Doug Alert and Margaret Smith of Hampton, IA typically co-seed oats with a red clover cover underseeding in their organic production system. Concerned about weed control, they were curious to learn if early mechanical weeding of the oats would have any effect on oat yield, intercropped red clover and weed pressure. They originally intended to trial tine weeding the oats, but found that rotary hoeing handled soybean residue better.
Alert and Smith recorded equal oat yields and observed no visual difference in weed pressure between the rotary hoe treatment and the control. They observed better clover establishment with the co-seeding. Rotary hoeing twice and broadcast-seeding the red clover (rather than co-seeding with the oats) cost $32.80/ac more than their typical practice. Read the full report here.