Next Article in Journal
Study of the Utilisation of Almond Residues for Low-Cost Panels
Next Article in Special Issue
A Technical-Economic Comparison between Conventional Tillage and Conservative Techniques in Paddy-Rice Production Practice in Northern Italy
Previous Article in Journal
Designing Cropping Systems to Improve the Management of the Invasive Weed Phalaris minor Retz.
Previous Article in Special Issue
Processing Tomato–Durum Wheat Rotation under Integrated, Organic and Mulch-Based No-Tillage Organic Systems: Yield, N Balance and N Loss
Open AccessArticle

Agronomic Performances of Organic Field Vegetables Managed with Conservation Agriculture Techniques: A Study from Central Italy

1
Department of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Pisa, via del Borghetto 80, 56124 Pisa, Italy
2
Center for Agro-Environmental Research “Enrico Avanzi”, University of Pisa, via vecchia di Marina 6, 56122 San Piero a Grado, Pisa, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(12), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9120810
Received: 19 October 2019 / Revised: 18 November 2019 / Accepted: 25 November 2019 / Published: 27 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart Management of Conservative, Organic and Integrated Agriculture)
Organic farming systems are considered not compatible with conservation tillage mainly because of the reliance of conservative systems on herbicides. In this three-year field experiment, we tested the performances of an innovative vegetable organic and conservative system (ORG+) combining the use of cover crops (exploited as either living or dead mulch) and no-till techniques. This system was compared to “business-as-usual” organic farming (ORG) and integrated farming system (INT) based on the same crop sequence: savoy cabbage (Brassica oleracea var. sabauda L. cv. Famosa), spring lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Justine), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Mill. Cv. Montebianco), and summer lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. cv. Ballerina RZ). The results of crop yield parameters and weed abundance contribute to spotlight potentialities and weaknesses of organic-conservative management of field vegetables. In particular, ORG+ caused significant yield depletion for all the crops and revealed suboptimal weed control and N availability. The agroecosystem services provided by the cover crops grown in the ORG+ as dead mulch or living mulch were affected by weather conditions and not always resulted in significant crop gain. Nevertheless, interesting results in terms of P availability and reduced N surplus encourage further development of the system targeting more sustainable organic vegetable production. View Full-Text
Keywords: sustainable agriculture; climate change mitigation; cabbage; fennel; lettuce; cover crops; green manure; no-till; dead mulch; living mulch; Mediterranean climate sustainable agriculture; climate change mitigation; cabbage; fennel; lettuce; cover crops; green manure; no-till; dead mulch; living mulch; Mediterranean climate
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

MDPI and ACS Style

Antichi, D.; Sbrana, M.; Martelloni, L.; Abou Chehade, L.; Fontanelli, M.; Raffaelli, M.; Mazzoncini, M.; Peruzzi, A.; Frasconi, C. Agronomic Performances of Organic Field Vegetables Managed with Conservation Agriculture Techniques: A Study from Central Italy. Agronomy 2019, 9, 810.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

1
Search more from Scilit
 
Search
Back to TopTop