On 30 and 31 March, our Belgium partner INAGRO took soil samples for the different analyses (biological, physical and chemical) related to Case study 7: Cover crop mixtures: a promotor of soil biodiversity in potato crops? Atlantic Central (Belgium).
At that time the 4 different cover crop mixtures (little to very species-diverse) had mostly died off due to frost. In addition, earthworms were also sampled. The objective was to discover whether choosing a more species-diverse cover crop mixture already after one mid-season has an effect on the soil quality and biodiversity.
On 7th and 8th April, the green cover crop residues were destroyed by flail mowing and shallow tilling with a precision cultivator. A solid cattle manure was applied on 22nd April, and also a precision cultivator was used once again.
On 14th June, broccoli was planted and was covered with a net against bird damage. Tracking of this crop would measure the impact of the cover crop on the development, yield and quality. The trial harvest is expected to be carried on in August.