Cultivating catch crops: Increasing soil fertility with simple methods
In the ecosystem, the soil has a varied and vital series of roles. For the agricultural industry, however, it represents above all the most important but non-renewable production factor. With the topsoil assortment, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG offers a range of mixtures that have been created depending on the various aims pursued with the crop rotation and specifically for them.
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- The cultivation of catch crops is an increasingly important topic in farming.
In modern farming, maintaining and improving the soil has to be given maximum attention in order to secure permanently high yields. One important component for securing soil fertility here is the cultivation of catch crops, because the positive effects on the soil are manifold. The selection of possible types, which can be used for this, are also at least as varied.
There is no single catach crop that con do everything. A combination of different plants therefore makes sense in order to utilise the different positive effects on the soil. With the topsoil assortment, AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG offers a range of mixtures that have been created depending on the various aims pursued with the crop rotation and specifically for them.
By using fast-growing plants – for example in the Topsoil Multitalent mixture – rapid ground cover is generated. Loss of soil through erosion is therefore prevented and also optimal weed suppression is achieved. Through the simultaneously fast cultivation of roots in the upper soil, catch crops also contribute to improving the soil structure, on one hand, and on the other they release nutrients from deeper soil layers. These are saved in the biomass and thereby prevent, for example, the leaching of nitrate into the groundwater. Mixtures such as these are also ideal for livestock farms because the nutrients from industrial fertilisers can be used sensibly in catch crop stocks for earth formation in late summer as well.
The cultivation of catch crops is also very important, above all in sugar beet rotations, with regard to combatting soil-borne nematodes. An effective reduction can be achieved with the combination of resistant fodder radish and yellow mustard varieties in the topsoil nema fern. Buckwheat completes this mixture, in which deep and surface rooters are combined and leave a good soil structure for the beet. It is generally sensible for the cultivation of summer crops to use legumes such as bitter lupins, vetch varieties and peas.
As a result of their ability to bind air nitrogen, they represent a good, slow-moving source of nutrients for the next crop and also loosen the soil with their powerful root system. When cultivating humus draining crops in the rotation, it is also important to keep an eye on the humus level. Dead catch crops form an optimal provider of stable humus structures here. The mixture topsoil winterfest has been specifically designed for maize crop rotations. Fast-growing, hardy grasses, forage rye and legumes even make pre-use as feed or biomass possible before sowing the maize crop, in addition to the numerous positive aspects for soil fertility.
The possibilities for securing soil fertility by cultivating a catch crop should be exploited for your own interests. For agricultural land is in short supply and lease prices are permanently on the rise. A high area productivity is becoming increasingly important as a result. In order to this guarantee this, all crop cultivation measures should be utilised.
Stefan Hanebrink from the Crop Cultivation Advisory Service at AGRAVIS Raiffeisen AG, tel. 0251 . 682-2067.