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Hardy catch crops may reduce nitrate leaching by 40%

Hardy catch crops may reduce nitrate leaching by 40%

Field Notes, powered by KPMG, is a weekly news update on news nationally and globally from the agri-food sector.

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Ian Proudfoot

Global Head of Agribusiness, Partner - Audit

KPMG in New Zealand

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[11 June, DairyNews]

Lincoln Agritech Field Researcher Dr Peter Carey is leading a three-year research programme funded by the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Farming Fund to apply the use of catch crops more widely in winter forage rotations. Catch crops such as oats may help to reduce nitrate leaching and can be grown in cool conditions. The study aims to apply Dr Carey’s research to commercial farms in Canterbury and Southland, aiming to adapt their use to the different soils and climatic conditions presented in each region. The first year of the study has shown that the best results occur when the crops are sown as early as possible after grazing has been completed and are established using direct drilling methods. In Southland, researchers used a spader-drill, a relatively new piece of tillage technology, that enabled much earlier drilling than is usually possible.

 

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