Short Communication - Journal of Agricultural Science and Botany (2020) Volume 4, Issue 4
Cover Crop Management Effects on Soil C and N pool and Fresh-Market Tomato Yield.
Depending on management, cover crops may improve soil and environmental quality and tomato yield. We evaluated the effects of hairy vetch residue management and the biculture of hairy vetch (Vicia Villosa R.) and rye (Secale Cereale L.) on Soil Organic Carbon (SOC), Microbial Biomass Nitrogen (MBN), soil inorganic nitrogen, and tomato yield for two years in a plastic high tunnel in Sapporo, Japan. SOC in the surface 10 cm depth was 2.87% to 17.5% significantly greater in hairy vetch incorporation, hairy vetch mulch, and the biculture of hairy vetch and rye treatments, than in a no cover crop treatment (bare fallow). Residual soil nitrate−N, subject to leaching losses after winter, was increased by cover crops, more so by hairy vetch incorporation and mulch than the biculture. MBN and inorganic N (NO3-−N +NH4+−N) were greater in hairy vetch incorporation than either hairy vetch mulch or bicultural. Tomato total yield was 11.1% to 43.8% significantly greater in hairy vetch incorporation and mulch than in the bare fallow.
However, the effects of the biculture on MBN, inorganic N, and tomato yield varied with C/N ratio of residues and best results were obtained with a C/N ratio of 17.6 than with 23.7.
Therefore, if adequate seeding hairy vetch to rye ratio (2:1) is used, the biculture is a better management practice to increase SOC at surface soil layer and tomato yield with least residual N.