Biological Systems Engineering


Date of this Version



Published in Applied Engineering in Agriculture. 5(3): 379-385. (1989).


The use of legumes in conservation tillage systems may yield several benefits including reduced erosion resulting from establishment of surface cover. The effectiveness in furnishing surface cover of 18 plant species seeded on three different dates was evaluated over an 11-month period. For several of the legume species, planting date significantly influenced maximum surface cover and the number of days required to reach maximum cover. For each of the planting dates, hairy vetch achieved maximum cover as rapidly as any other legume and maintained the greatest cover throughout the study period. Relationships for estimating legume surface cover from vegetative mass determinations were also identified. Legumes could serve as important components in well-managed crop production systems.