sustainable agriculture/cover crops

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this gives how can cover crops being a small component on the field is beneficial.

this gives how can cover crops being a small component on the field is beneficial.

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  • 1. Cover crops Sustainable Agriculture Submitted by:
  • 2. What is cover crop ? • A cover crop is any crop grown to provide soil cover.It may or may not be incorporated. • Cover crops are grown primarily to prevent soil erosion by wind and water. • When cover crops are planted to reduce nutrient leaching following a main crop, they are often termed "catch crops."
  • 3. Abstract Cover crops could be considered the backbone of any annual cropping system that seeks to be sustainable. Brief description is provided for winter cover crops, summer green manures, living mulches, catch crops, and some forage crops. To impart a sense of the importance of these practices in sustainable farming,.
  • 4. Stripcropping with Cover Crops, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS. Principal Uses of Cover Winter Cover Crop Summer Green M Living Mulch Catch Crop Forage Crop
  • 5. Benefits of Cover Crops and Green Manure Organic Matter and Soil Structure Nitrogen Production Soil Microbial Activity Nutrient Enhancement Rooting Action Contd’
  • 6. Weed Suppression Soil and Water Conservation . Limitations of Cover Crops Cover Crops in Rotation Pest Management Benefits of Cove
  • 7. The soil moisture is maintained optimally and soil organic matter is maintained which increases the soil productivity.
  • 8. Rooting Action Fibrous action makes the soil loosen and the micro and macro pores are maintained in ratio
  • 9. Soil and Water Conservation in Vegetation Management to Create a
  • 10. •During the dry periods of the year, cover crops help reduce dust, improving air quality. •This also helps to reduce the problem of mite infestations, which intensify under dusty conditions. Pest Management Benefits of Cover Crops
  • 11. PROVIDE HABITAT FOR BENEFICIAL - PREDATOR, PARASITOID INSECTS & ARACHNIDS (SPIDERS & MITES): Since pest management strategies in organic growing emphasize reliance on nature and the use of “soft” chemicals. It is important that beneficial arthropods are abundant and in close proximity to the crop to control harmful insects and mites.
  • 12. Winter Cover Crop A winter cover crop is planted in late summer or fall to provide soil cover during the winter. Often a legume is chosen for the added benefit of nitrogen fixation. In northern states, the plant selected needs to possess enough cold tolerance to survive hard winters.
  • 13. Summer Green Manure Crop A summer green manure occupies the land for a portion of the summer growing season. These warm-season cover crops can be used to fill a niche in crop rotations, to improve the conditions of poor soils, or to prepare land for a perennial crop. Legumes such as cowpeas, soybeans
  • 14. Percent nitrogen in legume tops and roots.  Crop Tops Roots   %N %N Soybeans 93 7 Vetch 89 11 Cowpeas 84 16 Red Clover 68 32 Alfalfa 58 42
  • 15. Forage Crop Short-rotation forage crops function also as cover crops when they occupy land for pasturage or haying. Examples include legume sods of alfalfa, sweet clover.
  • 16. Catch Crop A catch crop is a cover crop established after harvesting the main crop and is used primarily to reduce nutrient leaching from the soil profile. For example, planting cereal rye following corn harvest helps to scavenge residual nitrogen, thus reducing the possibility of groundwater contamination.
  • 17. Vegetation Management to Create a Cover Crop Mulch In conservation tillage systems- we use herbicides. Non-chemical methods include propane flamers, mowing and mechanical tillage.
  • 18. Figure is a homemade roller to kill cover crops. From USDA Farmer's Bulletin No. 2279
  • 19. Limitations of Cover Crops Results seen only in longterm. For the immediate growing season, seed and establishment costs need to be weighed against reduced nitrogen fertilizer requirements and the effect on cash crop yields.