Navigation Links
Cover crops reduce erosion, runoff
Date:5/18/2010

MADISON, WI, May 18, 2010 Cover crops may be more effective at reducing soil erosion and runoff after maize harvest than rough tillage, according to scientists from the Universit Catholique de Louvain, in collaboration with the Independent Center for the Promotion of Forage (CIPF).

The three-year study, supervised by Charles Bielders and conducted by Eric Laloy, measured erosion and runoff losses from silt loam and sandy loam soils in continuous silage maize cropping. The research revealed that cover crops reduced erosion by more than 94% compared to bare soil during the intercropping period. Cover crops and reduced tillage appeared equally effective in reducing runoff and soil loss between cropping cycles, despite the fact that the cover crop development was very poor.

The results were reported in the May/June 2010 edition of the Journal of Environmental Quality, a publication of the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

Since planting a cover crop is often more expensive than rough tillage, the preferred practice would seem to be rough tillage. However, burying sufficient cover crop biomass into the soil in the previous year reduced erosion rates 40 to 90% lower in the next year than maize grown on plots left bare during winter. This residual effect gives cover crops an advantage in erosion and runoff control compared to rough tillage.

According to Bielders, "For the residual effect to be observed, we estimate that at least 1.5 t ha-1 of cover crop biomass must be buried into the soil." Smaller amounts of biomass were insufficient to demonstrate an effect. Two types of cover crop, rye and ryegrass, were studied, but there were no differences between the two.

"The more cover crop biomass is buried, the stronger the erosion reduction during the maize season," says Laloy. "However, farmers should be cautious not to bury too much biomass as this has a negative impact on maize yields."

Soil erosion on loess soils has long been recognized as a major environmental issue, because it affects long term agricultural productivity and may show strong off-site impacts. Sowing winter cover crops is frequently advocated as a means to reduce erosion during the intercropping period in between two main crops. In principle, cover crops can also help reduce erosion during the main crop by improving the soil's physical quality.

This study demonstrated the importance of the residual effect of cover crops in continuous maize cropping systems. Maize that is harvested late and cover crops sown in autumn may suffer from poor development as a result of cold weather, yet they can still provide benefits to soil quality in the next year.

Further research will be needed to clarify the exact conditions of occurrence of this residual cover effect and the mechanisms involved. This study was funded by the Walloon Region of Belgium.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sara Uttech
suttech@sciencesocieties.org
608-268-4948
American Society of Agronomy
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Team led by Scripps Research scientists discovers bodys own molecular protection against arthritis
2. Extinct giant shark nursery discovered in Panama
3. HHS Secretary Sebelius announces $1 billion in NIH Recovery Act awards for research construction
4. Covance Establishes New Discovery & Translational Services Group
5. Researchers discover metabolic vulnerability in TB and potential drug target
6. Can a mothers voice spur recovery from a coma?
7. Researchers discover genetic link between both types of ALS
8. New Stanford-led program aims to produce insights into brain injury, recovery
9. Pitt researchers discover big role for microRNA in lethal lung fibrosis
10. Mount Sinai researchers discover potential treatment for bone death in the hip from osteonecrosis
11. Gene discovery may lead to new varieties of soybean plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Cover crops reduce erosion, runoff
(Date:1/12/2017)... DIEGO , Jan. 12, 2017  Trovagene, Inc. ... tumor DNA (ctDNA) technologies, today announced that it has ... Europe and the Middle East ... tests.  This milestone marks the first wave of international ... for urine and blood samples. The initial ...
(Date:1/6/2017)... 2017  Privately-held CalciMedica, Inc., announced that it ... of a novel calcium release-activated calcium (CRAC) channel ... Acute pancreatitis, sudden painful inflammation of ... can be very serious.  In severe cases it can ... hospital stays, time in the ICU and substantial ...
(Date:1/3/2017)... , Jan. 3, 2017 Onitor, provider of ... of Onitor Track, an innovative biometric data-driven program designed ... this month at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) ... In the U.S., the World Health Organization (WHO), ... two-thirds of adults who are overweight or obese. WHO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:1/12/2017)... ... January 12, 2017 , ... After her ... Rosendahl’s doctors gave her only a few months to live. Now a paper ... has stabilized Rosendahl’s disease and increased both the quantity and quality of her ...
(Date:1/12/2017)... PUNE, India , January 12, 2017 The report "Direct-Fed ... Aquatic Animals), Form (Dry and Liquid), and Region - Global Forecast to 2022", ... 934.5 Million in 2016 and projected to reach USD 1,399.6 Million by 2022, ... Reading ... MarketsandMarkets Logo ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... clinics in Peru studying the pathogens that cause malaria and tuberculosis. Seeing firsthand ... path of discovery. , Now, as an assistant professor of biology and biotechnology ...
(Date:1/11/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... January 11, 2017 , ... ... pathogens are observed in clinical settings, it is becoming increasingly clear that the ... over-reliance on culture-based methods, the standard in the study of clinical resistance, has ...
Breaking Biology Technology: