Lift ground cover and reduce drainage with pasture cropping

Pasture cropping — integrating direct drilled crops such as oats into summer-growing native pastures — increases annual pasture production, improves soil water use and nitrogen use compared with conventional systems.

Nearly one thousand Australian farmers are trialling the pasture cropping approach to lift profits and combat dryland salinity, waterlogging and soil acidification. Pasture cropping integrates direct drilled crops into summer-growing pastures to increase production. The system also increases ground cover, because mixtures of different types of plants better fill the available niches, thereby using resources more effectively….The results confirmed the value of pasture cropping as a strategy to reduce soil water in systems prone to waterlogging and deep drainage and indicated benefits for reduced soil acidification and increased soil organic matter.

Read full story here. 

Source: Farming Ahead, October 2005