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WP 8: Development of a Cover Crop and Living Mulch Toolbox

The overall objective of WP8 is to facilitate adoption and improvement of Conservation Agriculture and Subsidiary Crop systems throughout Europe by making relevant, high-quality information available to target groups.

 

The Toolbox

The Cover Crop and Living Mulch toolbox provides a one-stop access point for information on Cover Crop and Living Mulch based cropping systems.

 

In particular, the tool will support farmers’ decisions in four areas:

1. Identification of suitable cover crop and living mulch species and varieties and the identification of appropriate species mixtures. This will achieved with an online user interface. Responding to the information entered by the user, (e.g. country, region within country, soil type), it will be able to suggest regionally specific shortlists of cover crop species that can be grown together for a specific purpose and soil type. It will also give brief recommendations on best management.

Farmers can then choose from these shortlists according to further information provided by the database.

2. Locating and accessing appropriate machinery.

3. Assessment of economic aspects of systems based on cover crops and living mulch.

4. In addition, the tool will provide as far as possible best current practical advice e.g. regarding sowing date and density, cutting, usage, and other management issues.

 


The tool will be developed interactively with all stakeholders to ensure its usability. It will address farmers, seed producers, plant breeders, advisers, public administration, NGOs, scientists, and other stakeholders. It is both the basis for, and the principal output from, this research programme. It will be free of charge for users. In order to keep it running and developing after the end of the proposed project, the Toolbox website will be hosted by the European Conservation Agriculture Federation (ECAF) and will thereby also be available through its national member organizations.