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Mixed-species cover crops with Southern Farming Systems

  • 1.  Mixed-species cover crops with Southern Farming Systems

    Posted 19-06-2023 08:09

    Mixed-species cover crops provide a range of benefits that include improved soil biology and structure, and an increase in soil organic carbon, which is becoming an important topic.

    One of many examples is, by using a tillage radish in a mix, the root system of the radish is different to other crop types and will use its larger taproots to break up soil compaction and increase aeration where other crops may not.

    An effective cover crop should also benefit the following year's crops by reducing weeds and disease. It can also benefit livestock production by producing large amounts of quick feed, while still improving the soil health and allowing other pastures to rest and recover.

    Southern Farming Systems in conjunction with Corangamite Catchment Management Authority, Upper Barwon Landcare, Irrewarra Farmcare and Geelong Landcare Network recently hosted an event in Beeac where more than 50 farmers and industry representatives attended, keen to hear more about how they could incorporate a mixed-species cover crop in their systems. It covered topics such as soil carbon, cover cropping and a demonstration of machinery that can be used to sow mixed crops.

    Although the dynamics of mixed species and the strategies for growing them may seem intricate, the speakers emphasized that gradual changes and experimentation are key to harnessing the full potential of cover crops in optimizing farming systems.

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    Source: Stock & Land, Melbourne


    Emily Mason
    Sydney NSW