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Comparing conventional and improved organic vegetable rotations, yields and nitrogen husbandry

Thorup-Kristensen, Kristian and Kristensen, Hanne L. (2010) Comparing conventional and improved organic vegetable rotations, yields and nitrogen husbandry. In: Book of afstracts from the 28th International Horticultural Congress, p. 641.

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Summary

During 2005 to 2009 three approaches to organic vegetable rotations were compared to a conventional rotation in an interdisciplinary project. The organic rotations differed in their reliance on animal manure vs. cover crops and intercrops, but the rotation of main vegetable and cereal crops were identical in the four rotations. One organic rotation (O1) relied on import of manure for supply of nutrients, in another (O2) cover crops were used to replace most of the manure import, and in (O3) also intercrops were grown to improve natural pest regulation. The yearly import
of nitrogen were on average 149, 94, 28, and 28 kg N.ha-1 in C, O1, O2, and O3 respectively. On average the yield in the O1 system was 83% of the yield in the conventional system. In the O2 rotation the yield was the same, though the nutrient import was much lower, whereas the intercrops in O3 reduced the yield to 70% of the conventional fotation. The effect on single crops varied with organic yields ranging from 60% (onion) to almost 100% (carrots, oats) of conventional yields. Crop root growth varied strongly among crops with rooting depths of less than 0.4
m (onions) to more than 2 m (cabbage, rye, fodder radish catch crop). Root growth was unaffected by cropping system, but the inclusion of deep rooted catch crops and green manures in O2 and O3 increased the total root exploitation of the soil strongly. Thus, while the O1 and O2 systems had almost identical yields and N uptake there were large differences in their effects on soil N; e.g. the subsoil (1-2.5 m) N content was on average 18 kg N.ha-1 in the O2 compared 61 and 53 kg N.ha-1 in the C and O1 respectively, indicating strongly reduced N leaching losses in O2.


EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Speech
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: Denmark > DARCOF III (2005-2010) > VEGQURE - Organic cropping Systems for Vegetable production
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > AU, DJF - Faculty of Agricultural Sciences
Deposited By: Kristensen, Ph.D. Hanne L.
ID Code:19585
Deposited On:04 Nov 2011 15:29
Last Modified:04 Nov 2011 15:29
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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