Managing Cereal Rye Living Mulch in Snap Beans with Chemical Mowing and Preemergence Herbicides
Winter cereal rye (Secale cereale L.) can be used as an interseeded living mulch for integrated weed management in vegetables. Two aspects limit cereal rye living mulch utility: yield impeding crop interference and concurrent cereal rye and weed establishment. Micro-rates of quizalofop-p-ethyl herbicide applied postemergence limited cereal rye living mulch vigor via chemical mowing; the dose response depended upon rye stage at application. Chemical mowing failed to preserve snap bean yield and consistently limit weed biomass. Split and single quizalofop-p-ethyl application rates did not differ from the untreated rye control for weed control, snap bean yield, and cereal rye dry weight. Preemergence herbicide use could provide cereal rye with a temporal emergence advantage over annual weeds. Cereal rye tolerated the low-label rate of S-metolachlor, dimethenamid-p, pendimethalin, and EPTC applied preemergence. These results will inform the methodologies of future studies examining cereal rye living mulch use in vegetable systems.