There is a renewed interest in cover crops as a potential tool in mitigating against deteriorating soil structure, increasing weed pressure and declining soil organic matter content. However, growers are encountering issues with establishment and achieving benefits from what is often a short term crop.
This conference will seek to find ways of integrating cover crops into current crop sequences in a way that is economic but realises potential benefits through appropriate cover crop choice and management. It is, therefore, relevant to researchers, agronomists and growers interested in sustainable cropping systems. We have also included some organic growers who have extensive experience of using cover crops in the rotation.
Advantages / disadvantages of different cover crop species for providing ecosystem services.
Potential of species mixtures.
Agronomic issues including optimum position in crop sequence, establishment and cover crop management.
Quantifying the benefits of cover crops:
Nitrogen management (reduced leaching, optimising inputs, reducing emissions) and fertility building from legumes
- Reducing soil erosion
- Weed control
Policy implications (integration with agri-environment schemes and water catchment management?) Financial implications
Dr Jonathan Storkey
Member of the AAB Cropping and Environment Group