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Cover Crop book


This book, based on decades of research by respected scientist Dr Johan Fourie, formerly of the ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij, describes the interaction of cover crops with vineyards, and how grape producers can integrate cover crops into their own systems. Cover crops offer many benefits to grape producers, having been shown to suppress weeds; reduce soil compaction and erosion; improve water infiltration and retention; and boost soil fertility. Fourie assessed many different cover crops to identify the best candidates for different regions and soil types. He conducted long-term trials in vineyards to determine cover – crop effects on weeds; water use; soil carbon, nitrogen and other minerals; and grapevine nitrogen, vegetative growth, and yields. Different cover-crop management strategies were also evaluated. Most of the trials ran for 10 – 12 years in vineyards at ARC Infruitec-Nietvoorbij research farms in Lutzville, Robertson, and Stellenbosch, representing three of the major grape-growing regions of South Africa. This book summarises the results, as well as results of trials in Keimoes and Oudtshoorn. It provides practical recommendations on establishing and managing cover crops in vineyards, and will be a valuable resource for grape producers throughout South Africa

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