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Managing Natural Fertilization

Fertilization of systems is important at the outset, as crops need to be able to quickly counteract the canopy.

We use starter fertilizer localized on the seeding line, which strengthens the vigor of crops at the outset. During the first years of transition, lack of fertilization can be detrimental, even if the organic matter rate increases and nitrogen is present in the soil. At the beginning of the transition, mineralization is slower and the crop may lack nitrogen. In these systems, fertilization should be considered throughout the rotation, for example, legume-rich cover crops that are destroyed early release a lot of nitrogen for the next crop.

After a few years of Direct Seeding under Plant Cover (DSCC), the high level of organic matter on the surface and the rapid turnover ensure ongoing soil fertility.

Reducing the spacing of maize reduces weed pressure, but use of a cover crop that is associated with seeding is much more effective.

Failures in Direct Seeding under Plant Cover (DSCC) often correlate with poor crop establishment (poor soil-seed contact), which is why the practice of Direct Seeding under Plant Cover (DSCC) offers many opportunities for important aspects of research. Research on a system-wide scale is still necessary to reduce or eliminate the use of herbicides, and to optimize cover/crop associations within a rotation.

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