Exactly How Cover Crops Work Lots of farmers are searching for ways to boost productivity and health of their crops with the advent of organic farming. Among the simplest and most effective ways to do this is by planting cover crops. These are specific crops that will be planted not to harvest, but to increase the health of the land. These crops will be used to increase soil quality and fertility, help with managing water and preventing weeds. There are added benefits that will be used for pest management and diversity in wildlife. These crops are going to 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. The crops used in this technique are known as "green manure," since they are used as the similar function of standard manure however are comprised entirely of plants. Green manure crops are often used to adjust the nutrient content of soil, and are particularly useful for maintaining proper nitrogen levels. The use of green manure is particularly important, since nitrogen is among the most challenging nutrients to generally manage in crops. Green manure crops are generally of the legume variety, as these types of crops have high nitrogen contents. This can drastically lower 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 increasing the level of organic matter in the soil. With a better quantity of organic material in the soil, the water and nutrient retention qualities of the soil are improved upon. The Water Management Yet another advantage can be found in the fact that certain crops can in fact prevent soil erosion, helping to improve the sustainability of the land. This will happen any time the crops are thick enough to physically soften the effects of rain falling on the soil, which can 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 circulate through the soil to the primary crops. When the cover crop is plowed under or mowed, this also generally releases moisture directly into the soil. Weed Management Once a thick cover crop has been planted, it will 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 resulting layer of plant material forms a physical barrier for any weed seeds which otherwise would germinate and adversely affect the landâ€™s performance. The Additional Benefits You can effectively manage pests with a well-chosen cover crop, frequently by attracting the pests to a particular plant rather than the actual crop with value. This kind of crop is called a â€œtrap crop." Plus, the surrounding ecosystem gains advantage from a less invasive human presence as the Center Seeds
Exactly How Cover Crops Work cover crop cycle takes place that is advantageous from an ecological standpoint. Research indicates that cover crop presence can actually boost the abundance of songbirds by providing shelter and nesting sites. In addition to the benefits to farm productivity and sustainability, cover crops can greatly boost the environment. Center Seeds is the best place to find favorable cover crops that can help get a grip on soil fertility. Check out http://www.centerseeds.com/ to read more information regarding Center Seeds.
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