Assessing the influence of rotation design on the N, P, K balance of organic cropping systems
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The effect of organic crop rotation design on nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) supply and offtake was investigated using the NDICEA model (Nitrogen Dynamics In Crop rotations in Ecological Agriculture). A range of organic rotations were assessed using examples drawn from literature and data from long-term trials. The measurements of soil N at each of the organic trial sites were also used to assess the accuracy of NDICEA. The modelling of typical organic rotations has shown that enough nitrogen is supplied to support typical organic arable yields for up to 3 years, however leaching in higher rainfall areas and on lighter soil types may result in much of the N being lost to the environment. In common with other studies, the modelling found that organic cropping systems rely on imported sources of P to maintain an adequate balance and K deficits were found for all of the rotations.
Other Titles/Title of Conference
Valuing long-term sites and experiments for agriculture and ecology, Newcastle, UK
Association of Applied Biologists
Journal Title/Title of Proceedings
Aspects of Applied Biology:Valuing long-term sites and experiments for agriculture and ecology