Development of a white clover - corn living mulch system:
Sanders, Zachary Paul
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Corn comprises 95% of the feed grain production in the United States. Between 2006 and 2016, the area dedicated to corn production in the Southeastern US has increased by 50%. Environmental concerns about increased corn production will require producers to adopt more sustainable practices. The first goal of this research was to identify the best agronomic practices for persistence of white clover in a white clover-corn living mulch system. We found that wide corn rows with narrow herbicide bands was the best combination when corn yield and clover re-establishment were considered. The second goal was to measure the water use efficiency of corn and the soil moisture patterns in a white clover-corn living mulch compared to cereal rye and crimson clover cover crops. The living mulch resulted in reduced water use efficiency compared to the other treatments, and reduced soil volumetric water content in both years.