cover cropping, AS A METHOD OF REPLENISHING SOIL NUTRIENTS, what is Cover Cropping?
Cover cropping is a process of planting certain plants mainly to cover soil surface. By so doing, the nutrients are conserved in the soil.
Some commonly used cover crops are mucuna utilis, pueraria phaseoloides, centrosema, pubescens, crotalaria juncea, calopoginium mucunoicles and cowpea. All these are leguminous crops.
read more about types of cropping system here
Cover croppings has many advantages, especially in the recovering of lost nutrients to the soil. These advantages are:
(i) It reduces erosive capacity of moving water, thus checking erosion
(ii) It adds organic matter to the soil when dead
uses of cover cropping
(iii) Leguminous cover crops increase the nitrogen level of the soil through the bacteria in the root nodules
(iv) It increases water – holding capacity of the soil. That is, it influences soil water supply. read water cycle here
(v) It improves soil development.
(vi) Cover cropping suppresses weeds.
(vii) It protects the surface of the soil from direct heat of the sun
(viii) It reduces leaching of the soil nutrients
(ix) It acts as wind breaks and cuts down wind movement
(x) It provides a suitable cover for soil organisms, e.g earthworms and millipede
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