What are COVER CROPS
Using cover crops or also called intermediate crops is a common practice for preserving and improving soil fertility. It is believed that their use dates back to before the Roman Empire and was an indispensable practice until the middle of the last century, when mineral fertilizers began to be used regularly.
They were a source of nutrients for the subsequent main crop and the only way to deal with weeds without treatment. Today, in addition to green manure, cover crops are used to protect soils prone to erosion, as well as to control weeds and pests. Cover crops improve soil structure, water infiltration and moisture retention.
Types of cover crops
Due to their ability to build symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria (Rhizobium sp.)Legumes are an excellent choice when choosing a mix of cover crops. Combined with plants from other families they can increase their potential to supply nitrogen to the soils up to four times compared to their monoculture.
The use of grasses as a cover crop improves the soil structure, greatly reduces erosion processes and preserves residual minerals. Combining them with plants from other families significantly improves their potential for biomass accumulation and increase in organic matter in the soil.
The plants of the broadleaf family are an excellent balancer of chemical processes in the soil. They are used to improve the cycle of minerals by increasing their availability in the root zone. Including them in a mix of cover crops along with plants from other families promotes their growth and improves their resistance to diseases and pests.
This category summarizes a wide range of accompanying cover crop species, which increase soil biodiversity and are an excellent choice for improving crop rotation. Their benefits are mainly in improving the mineral cycle and controlling diseases and pests