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Green Manure and Cover Crops

The manifesto for the international organic movement clearly states that fertility is “the condition of soil rich in humus where growth proceeds rapidly, unhindered, and efficiently; the term therefore implies abundance, quality, and disease resistance” (Howard, 1956).

Consequently, there is an increasingly urgent need to find “clean” techniques capable of providing farmers with valid solutions to produce at their best and meet the needs of the market and consumers.
The most relevant aspects in the use of Cover Crops and Green Manure are:

  • Increase in soil organic matter content
  • Increase in soil biodiversity with improved microbial activity
  • Fixation of atmospheric nitrogen immediately available for succeeding crops
  • Control of surface erosion through root establishment
  • Weed control is a fundamental aspect addressed by Cover Crops

The integration of Cover Crops into rotations is essential to reduce the activity of some pathogens (nematodes and fungi) increasingly widespread in all areas.

Technical Orchard Cover Crops

Covering is a practice that involves maintaining a grassy cover between the rows of fruit trees.
This agronomic practice is gaining increasing popularity in orchard management because it has numerous advantages, such as:

  • Reduction of soil erosion caused by water and wind.
  • Improvement of soil structure (better water permeability, better root aeration).
  • Better load-bearing capacity of the soil (facilitates the transit of people and vehicles in unfavorable conditions).
  • Increase in soil fertility (higher organic matter, increase in soil organisms, better root development).
  • Greater biodiversity (activity of organisms beneficial to cultivation: pollinators, predators of pests, etc.).
  • Buffering effect against chemical products used (fertilizers, pesticides).
  • Improvement of aesthetic and landscape effect.

Zanandrea seeds offers mixtures for covering, aiming to meet the most common agronomic needs in different climatic zones, continental and Mediterranean.

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