Date of Degree
Graduate Thesis - Open Access
Master of Science
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cover crops and composted broiler litter (CBL) are two organic methods used to improve soils and organic vegetable production. The objectives of this study included determining the extent summer cover crops and CBL alter nutrient availability in soil, determining how summer cover crops and CBL influence fall vegetable crops in organic production systems and identifying which cover crops/ CBL combinations improve fall vegetable crop production best. Four cover crops were tested: sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea), sesame (Sesamum indicum), sorghum sudan grass (Sorghum X drummondii) and a sunn hemp + sesame blend, in combination with four composted broiler litter rates: 0, 2,800, 5,600, 11,200 kg.ha-1 for two years. Few differences were seen among cover crop treatments except for the sorghum sudan grass treatment, which had negative effects on fall broccoli production unless combined with CBL. The CBL increased nutrient availability, percent organic matter, pH and broccoli yield as the rate increased.
Reynolds, Sarah M, "The Use of Summer Cover Crops and Composted Broiler Litter in Fall Organic Vegetable Production" (2013). Theses and Dissertations MSU. 4691.