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Changes in the Soil Microbial Hydrolytic Activity and the Content of Organic Carbon and Total Nitrogen by Growing Spring Barley Undersown with Red Clover in Different Farming Systems
Open AccessArticle

The Effect of Cover Crops on the Yield of Spring Barley in Estonia

1
Estonian Crop Research Institute, J. Aamisepa 1, 48309 Jõgeva, Estonia
2
Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Estonian University of Life Sciences, Fr. R. Kreutzwaldi 1, EE51014 Tartu, Estonia
3
Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Lai 40, 51005 Tartu, Estonia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agriculture 2019, 9(8), 172; https://doi.org/10.3390/agriculture9080172
Received: 31 May 2019 / Revised: 4 July 2019 / Accepted: 1 August 2019 / Published: 3 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cover Crops)
Using cover crops in fallow periods of crop production is an important management tool for reducing nitrate leaching and therefore improving nitrogen availability for subsequent crops. We estimated the short-term effect of five cover crop species on the yield of successive spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) for two years in Estonia. The cover crop species used in the study were winter rye (Secale cereale L.), winter turnip rape (Brassica rapa spp. oleifera L.), forage radish (Raphanus sativus L. var. longipinnatus), hairy vetch (Vicia villosa Roth), and berseem clover (Trifolium alexandrinum L.). The results indicated that out of the five tested cover crops, forage radish and hairy vetch increased the yield of subsequent spring barley, whereas the other cover crops had no effect on barley yield. All cover crop species had low C:N ratios (11–17), suggesting that nitrogen (N) was available for barley early in the spring. View Full-Text
Keywords: cover crop; nitrogen accumulation; spring barley yield cover crop; nitrogen accumulation; spring barley yield
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Toom, M.; Tamm, S.; Talgre, L.; Tamm, I.; Tamm, Ü.; Narits, L.; Hiiesalu, I.; Mäe, A.; Lauringson, E. The Effect of Cover Crops on the Yield of Spring Barley in Estonia. Agriculture 2019, 9, 172.

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