Date of Graduation

Spring 2021


Master of Science in Plant Science (Agriculture)


College of Agriculture

Committee Chair

Michael Goerndt


Locally, responsibly grown produce is becoming more popular as consumers are shifting to organic products or those obtained at a local farmer’s market. The importance of soil health through conservation practices is increasing as the negative effects of industrial production are apparent. The over-application of synthetic fertilizers, soil erosion from wind and water, and nutrient leaching in high vegetable production areas has initiated a need for the investigation of alternative management practices. The main objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of tillage and cover crops in the production of green beans and okra. In 2019 and 2020, Blue Lake green beans and Clemson Spineless okra were planted at the Missouri State University Darr Agricultural Center. Tillage and no-till treatments were applied for the 2019 growing season, and cover crop treatments were implemented in November of 2019 for the 2020 growing season. Vegetable harvests were conducted throughout both growing seasons to determine calcium (Ca), phosphorus (P), magnesium (Mg), and potassium (K) concentrations in produce as well as yield. Soil nutrient content was determined from soil samples collected after the 2020 growing season. Green beans showed a statistically significant increase in tillage plots for growth rate in both seasons as well as yield in 2020. No significance was found in okra through any treatment method. These findings suggest that tillage increases short-term green bean production in regards to yield, but does not affect the productivity of okra.


cover crops, vegetable production, no-till, tillage, nutrient density, green beans, okra

Subject Categories

Natural Resources and Conservation | Plant Sciences


© Austin Grey Livingston

Open Access