover Crops||N Dynamics||legume-radish association||Rye||biculture||Strip-tilled corn