Tag Archives: cover crops

xxx M. Toom, L. Talgre, P. Pechter, L. Narits, S. Tamm and E. Lauringson
The effect of sowing date on cover crop biomass and nitrogen accumulation
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The effect of sowing date on cover crop biomass and nitrogen accumulation

M. Toom¹²*, L. Talgre², P. Pechter¹, L. Narits¹, S. Tamm¹ and E. Lauringson²

¹Estonian Crop Research Institute, J. Aamisepa 1, EE48309 Jõgeva, Estonia
²Estonian University of Life Sciences, Kreutzwaldi 1, EE51014 Tartu, Estonia
*Correspondence: merili.toom@etki.ee

Abstract:

Cover crops are important tools for reducing nitrogen (N) leaching from the soil and improving the nutrition of cash crops. In northern regions with short autumns it is important to maximise the growing season of cover crops to achieve sufficient biomass and N accumulation. The objective of the study was to evaluate the biomass and N accumulation of cover crops at different sowing dates in August.
Field experiment at Estonian Crop Research Institute was conducted in 2017 and 2018 with white mustard (Sinapis alba L.), phacelia (Phacelia tanacetifolia Benth), buckwheat (Fagopyrum esculentum Moench), berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.), field pea (Pisum sativum L.) and faba bean (Vicia faba L.). Cover crops were sown on August 3, 8, 14 and 18 in 2017 and August 3, 8, 13, 17 and 23 in 2018.
The two year experiment showed that biomass and N accumulation of cover crops were reduced with delayed sowings, but the reduction mainly depended on cover crop species.
White mustard, field pea and faba bean accumulated significantly higher amount of biomass and N than phacelia, buckwheat and berseem clover at all sowing dates in both years. Because of a rapid decrease in biomass, the optimum sowing time for phacelia and buckwheat should not be later than middle of August. In both year berseem clover produced the modest amount of biomass and therefore more suited as spring sown cover crop in Estonian conditions.

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397-402 A. Arlauskienė, S. Maikštėnienė and A. Šlepetienė
Effect of cover crops and straw on the humic substances in the clay loam Cambisol
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Effect of cover crops and straw on the humic substances in the clay loam Cambisol

A. Arlauskienė¹, S. Maikštėnienė¹ and A. Šlepetienė²

¹ Joniskelis Research Station of Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture, Joniskelis, LT-39301 Pasvalys distr., Lithuania; e-mail: joniskelio_lzi@post.omnitel.net
² Lithuanian Institute of Agriculture, Akademija, LT–58344 Kėdainiai distr., Lithuania

Abstract:

The experiments were done on a productive clay loam Gleyic Cambisol used for agricultural production and were designed to estimate the effects of various cover crops – red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) mixture with Italian ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum Lamk.) and white mustard (Sinapis alba L.) biomass and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) straw incorporated into the soil on the composition of humus. In the first year, incorporation of only the cover crops’ biomass or together with straw increased the content of mobile humic acids (HA 1) by 10.7–28.0% compared with that before the trial was established.. Conditionally stable humic acids fractions (HA 2, HA 3) formed more intensively in the second year of the effects of the measures applied. Having incorporated cover crops’ biomass together with straw, the fraction of humic acids HA 3 tended to increase or was the same as that before the trial establishment. An increase in the content of humic acids, compared with the levels before the trial establishment determined positive changes in the one of the main indicators of humus quality – humification rate; they were the most distinct having incorporated red clover phytomass together with straw. The incorporation of mineral nitrogen fertilizer N 45 together with straw increased the soil organic matter mineralization rate and determined a reduction in humic acids content.

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517-529 I. Małecka and A. Blecharczyk
Effect of tillage systems, mulches and nitrogen fertilization on spring barley (Hordeum vulgare)
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Effect of tillage systems, mulches and nitrogen fertilization on spring barley (Hordeum vulgare)

I. Małecka¹ and A. Blecharczyk²

¹ Poznan University of Life Sciences, Plant and Soil Cultivation Department, Mazowiecka45/46, 60-623 Poznan, Poland; e-mail: malecka@up.poznan.pl
² Poznan University of Life Sciences, Plant and Soil Cultivation Department, Mazowiecka45/46, 60-623 Poznan, Poland; e-mail: blechar@up.poznan.pl

Abstract:

Yield, N uptake, weeds and diseases of spring barley were examined under five mulching practices (white mustard, phacelia, oat-pea mixture, straw mulch, and no mulch), three tillage systems (conventional, reduced and no-tillage) and three doses of nitrogen fertilization (0, 50 and 100 kg N ha-1). In general the grain yield of spring barley for cover crops was 10-31% higher compared with the no-mulch treatment. A mulch of straw provided a smaller barley grain yield than the no-mulch treatment. Compared to conventional tillage, grain yield under reduced tillage and no-tillage were 7 and 12% less, respectively. Spring barley sowing after a mixture of oat-pea led to decreased a negative response of reduced and no-tillage. Grain yield after treatment with legume cover crops and without N fertilization was similar compared as the rates 50 kg N ha-1 after white mustard or phacelia and as the rate 100 kg N ha-1 without mulches. There was no evidence of tillage x N fertilization interaction on grain yield, dry matter production and plant-N uptake. Cover crops and straw mulch significantly decreased total weed populations compared with the treatment without mulch. Total weed density increased from 108 plants per m2 in the no-tillage to 322 plants per m2 for reduced tillage, and to 416 plants per m2 for the conventional tillage over mulch. Higher infestation of spring barley with stem base and root diseases was observed in reduced and no-tillage in comparison with the conventional soil tillage and after straw mulch and no-mulch than after cover crops.

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