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Rapeseed regrowth and white clover cover crop valorisation through sheep grazing (DiverIMPACTS Practice Abstract)

{Tool} Rapeseed regrowth and white clover cover crop valorisation through sheep grazing (DiverIMPACTS Practice Abstract). [Valorisation de la repousse du colza et de la culture de couverture du trèfle blanc par le pâturage des moutons (DiverIMPACTS Practice Abstract).] Creator(s): Jamar, Daniel; Daniaux, Christel and Regibeau, Cyril. Issuing Organisation(s): CRA-W - Walloon Agricultural Research Centre. (2022)

[thumbnail of Regibeau-Managing-Clover+Rapeseed-PA.pdf] PDF - Published Version - English
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Document available online at: https://zenodo.org/record/6514829#.YyHWCHZByUk


Sheep grazing allows for the valorisation of permanent ground cover while quickly returning nitrogen fixed by WC (up to 100 Kg N ha-1) to the soil. In this way, the carbon: nitrogen balance is maintained below 15, and the nitrogen deficiency risk for the following crop is reduced. Moreover, sheep grazing regulates vole and slug populations. Under such a scheme, there is no more requirement for interventions or inputs between the rapeseed sowing and the winter cereal sowing. From the cropping system perspective, the only additional cost associated with this is the WC seeds cost.

Summary translation

Le pâturage ovin permet de valoriser la couverture végétale permanente tout en restituant rapidement au sol l'azote fixé par les WC (jusqu'à 100 Kg N ha-1). Ainsi, le bilan carbone/azote est maintenu en dessous de 15 et le risque de carence en azote pour la culture suivante est réduit. De plus, le pâturage des moutons régule les populations de campagnols et de limaces. Dans un tel schéma, il n'y a plus besoin d'interventions ou d'intrants entre le semis du colza et celui des céréales d'hiver. Du point de vue du système de culture, le seul coût supplémentaire associé est celui des semences WC.

EPrint Type:Practice tool
Teaser:Learn abput the benefits of sheep grazing.
What problem does the tool address?:The period between the rapeseed harvest and winter cereal sowing is too short to grow a summer cover crop. The regrowth of rapeseed can also be a problem, and therefore needs to be controlled following the rapeseed harvest. Moreover, carbon from the rapeseed crop residues returning to the soil needs to be managed. To do so, there is often a need to increase soil nitrogen availability following the rapeseed crop.
What solution does the tool offer?:Rapeseed is usually sown in August together with winter sensitive legumes (Alexandrian clover, lentils, field beans and peas) acting as companion plants limiting weed development. In our case, we add white clover (WC) to the seeds mixture as a winter persistent legume that will grow slowly under the rapeseed and other companion plants mixture. Due to the increase in light availability its growth will increase with the loss of the first rapeseed leaves reaching maturity. Within 2-3 weeks after the rapeseed harvest, full ground cover will have been achieved by the WC and rapeseed regrowth mixture. Sheep grazing should then take place. The mix is a very good sheep feed and the incorporation of nitrogen from the sheep manure into the soil balance the carbon-rich residues from the harvested rapeseed (maintaining the carbon: nitrogen ratio in the soil at low level).
Type of Practice Tool:Practice abstracts
Keywords:intercropping, multiple cropping, cover crops, white clover, grazing, sheep
Agrovoc keywords:
feed crops
cover crops -> cover plants
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Animal husbandry > Production systems > Sheep and goats
Research affiliation:Belgium > Wallonia > Centre Wallon de Recherche Agronomique (CRA-W) (Gembloux)
European Union > Horizon 2020 > Diverimpacts
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:727482
Related Links:https://organic-farmknowledge.org/tool/44461, https://organic-farmknowledge.org/tool/44407
Project ID:ofk
Deposited By: Rüger, Madelaine Lea
ID Code:44461
Deposited On:19 Sep 2022 14:30
Last Modified:10 Oct 2022 12:11
Document Language:English

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