New Mexico Chile Association Competitive Grants Program

Barley Cover Crops to Improve Weed and Disease Management in Chile

Principal Investigators: Erik Lehnhoff (; Brian Schutte (; Soum Sanogo ( - Department of Entomology, Plant Pathology, and Weed Science

Summary: Barley can suppress weed growth and has antifungal properties, but it is unknown how to best incorporate it into chile production. Our research assesses different termination dates for barley cover crops to maximize barley’s impacts on weeds and soil-borne disease while minimizing its potential negative effects on chile seedlings. We will (1) assess barley residue effects on herbicide performance and weed pressure, and (2) evaluate barley residue impacts to soil-borne pathogens. We expect that a barley cover crop integrated with traditional pre-emergent herbicides will improve weed control and will suppress soil-borne diseases, making chile more profitable for New Mexico farmers.