Optimising Cropping Techniques for Nutrient and Environmental Management in Organic Agriculture

  • Kopke U
  • Athmann M
  • Han E
  • et al.
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<p>Depth and architecture of root systems play a prominent role in crop productivity under conditions of low water and nutrient availability. The subsoil contains high amounts of nutrients that may potentially serve for nutrient uptake by crops including finite resources such as phosphorus that have to be used in moderation to delay their exhaustion. Biopores are tubular shaped continuous soil pores formed by plant roots and earthworms. Taproot systems especially those of perennial legumes can make soil nutrients plant available from the solid phase and increase the density of vertical biopores in the subsoil thus making subsoil layers more accessible for succeeding crops. Density of larger sized biopores is further enhanced by increased abundance and activity of anecic earthworms resulting from soil rest and amount of provided feed. Nutrient rich drilospheres can provide a favorable environment for roots and nutrient uptake of subsequent crops. Future efficient nutrient management and crop rotation design in organic agriculture should entail these strategies of soil fertility building and biopore services in subsoil layers site specifically. Elements of these concepts are suggested to be used also in mainstream agriculture headlands, e.g. as ‘Ecological Focus Areas’, in order to improve soil structure as well as to establish a web of biodiversity while avoiding constraints for agricultural production.</p>




Kopke, U., Athmann, M., Han, E., & Kautz, T. (2015). Optimising Cropping Techniques for Nutrient and Environmental Management in Organic Agriculture. Sustainable Agriculture Research, 4(3), 15. https://doi.org/10.5539/sar.v4n3p15

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