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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

The Perennial Grain Crop Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & D.R. Dewey (Kernza (TM)) as an Element in Crop Rotations: A Pilot Study on Termination Strategies and Pre-Crop Effects on a Subsequent Root Vegetable

Dimitrova Martensson, Linda-Maria; Barreiro, Ana; Olofsson, Jenny


Intermediate wheatgrass (IWG) may benefit soil fertility in crop rotations. To investigate termination strategies, i.e., autumn ploughing (AP), autumn harrowing (AH) and spring harrowing (SH) on a five-year-old IWG stand, a pilot study was performed. After the treatments, beetroots were sown and the IWG plants were counted twice during the beetroot growing season. The number of IWG plants was highest (20) after the SH strategy, intermediate (14) after the AH, and lowest (3) after the conventional termination strategy, AP. After the first plant count, the plots were subject to mechanical weeding in the form of a stale seedbed (i.e., harrowing twice before sowing). At beetroot harvest, the number of IWG plants was low (3 in SH and AH, 0 in AP) and similar between the treatments. The beetroot production was highest after AP and lowest in SH, and intermediary in AH, which showed no difference from AP and SH. At beetroot harvest, the weed biomass did not differ between the termination strategies. The weeds were mainly annuals. There were no differences in soil bulk density between termination strategies. Our results show that shallow soil tillage is enough to terminate IWG, as long as it repeated. We suggest further studies that investigate the dynamics of crop sequences with IWG, and how to benefit from this crop in rotations.


ploughing; cultivation; harrowing; crop rotation; crop sequence; Kernza

Published in

2021, volume: 11, number: 11, article number: 1175
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Barreiro, Ana
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology
Olofsson, Jenny
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Biosystems and Technology

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

Publication Identifiers


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