Winter Cover Crops Case Study

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Khaing Min Thant, Student Number: 17203058, AESC40460: Literature Review(AESC) Winter cover crops as a management option to reduce nitrate leaching risks Introduction The use of nitrogen to increase crops yields is widely increased over the last two to three decades and with it, the issue of nitrate leaching has emerged. Nitrogen mineral in soil is not only very important to ensuring good yields in crop production but also excessive nitrogen leaching can lead to contamination of surface and ground water and can further lead to harmful impacts to human health and the natural environment. Regions with extensive use of N fertilizer and irrigation are often greater risk of nitrogen leaching. Nitrate leaching can be severe from areas where precipitation is in excess during winter. Also nitrate leaching could be aggravated through mineralization…show more content…
Cover crops are used regularly to provide benefits including improvement of soil quality, organic matters along with many other benefits. Legumes for instance, are commonly used in winter not only to fix nitrogen in soil but also to reduce nitrate leaching from soil erosion and drainage. With onset of winter soil erosion and drainage, the use of winter cover crops is essential if one want to maintain or protect soil quality and nitrate leaching into surface and ground water. On reduction of nitrate leaching risks, cover crops needed to be planted as early as possible after harvest of certain crop production before winter therefore crops can use the pool of nitrogen in soil prior to drainage in winter. Minerals, particularly nitrate is a substance which can be in many forms and can easily form from one form to another which make it difficult to control its leaching risks. Winter cover crops can be one of the key management option to reduce nitrate leaching

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