Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment


The interdependence of winter barley as a cover crop and different undersowings


In view of the establishment of rotational fallows - set aside land - and the bridging of the vegetation-free winter period interactions between cover crop and undersowing were investigated in field trials. The suitability of the cover crop winter barley and different undersowings as well as varied seed rates was tested; in addition, the microclimate in the stand was evaluated. In some cases yield losses of the cover crop were recorded; causes for the yield reductions were high seed rates of Festuca rubra with strong weed growth or lodging. Low seed rates of the cover crop in combination with high seed rates of undersowings caused yield losses of the cover crop. Festuca rubra developed well in winter barley; the cultivation of Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens is uncertain because of the risk of light and water deficiencies. Strong differences between different seed rates of the cover crop (100 and 400 seeds m-2) were found for the photosynthetic active radiation in the stand, whereas no significant differences were detected for the relative humidity and temperature. Key-words: cover grop, undersowing, competition, light intensity, hotosynthetic active radiation.