Nitrogen utilization from cut-carry-fertilizers in relation to mode of application and soil condition
A good soil quality, and particularly a favorable soil structure is crucial for a strong and healthy crop development in organic agriculture. Soil condition is decisive for the utilization of organic fertilization mediated by the microbial activity. The project aims to investigate the potential of cut-and-carry fertilizers in connection with soil management strategies in organic agriculture, optimizing the utilization of this type of fertilizers by the organic growers.
A cut-and-carry fertilizer is a harvested cover crop – usually a legume or with a leguminous component – that is used to fertilize a main crop on another field. In that way, nutrients inclusive of biologically fixed nitrogen, and organic matter are recycled. By example, a grass-clover cut can be used for a main crop with a high N requirement on another field. Besides mixing the cut-and-carry fertilizer throughout the arable layer by ploughing or digging, it can be also applied after the main tillage practice mostly followed by a superficial incorporation in the topsoil.
The N recovery from cut-and-carry fertilizers is investigated in organic vegetable cropping systems, either open field or protected cultivation, during two growing seasons (2015 & 2016) on (i) newly established field trials (Inagro en PCG) in order to assess effects of mode of application and (ii) in existent multiyear field trials soil management (ILVO, Inagro en PCG) to assess the effect of the soil condition. So, knowledge will be built about the effectiveness of this vegetal fertilization type in relation to strategies of soil management. The quality of the cut-and-carry fertilizers and the quality of the soils on which they are applied will be determined in the laboratory. N mineralization from cut-and-carry fertilizer amended soil will be investigated in standardized circumstances in the lab.
Departement Landbouw & Visserij, Vlaamse overheid