Thursday, April 27, 2017 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm
Cover crops can provide a suite of ecosystem services and increase the sustainability of cropping systems. We hypothesized that weed seed predation would be facilitated by interseeded cover crops. In 2016, we drill interseeded cover crops into corn and measured yield, cover crop biomass, and weed seed predation. We also conducted cover crop seed preference trials with four common weed seed predators. We observed increased cover crop biomass at lower corn densities, but results on weed seed predation were mixed. We also found that cover crop seeds are readily consumed by carabid beetles and crickets. Our results suggest that host crop density, cover crop species selection, and cover crop interseeding method all influence the ecosystem services provided by cover crops.