The first of two winter cover crop field walks was held on 16 August, courtesy of Brownrigg Agriculture.
The walk was attended by 29 people who saw and handled soils that had spent winter under different cover crops; Moata ryegrass, mustard and oats. These were compared with the usual winter fallow treatment.
Soil improvements are very obvious in terms of structure and organic matter after only 4 months of cover cropping. Earthworm populations are up and soil nitrogen is being held in the plants relative to loss through the profile in the fallow treatment.
The focus is now on measuring and recording soil condition by visual soil assessments (VSA) to monitor change.
How can Brownrigg’s ensure that soil improvements are maintained through the production phase?
We are holding another field walk at 1.30pm on Tuesday 23rd August at Brownriggs’ Poukawa cover crop trial to discuss this. Link to Fieldwalk details
LandWISE is working with Horticulture NZ and Plant and Food Research on the Holding it together project, and with Foundation for Arable Research on the Advanced Farming Systems Project.