This five-year trial (2009 to 2013) was carried out in a full-bearing seven-year-old Shiraz/101-14 vineyard established on a sandy to sandy clay loam soil at Blaauwklippen farm (33°58’S, 18°50’E) near Stellenbosch, South Africa. Fourteen treatments were applied, consisting of two management practices applied to five cover crop species, winter-growing weeds (no cover crop), and winter-growing weeds (no cover crop) combined with a nematicide application in the vine row. The dry matter production (DMP) increased between 0.55 and 2.62 t/ha from 2009 to 2010 for the small-seeded Sinapis alba cv. Braco (white mustard), Brassica napus cv. AVJade (canola), Brassica juncea cv. Caliente 199 (Caliente) and Eruca sativa cv. Nemat (Nemat). This was attributed to the finer seedbed that could be created. All cover crops suppressed the winter-growing weeds throughout the study. Although the stand of summer-growing weeds differed significantly between treatments in 2010, 2011 and 2012, the cover crop treatments did not suppress these weeds significantly. However, for the duration of the study, the weed stand in the canola controlled chemically full surface (CC) during grapevine bud break tended to be lower than that of the canola controlled mechanically (MC) during grapevine bud break. The same trend occurred between CC and MC for Avena sativa cv. Pallinup (Pallinup oats) and the treatments in which no cover crops were sown, with the exception of in 2009 and 2010 respectively.
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