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Agronomy 2014, 4(4), 529-555; doi:10.3390/agronomy4040529

Review of Alternative Management Options of Vegetable Crop Residues to Reduce Nitrate Leaching in Intensive Vegetable Rotations

Department of Soil Management, Ghent University, Coupure Links 653, 9000 Gent, Belgium
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Received: 29 September 2014 / Revised: 17 November 2014 / Accepted: 17 November 2014 / Published: 2 December 2014
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Abstract

Vegetable crop residues take a particular position relative to arable crops due to often large amounts of biomass with a N content up to 200 kg N ha−1 left behind on the field. An important amount of vegetable crops are harvested during late autumn and despite decreasing soil temperatures during autumn, high rates of N mineralization and nitrification still occur. Vegetable crop residues may lead to considerable N losses through leaching during winter and pose a threat to meeting water quality objectives. However, at the same time vegetable crop residues are a vital link in closing the nutrient and organic matter cycle of soils. Appropriate and sustainable management is needed to harness the full potential of vegetable crop residues. Two fundamentally different crop residue management strategies to reduce N losses during winter in intensive vegetable rotations are reviewed, namely (i) on-field management options and modifications to crop rotations and (ii) removal of crop residues, followed by a useful and profitable application. View Full-Text
Keywords: vegetable crop residues; leaching; N-immobilizing materials; catch crops; intercropping; composting; anaerobic digestion; ensilage vegetable crop residues; leaching; N-immobilizing materials; catch crops; intercropping; composting; anaerobic digestion; ensilage
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Agneessens, L.; De Waele, J.; De Neve, S. Review of Alternative Management Options of Vegetable Crop Residues to Reduce Nitrate Leaching in Intensive Vegetable Rotations. Agronomy 2014, 4, 529-555.

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