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Green manure and cover crops in organic agriculture: general introduction

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It is the first of 2 dossiers: a general introduction to the use of green manures and cover crops in arable systems; it summarizes the reasons why cover crops and green manures are important in organic farming, from N-leaching prevention to all other benefits (weed management, organic matter production, pest and diseases management, soil fertility improvement etc. What follows is a real support to farmer in each decision to be taken during the implementation of a cover crop, from which species (or mixture) to choose, how to sow it, when, how and when to terminate it and how better place it in the crop rotation. It is very easy to use as schemes and tables facilitate a practical approach. Some real farm examples help to understand constrains and advantages of several choices.