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Enhancing multifunctional benefits of cover crops – vegetables intercropping

{Project} INTERVEG: Enhancing multifunctional benefits of cover crops – vegetables intercropping. Runs 2011 - 2015. Project Leader(s): Canali, Stefano.

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Online at: http://www.coreorganic2.org/

Summary

The project aims at verifying if the introduction and proper management of living mulch in vegetable production systems allows comparable yields and produce quality in comparison to the sole cropping systems, reducing the use of auxiliary, off-farm, inputs (i.e. plant protections products and fertilizers) and non-renewable energy consumption (i.e. fossil fuel for mechanical weeding). The cover crops – vegetables intercropped farming systems should then perform better in terms of environmental impact and profitability due to production costs reduction.
This hypothesis is tested in a range of European areas where open field organic vegetable production are a relevant activity. Field experiments will be carried out in four CORE Countries (IT, DK, DE and SLO), in sites having different soil characteristics and climatic conditions.
Two yielding crops have been identified, one common for all and one for each of the study areas, according to the following criteria: (i) economic relevance, (ii) season of the cropping cycle and (iii) representativeness as “model” crop of a larger crops group with similar characteristic and to which, the project outcomes can be extended. A range of cover crop families and species are intercropped with the yielding species in function of the typology of “service” they provide and in relation to the agro-ecosystems characteristics in which they are introduced.
Cover crops sowing period, root pruning as well as spacing or yielding crop and cover crop density are the relevant experimental factors that will be investigated in order to optimize the performance of the living mulched agro-ecosystems in comparison to the sole crop systems. The living mulched and the sole crop systems will be compared in terms of yield quality and stability, impact of weed and pests as well as nutrient availability and losses in relation to reduction in the use of off-farm inputs and energy, cost effectiveness and environmental impact. Involving 7 partners of 4 CORE countries, project activities are organized in 6 work packages.


EPrint Type:Project description
Subjects: Crop husbandry
Research affiliation: European Union > CORE Organic II > InterVeg
Acronym:INTERVEG
Start Date:5 September 2011
End Date:28 February 2015
Deposited By: Hansen, Grethe
ID Code:20686
Deposited On:28 Mar 2012 12:49
Last Modified:28 Mar 2012 12:49

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