Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 398056
Title Cover crops use in agrosystems: Innovations and applications. Chapter 3
Author(s) Scholberg, J.M.S.; Dogliotti, S.; Zotarelli, L.; Cherr, C.M.; Leoni, C.; Rossing, W.A.H.
Source In: Genetic Engineering, Biofertilisation, Soil Quality and Organic farming / Lichtfouse, E., New York : Springer (Sustainable Agriculture Reviews 4) - ISBN 9789048187409 - p. 59 - 97.
Department(s) Biological Farming Systems
Farming Systems Ecology
Publication type Peer reviewed book chapter
Publication year 2010
Abstract Cover crops can reduce the dependence of farmers on agrochemicals while enhancing overall agrosystem’s performance. However, the inherent complexity of cover-crop-based systems hampers their adoption by conventional farmers. Therefore, special management skills and alternative research and technology transfer approaches may be required to facilitate their adoptive use by conventional farmers. We propose that development and adoption of suitable cover-crop-based production systems may require the use of an “innovation framework” that includes (1) identification of system constraints, (2) analysis of system behavior, (3) exploration of alternative systems, and (4) system design and selection. We describe case studies from four regions of the Americas (Florida, USA; Paraná and Santa Catarina, Brazil; and Canelones, Uruguay) that illustrate the relationships between this innovation framework and the development and adoption of cover-crop-based production systems. Where successful, development and adoption of such systems appear to relate to a number of attributes including (1) active involvement by farmers in research and dissemination programs; (2) integration of cover crops into production systems without net loss of land or labor resources; (3) informing farmers of the (direct) benefits of cover crop use; (4) provision of multiple benefits by cover crops, (5) sufficient access to information, inputs, and technologies required for cover crop use; and (6) provision of skills and experience necessary to manage cover crops effectively. Where these attributes are absent and failure to innovate has prevented development and adoption of cover-crop-based systems, policy initiatives to reward farmers for ecological services provided by cover crops may be required
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