Cover Cropping in Agricultural Systems: Enhancing Soil Health and Crop Productivity

Authors

  • Muhammad Rashid Department of Horticulture, PMAS Arid Agriculture University Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  • Shirmith Nirmal Department of Soil Science, Faculty of Agriculture, University of Peadeniya, Sri Lanka
  • Muhammad Umar Aslam International Agriculture University Tashkent Uzbekistan https://orcid.org/0009-0000-5545-4358
  • Sheheryar Khan Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, the University of Agriculture Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Mehreen Ali Department of Soil and Environmental Sciences, the University of Agriculture Peshawar, Pakistan
  • Shoaib Hayat Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture Faisalabad, Pakistan

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.8726/5kkdrq19

Abstract

Cover cropping has emerged as a transformative practice in sustainable agriculture, offering a multitude of benefits for soil health, crop productivity, and overall agroecosystem resilience. This comprehensive review explores the significance of cover crops in harmonizing productivity goals with environmental stewardship. There are diverse types of cover crops, such as legumes, grasses, brassicas, and others, which can have unique contributions to agroecosystems. The multifaceted benefits of cover cropping extend beyond soil health, positively influencing crop productivity through improved soil structure, nutrient availability, and reduced competition with weeds. Furthermore, the role of cover crops in enhancing water management, mitigating soil erosion, building soil organic matter, and fostering beneficial soil microbial communities have positive impacts on crop yields, nutrient use efficiency, and the reduction of synthetic inputs are also explored. The challenges and limitations associated with cover cropping, such as potential allelopathy, climate and soil constraints, and economic considerations, can be tailored with proper management strategies to optimize cover crop benefits while minimizing potential drawbacks. Looking towards the future, in this review we explored the exciting prospects of cover cropping, including the integration of precision agriculture, the development of new cover crop varieties with enhanced traits, and the exploration of advanced technologies to optimize cover crop management. Cover cropping can play pivotal role in sustainable agriculture, promoting soil health, enhancing crop productivity, and fostering resilient agroecosystems. By embracing cover cropping practices, farmers can contribute to a more sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural future.

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Published

2023-12-10

Issue

Section

Review Articles

How to Cite

Cover Cropping in Agricultural Systems: Enhancing Soil Health and Crop Productivity. (2023). International Journal of Research and Advances in Agricultural Sciences, 2(4), 35-51. https://doi.org/10.8726/5kkdrq19