Companion crops can help reduce your input
Companion crops are a secondary crop grown with the cash crop and are an important part of regenerative agriculture.
“When done right, companion crops can add nutrients to the soil, reduce pest attacks on the cash crop, minimize weeds, and save input,” our consultant David Hans Dresen states.
Choosing the right companion crops can be an excellent way to reduce the amount of money spent on input. Some companion crops allow you to use less fertilizer by providing nutrients for the cash crops. Legumes like clover or vetch can add N to the soil because of their nitrogen fixing abilities while phacelia is in a symbiosis with mycorrhiza fungi that can make soil phosphorus available. Other companion crops can be used to combat pests and weeds, reducing the need for insecticides and herbicides.
Choose the companion crop(s) in accordance with which issues you want to tackle. The companion crop can be sown together with or after the main crop but which strategy to use depends on the cash crop and the companion crop. It is important to make sure the companion crop doesn’t grow too vigorously, causing it to compete with the cash crop.
“Finding the right companion crop strategy is a delicate balance to get right and making sure the cover crop delivers the right benefits while ensuring it doesn’t outcompete the cash crop is essential,” David says and adds, “Companion crops are part of the future of farming whether we want them or not. We might as well get started with finding a beneficial companion crop strategy now before legislation forces our hand.”
Getting your companion crop right can be a challenge, but you don’t have to figure it out alone. Contact Agroganic today to hear more about how our experts can help you with your companion crop strategy.