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Study Context and Methodology

  • Eric JustesEmail author
  • Julie Constantin
  • Caroline Dürr
  • Carole Hermon
  • Christine Le Bas
  • Catherine Mignolet
  • Isabelle Savini
  • Olivier Réchauchère
Chapter

Abstract

In crop rotation, the fallow period is the period between the harvest of the main crop (sown for the purpose of harvesting) and the sowing of the next (Fig. 1.1). Depending on the harvesting and sowing dates of main crops, it can last from several days in the case of late harvest followed by sowing of a winter crop, to several months (up to 9 months) in the case of a spring crop. During this period, soil that is left “bare” (without plants), especially in the event of a long fallow period, can significantly increase the risk of leaching of nitrate into aquifers. The use of a cover crop as a nitrate-trapping “catch crop” can reduce this phenomenon of nitrate transfer in variable proportions depending on the soil and climate conditions, as well as the cropping system. The reduction lies in the range of 20–90 % compared to bare soil. This broad range of efficacy needs to be analysed on the basis of factors determining water drainage and nitrate leaching, as well as the other multiple functions of cover crops.

Keywords

Cover Crop Main Crop Fallow Period Maize Crop Catch Crop 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Copyright information

© Éditions Quæ 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric Justes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Julie Constantin
    • 3
  • Caroline Dürr
    • 4
  • Carole Hermon
    • 5
  • Christine Le Bas
    • 6
  • Catherine Mignolet
    • 7
  • Isabelle Savini
    • 8
  • Olivier Réchauchère
    • 8
  1. 1.UMR AGIR (AGroécologie, Innovations & teRritoires) 1248University of Toulouse, INRA, INPT, Centre de Recherches INRA Occitanie-ToulouseCastanet TolosanFrance
  2. 2.UMR SYSTEM Univ Montpellier, Cirad, Inra, Montpellier SupAgro, CIHEAM-IAMMMontpellierFrance
  3. 3.UMR AGIR (AGroécologie, Innovations & teRritoires) 1248University of Toulouse, INRA, INPT, Centre de Recherches INRA Occitanie-ToulouseToulouseFrance
  4. 4.INRA, UMR 1345 IRHSBeaucouzéFrance
  5. 5.IEJUC (Institut des Etudes Juridiques de l’Urbanisme, de la Construction et de l’environnement (IEJUC), Université Toulouse CapitoleToulouseFrance
  6. 6.INRA, US InfoSolOrléans cedex 2France
  7. 7.INRA, UR ASTERMirecourtFrance
  8. 8.INRA, Unité Délégation aux Expertises, Prospectives et EtudesParisFrance

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