Legume-based green manure crops

Moritz Reckling, Christine Watson, John Baddeley, Valentini Pappa, Aurelio Pristeri, Göran Bergkvist, Michele Monti, Nicole Schläfke
Posted: 07.06.2021
Legume-based green manures (LGMs) are crops that are grown with the specific purpose of improving soil quality and consequently the long-term productivity of crops. Although the traditional focus has been on the supply of nitrogen (N) to the system, they have a wide range of potential benefits that include improving soil quality, reducing soil erosion and increasing the biodiversity of farmland. LGMs are a key component of organic farming systems where the use of synthetic N fertilizers is not permitted. However, increases in the cost of inputs, concerns about environmental impacts of intensive use of agrochemicals, and the recently announced measures for the ‘greening’ of the European Common Agricultural Policy have led to renewed interest in the use of LGMs more widely. In Europe, the legumes in LGMs may be annual or perennial plants, grown on their own or more often as part of crop mixtures with a range of other crop types such as grasses or brassicas.

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Baddeley, J., Pappa, V., Pristeri, A., Bergkvist, G., Monti, M., Reckling, M., Schläfke, N. and Watson, C. (2017). Legume-based green manure crops. In: Murphy-Bokern, D., Stoddard, F. and Watson, C. (Eds.).  Legumes in cropping systems. CABI.

  • John Baddeley, Valentini Pappa, Aurelio Pristeri, Göran Bergkvist, Michele Monti, Nicole Schläfke
  • CABI
  • 2017
  • Legume-based green manures (LGMs) are crops that are grown with the specific purpose of improving soil quality and consequently the long-term productivity of crops. Although the traditional focus has been on the supply of nitrogen (N) to the system, they have a wide range of potential benefits that include improving soil quality, reducing soil erosion and increasing the biodiversity of farmland. LGMs are a key component of organic farming systems where the use of synthetic N fertilizers is not permitted. However, increases in the cost of inputs, concerns about environmental impacts of intensive use of agrochemicals, and the recently announced measures for the ‘greening’ of the European Common Agricultural Policy have led to renewed interest in the use of LGMs more widely. In Europe, the legumes in LGMs may be annual or perennial plants, grown on their own or more often as part of crop mixtures with a range of other crop types such as grasses or brassicas.

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    Legume-based green manure crops
  • 2017. Legume-based green manure crop. Legume Hub. https://www.legumehub.eu

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Authors: Moritz Reckling, Christine Watson, John Baddeley, Valentini Pappa, Aurelio Pristeri, Göran Bergkvist, Michele Monti, Nicole Schläfke
Acknowledgement: Legume Futures has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant No. 245216.

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