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Leguminous cover crops: an important tool for improving resource use efficiency in organic arable cropping systems

ANTICHI, DR. D.; MAZZONCINI, PROF. M.; BARBERI, PROF. P.; BIGONGIALI, DR. F. and CARPI, DR. G. (2008) Leguminous cover crops: an important tool for improving resource use efficiency in organic arable cropping systems. Poster at: Cultivating the Future Based on Science: 2nd Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research ISOFAR, Modena, Italy, June 18-20, 2008.

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Summary

Cover crops are one of the most effective tools for organic farmers to improve the efficiency of their agro-ecosystems, while also reducing economic costs and environmental problems. The choice and usefulness of a cover crop species strictly depend on its adaptability to specific climate and soil conditions, but also on its relationships with other species (crops and weeds) and on the quality of farm management. Nine different pure species and three species mixtures were cultivated for two years as winter cover crops in a rainfed stockless arable organic cropping system as part of the MASCOT long-term experiment. Leguminous cover crops showed the highest level of biomass production in both years. Hairy vetch (Vicia villosa), either in pure stand or in mixture with grasses, was the most productive and stable species, and had the highest N uptake (ca. 200 kg ha-1). Besides, leguminous species significantly increased the content of N (up to 100%) and P (up to 50%) in weeds and associated grass crops, probably as a result of increased nutrient availability in soil through root exudates.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Poster
Keywords:cover crops, nitrogen, mixtures, weeds
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2008: IFOAM OWC: Research Track / ISOFAR > 8.2 Mediterranean crop production
Deposited By: Antichi, Dr. Daniele
ID Code:12311
Deposited On:22 Sep 2008
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:36
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:This paper is published in the conference proceedings:
Neuhoff, Daniel; Halberg, Niels; Alfldi, Thomas; Lockeretz, William; Thommen, Andreas; Rasmussen, Ilse A.; Hermansen, John; Vaarst, Mette; Lck, Lorna; Carporali, Fabio; Jensen, Henning Hgh; Migliorini, Paola and Willer, Helga, Eds. (2008) .Cultivating the Future Based on Science. Proceedings of the Second Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), held at the 16th IFOAM Organic World Congress in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the Consorzio ModenaBio, 18 . 20 June 2008 in Modena, Italy.. International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), c/o IOL, DE-Bonn, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick. http://orgprints.org/13672 and http://orgprints.org/13674

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