The Benefits Of Cover Crops A lot of farmers are searching for ways to boost productivity and health of their crops with the creation of organic farming. Planting cover crops is one of the simplest and most efficient methods of getting this done. These include specific crops that are planted not to harvest, but to increase the health of the land. These crops will be used to increase soil quality and fertility, assist with managing water and preventing weeds. Additional benefits are available for pest management and wildlife diversity. These crops will be crucial in the realm of sustainable agriculture, since they will boost the sustainability of farming production, along with indirectly helping the health of surrounding ecosystems. Soil Fertility and Quality The most notable and important use of cover crops is to help improve soil fertility and quality. Crops used for this purpose are usually called â€œgreen manure,â€? as they serve the same function to traditional manure but are made entirely of plants. Green manure crops are often used to adjust the nutrient content of soil, and are especially useful for maintaining proper nitrogen levels. The use of green manure is especially important, since nitrogen is one of the most challenging nutrients to generally manage in crops. Green manure crops are generally of the legume variety, as these kinds of crops have high nitrogen contents. This can considerably cut down on the need for chemical fertilizers. After a crop is turned under the soil, it can also greatly increase the quality of the soil in other ways, namely, by improving the level of organic matter in the soil. Having a better quality of organic material in the soil, water and nutrient retention qualities of the soil will be improved. Water Management Another advantage that helps to increase the sustainability of the land will be found in the fact that specific crops will help prevent soil erosion. This happens when the crops are dense enough to physically soften the impact of rain falling on the soil, which would otherwise wash away and erode the land. In addition, the root structure formed when the crops are planted forms pores in the soil that will later aid water to flow through the soil to the primary crops. Any time that the cover crop is mowed or plowed over, it'll usually release water directly into the soil. Managing Weeds When a thick cover crop has been planted, it'll compete with plenty of other weeds that may otherwise start to take control of the land. Leaving the cover crop on top of the land, instead of tilling it underneath is one particularly effective option for weed control. The layer that is left by the plant material creates a physical barrier for any weed seeds that otherwise would have germinated and affected the land's performance negatively. Additional Benefits Pests can be effectively managed by the well-chosen cover crop, often by attracting the pests to a certain plant instead of the actual crop of value. This kind of crop is known as a "trap crop." Also, as a cover crop cycle occurs, the surrounding ecosystem gains advantage from a less invasive Center Seeds
The Benefits Of Cover Crops human presence, which can be beneficial from an ecological standpoint. You'll find studies that show that cover crop existence will in fact help the abundance of songbirds that provide shelter and nesting sites. Cover crops will greatly help with the environment, on top of the advantages to farm productivity and sustainability. Center Seeds provides an outstanding strategy to handle soil fertility with the use of cover crops. For more info on Center Seeds, go to their web site at http://www.centerseeds.com/.
Document Tags: cover crops seeds, annual ryegrass cover crop http://www.centerseeds.com/
Published on Mar 31, 2014
Center Seeds provides an outstanding strategy to handle soil fertility with the use of cover crops. For more info on Center Seeds, go to the...