New European research project started on cover crops                                        Back

A new European research project has started in April 2012 to develop novel cropping systems based on cover crops and living mulches. The 4 year project, called OSCAR brings together 20 partners from 11 countries and is led by University of Kassel, Germany. OSCAR aims to Optimise Subsidiary Crop Application in Rotations in order to increase the duration of soil coverage by plants, to introduce diversity to the crop rotation and to reduce the need for and the intensity of soil tillage.

Particular attention is given to conservation tillage systems. Both conventional and organic agricultural systems are considered in the research project to maximise the potential of ecological benefits of cover crops and living mulches and to offer a rapid transfer into practical agriculture. Cover crops such as white clover or subterranean clover have multiple functions in agriculture, e.g. to protect the soil against erosion, and to increase soil fertility.

Under this project IUNG-PIB will run field experiment using cover crops and living mulches. The assessment of new cover crop species for their usefulness as livestock feed, for the production of protein concentrates and for their contents of secondary metabolites of interest for industrial transformation will also be made in the Institute.  more…