Organic broccoli production on transition soils: Comparing cover crops, tillage and sidedress N

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Cambridge University Press

Little information is available about how farmers in transition to organic practices should manage short- and long-term N fertility. The objectives of this research were (1) to evaluate the leguminous cover crops lablab (Dolichos lablab L.), soybean (Glycine max L.), sunn hemp (Crotalaria juncea L.) and a mixture of sunn hemp and cowpea (Vigna sinensis Endl.) as N sources; (2) to compare N availability and broccoli yield when cover crops were incorporated with conventional tillage (CT) or retained as a surface mulch using no-tillage (NT) practices; and (3) to quantify the amount of supplemental sidedress nitrogen required to maximize the yield of organic broccoli (Brassica oleracea Group Italica) on transition soils. Broccoli was grown during the first year after organic transition in the spring and fall of 2006 at the Kentland Agricultural Research Farm near Blacksburg, VA. Spring (P

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Soil management, Soil fertility, Soil quality, Conservation tillage, Organic farming, Organic production, Broccoli, Lablab, Dolichos lablab L., Soybeans, Glycine max l., Sunn hemp, Crotalaria juncea l., Virginia, Organic transition, Field Scale
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 24: 85 - 91