Summer Cover Crops for No-Till Production of Late-Season Vegetables For Soil Health and Weed Control

Come see cover cropping in action!  No-till vegetable production, which uses a cover crop mulch to suppress weed growth during the vegetable growing season, offers a more sustainable approach to weed management than the frequent use of herbicides and tillage. This is an especially valuable tool for organic farmers who do not use synthetic herbicides and therefore must rely on frequent cultivation and tillage for weed control.  In this workshop the focus will be on summer or warm-season cover crops for use in no-till production of fall vegetables. Participants will learn about selecting and managing cover crops for no-till vegetable production. They will also have an opportunity to view different summer cover crops in research plots at Clemson’s Coastal Research & Education Center Farm, and see termination of cover crops using a roll-crimper attachment.

September 30th 2016, 9AM – 1:30PM 

Coastal Research and Education Center Experiment Station, 2700 Savannah Hwy, Charleston, SC 29414


Dr. Mark Schonbeck – Dr. Schonbeck holds a PhD in Botany from the University of Glasgow in Scotland. Dr. Schonbeck is based in Floyd, VA and currently works as an independent consultant in sustainable agriculture where he assists farmers and gardeners with soil quality and nutrient management, primarily for vegetable production systems. Mark is an expert in selection and management of cover crops to manage weeds in vegetable crops. In addition to individual consulting Dr. Schonbeck makes occasional trips outside Virginia giving talks on soil and weed management.

Dr. Brian Ward serves as a Research Specialist III and conducts a multitude of both conventional and organic research activities. Dr. Ward’s conventional research involves conducting annual variety trials on cantaloupe, processing tomato, sweet corn and peppers. Dr. Ward is charge of the Organic Research Farm at CREC and is an organic specialist in crop rotations that benefit soils, grains and vegetables. There is wide variety of audiences for Dr. Ward’s research including extension, growers, industry and students at the high school, collegiate and beginner grower levels.

David Robb – David is a research associate and PhD student in the Plant & Environmental Sciences Program at Clemson. His master’s and doctoral research focuses on cost-effective management of cover crop residue for no-till vegetable production. 


8:30 – 9:00

Check-in: Clemson Coastal Research & Education Center Conference Room


Welcome and Introduction (Geoff Zehnder, CU Sustainable Agriculture Program)


 Selecting and managing cover crops for soil quality and weed management in no-till vegetable production. (Mark Schonbeck, VA Assoc. of Biological Farming)


Overview of the USDA no-till research project (David Robb, Research Associate and Graduate Student, CU Sustainable Agriculture Program; and Dr. Brian Ward, Clemson Coastal Research and Education Center)


Group travels across Savannah Highway to research plots


Tour of research plots: Dr. Brian Ward (Clemson CREC)


Lunch (provided): Participants will have an opportunity to discuss cover crop management with all of the speakers




Please register in advance.  Cost to attend is $10 to cover supplies.  This workshop includes a locally sourced lunch.  Register today at: 


Please contact Kelly Flynn at

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