Některé složky a diskuze jsou přístupné pouze registrovaným uživatelům. V současnosti registrujeme každého kdo zažádá.
Diskuzi jsme převedli na facebook, tak se těšíme na podměty a příspěvky zajímavých článků nebo videí.


A Short History of Cover Crops

Whether you’ve just heard about cover crops in passing, or are seriously considering them for your farm, this is an article that you just have to read! Below you can find information on the history of cover crops including landmark studies and the well established benefits of having cover crops on your farm.

The Beginnings

The first farmers were growing crops to eat, plain and simple, but they were also aware that if they could somehow improve the land they could improve their harvests. Just look at the terraced fields in parts of Asia and around the world, showing that our ancestors understood the impact of water and soil surface area. Using specific crops for a specific purpose is not a new phenomenon. However, using specific crops to grow alongside other crops is a much more precise and useful method of farming that we are still only just learning about.

Researching Cover Crops

Cover crops were only named as such in the last 50 years or so. In fact, it was research as late as the 1990s that started to really pinpoint what cover crops are and what they can do for your form.

One of the stand-out studies was from Romkens et al in 1990. They discovered that cover crops with dense foliage (think broadleaves like red clover and forage turnip) prevent water run off on fields. The rain gets caught in the leaves and drips down to the earth at a slower, gentler pace. This means that the water drains away steadily rather than a tidal wave at once that will wash away the top soil and nutrients. Planting these cover crops among germinating seeds can prevent the seeds being washed away before they’ve even grown.

One of the leading researchers who has collated a huge amount of data regarding cover crops over the years is Cornell University. You can find lots of data regarding cover crops here, at their website. There are helpful tips to explain how cover crops are planted and taken care of, as well as information regarding what each cover crop does best for your farm and what time of year they will grow.

The Future of Cover Crops

More and more farmers are waking up to the fact that cover crops are an excellent way to improve their farms. Here are just some of the benefits we are experiencing:

  • Preventing soil erosion! The key to this is choosing cover crops with strong roots to hold that top layer of soil in place.
  • Building nutrients in the soil! Some crops, including peas, will fix nitrogen into the soil as they are growing. Most cover crops will also provide a good layer of nutrients when allowed to mulch down too.
  • Control and reduce weeds! By taking up the gaps in-between your crops (or covering your fields completely when they would otherwise be empty) cover crops compete with weeds for space. A well picked cover crop can stop weeds growing just as effectively as herbicide.
  • Prevent water run off and flooding! Cover crops can soak up excess water, which is especially important if you’re farming on land prone to flooding or excessive rain. Cover crops amongst normal crops that don’t require much water can prevent water logging, while cover crops on already waterlogged land can drink up all that water and have your fields prepared and ready for the season much earlier than other farm land.
  • Finally, let’s not forget that cover crops can turn a little profit too! They’re very easy to grow with little maintenance and may provide you with a profit. Peas, radish and hay for example can be sold for a small profit, or you can grow grasses that will be harvested to feed your livestock, saving money.

Currently, scientists are looking into all sorts of ways that cover crops can improve your farm. Manufacturers are getting involved too by provide new tools that can cope with tough, winter-resistant cover crops that up until now have been a pain to remove.

Despite all this great news, cover crops aren’t yet a worldwide phenomenon so keep spreading the word! Let us know in the comments below how many farmers are taking up cover crops in your area, and what you’re doing to improve your farm in 2018.


po út st čt so ne