Study

Cover crop management in a Sauvignon Blanc / Ramsey vineyard in the semi-arid Olifants River Valley , South Africa . 3 . Effect of different cover crops and cover crop management practices on the organic matter and macro-nutrient contents of a sandy soil

  • Published source details Fourie J.C., Agenbag G.A. & Louw P.J.E. (2007) Cover crop management in a Sauvignon Blanc / Ramsey vineyard in the semi-arid Olifants River Valley , South Africa . 3 . Effect of different cover crops and cover crop management practices on the organic matter and macro-nutrient contents of a sandy soil. South African Journal for Enology and Viticulture, 28, 92-101.

Actions

This study is summarised as evidence for the following.

Action Category

Grow cover crops beneath the main crop (living mulches) or between crop rows

Action Link
Soil Fertility
  1. Grow cover crops beneath the main crop (living mulches) or between crop rows

    A controlled experiment from 1993 to 2003 on sandy soil in Lutzville, South Africa (Fourie et al. 2007) found that after five years, soil organic matter to 30 cm depth was 60% higher in grazing vetch, pink Seradella Ornithopus sativus and ‘Saia’ oats Avena strigosa cover crops compared to the controls. Soil organic matter to 60 cm depth was higher under grazing vetch Vicia dayscarpa (52% greater) compared to either control treatment. Seven cover crop species were tested in 108 m2 plots of grape Vitis vinifera vine in a vineyard, including: rye Secale cereale, oats A. sativa, ‘Saia’ oats, Parabinga medic Medicago truncatula, pink Seradella and grazing vetch. All cover crops were sown once or twice annually. All treatments received chemical control, applied before buds opened. There were two controls with no cover crop, one mechanically weeded between vines with chemical control within vines, and the other receiving full surface chemical control. Soil samples were taken from rows between vines and measured soil organic matter. This summary reports overall soil organic matter only, but the study also reported on separate components of organic matter.

     

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