The nitrate directive makes crop cover a necessary requirement. Let’s not consider this as an extra cost or a constraint, but an investment, an agronomic benefit. Seeding a cover crop protects the soil from erosion, retaining the nutritive elements to prevent leaching.
What’s the best cover crop to plant?
There are many possibilities, at various prices, and each one has its advantages:
- A taproot plant like Horse bean – Radish will loosen the soil,
- A legume like Pea – Horse bean can synthesize and provide nitrogen for the next crop,
- A cruciferous vegetable will suffocate weeds and volunteer crops.
So many benefits, that can be combined by mixing, and advantages, that can be confined to the desired area ; why not plant a useful crop like horse bean just on the seeding line for Maize or Sunflower type cultivations?