Termination of cover crops prior to no-till planting of soybean is typically accomplished with burndown herbicides. Recent advances in cover-crop roller–crimper design offer the possibility of reliable physical termination of cover crops without tillage. A field study within a no-till soybean production system was conducted in Urbana, IL, from 2004 through 2007 to quantify the effects of cover crop (cereal rye, hairy vetch, or bare soil control), termination method (chemical burndown or roller–crimper), and postemergence glyphosate application rate (0, 1.1, or 2.2 kg ae ha−1) on soybean yield components, weed–crop interference, and soil environmental variables. Biomass of weeds surviving management within a soybean crop following either a vetch or rye cover crop was reduced by 26 and 56%, respectively, in the rolled system compared to the burndown system. Soybean yield loss due to weed interference was unaffected by cover-crop termination method in soybean following a rye cover crop, but was higher in the rolled than burndown treatment in both hairy vetch and bare soil treatments. In soybean following a rye cover crop, regardless of termination method, yield loss to weed interference was unaffected by glyphosate rate, whereas in soybean following a vetch cover crop or bare soil, yield loss decreased with glyphosate rate. Variation in soybean yield among cover crops and cover-crop termination treatments was due largely to differences in soybean establishment, rather than differences in the soil environment. Use of a roller–crimper to terminate a cover crop preceding no-till soybean has the potential to achieve similar yields to those obtained in a chemically terminated cover crop while reducing residual weed biomass.
Nomenclature: Common waterhemp, Amaranthus rudis Sauer, AMARU; giant foxtail, Setaria faberi Herrm., SETFA; hairy vetch, Vicia villosa Roth.; cereal rye, Secale cereale L. ‘FS Hi-Rye 500’; soybean, Glycine max (L). Merr.