Growing cover crops in organic arable crop rotations: best practices from Denmark

Knowledge on effect and successful implementation of growing cover crops

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Problem
Reduced soil quality, soil erosion, nutrient losses/leaching, weed pressure.
Solution
Growing cover crops the right way, right timing, right position in the rotation.
Description
This tool is about growing cover crops in the best way in an organic arable crop rotation. Thus, the tool is for organic farmers and their advisors who want a successful implementation of and increased knowledge on growing cover crops – regardless of experience. Cover crops can if used properly have tremendous effect on soil quality, nutrient leaching/losses, weed pressure, and soil erosion – common challenges in arable farming. The tool helps to identify when to grow cover crops and where to position them in the rotation. Furthermore, it suggests cover crop species suitable for different soil types, degree of crop competition, existing N-pool in the field and how much seed is needed pr. ha. Structured as a factsheet, the tool provides examples/statements on where different cover crops fit in the rotation and why it should be considered. Example: it is important to grow cover crops both 1st and 2nd year after ploughing a field of clover-grass to avoid nitrogen losses.
Applicability
Theme
Soil quality and fertility, Nutrient management, Pest and disease control, Weed management
Languages
Danish language


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