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Unformatted text preview: The effect of cropping systems on production and the environment Modern agricultural systems greatly influence the environment. In Denmark the emphasis is particularly on nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture. Besides these environmental issues, sustainable systems also need to fulfil the requirements for quantity and quality of the agricultural produce. The project will quantify productivity and environmental impacts of different organic and conventional cropping systems across a range of soil and climatic conditions. It aims to identify management measures that can contribute to a sustainable development of the individual cropping systems. The effect of cropping systems on production and environment Harvest of cereals with a well-developed undersown clover as catch crop (photo: Henning C. Thomsen) ICROFS International Centre for Research in Organic Food Systems CROPSYS 2007-2010 Modern agricultural systems greatly influence the environment. In Denmark the focus is particularly on nitrate leaching and greenhouse gas emissions. An important issue in this context is also to reduce the reliance on external resource use, including fossil fuels and nutrient inputs To be sustainable, agri- cultural systems also need to fulfil the requirements for quantity and quality of the agricultural produce. Crop production in organic farming systems relies to a large extent on soil fertility for nutrient supply and plant growth. The soil fertility must be maintained via choice of crop rotation and (green) manuring practices. Proper management of this to improve crop yields and reduce emissions environment requires an in-depth understanding of soil processes and nutrient dynamics and their effects on crops and weeds. Long-term crop rotation experiment A long-term organic crop rotation experiment was initiated in 1997 at three different locations in Den- mark; in 2005 it was modified to include also a con- ventional system. The three locations represent typical soils (sand, loamy sand and sandy loam) and climates for Danish agriculture. The design of the rotations allows for effects of manure application and catch crops to be distinguished, and for effects of soil type and climate to be quantified. Thus, a differentiated and climate to be quantified....
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