Technical note Open Access

Including diverse leys in arable rotations

Bliss, Katie; Measures, Mark

Problem

Leguminous leys are a cornerstone of organic arable systems to support soil quality and fertility, and weed, pest and disease management. However, a typical ley of one or two legume and grass species can fail to deliver expected services under unfavourable conditions. Good establishment, weed suppression potential and controlling the quantity and timing of nitrogen (N) release can be especially challenging.

Solution

Different legume species have different growth characteristics and nutrient use profiles. A number of on-farm and field trials conducted in the UK have evaluated the role of functionally species-rich leys in arable rotations.

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