03 December 2020
Getting the right mix with cover crops
ALTHOUGH there have been advances in understanding in recent years, there is still much to learn about the best mix for growers considering cover-cropping, together with establishment and destruction methods, according to a respected UK agronomist.
Sharing his insights with Potato Review, Eric Anderson said: "It is important to match the individual attributes of a cover crop to the intended purpose, taking into account how it might interact with other partners and any potential rotational conflicts.
"To get the best results, assess your soil conditions on-farm before you start. The soils that see the greatest benefits from cover crops are those that are light to medium-textured. Heavier soils are generally less suitable as they can be more difficult to establish and destroy the cover crop.
"Choose your cover crop according to what you want it to do. For example, soils with the tendency to compact can benefit from an oil radish cover crop. It establishes and grows very quickly, developing a deep tap root and laterals that extend out and can help to break up deeper compaction down the soil profile, helping to improve soil structure as well as scavenging mineral N."
To read our full feature, and share more of Eric's insights, see the next issue of Potato Review. Click here to subscribe.
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