Description of practice

Grasses or cover crops are planted during extended fallow periods to help increase the fertility of degraded soils. Planted fallows are especially relevant if the process of natural vegetation recovery is expected to be slow or undesirable.

Examples of how to use planted fallow Further information
(see Note below)

AMP28 01

Fallow restoration by no tillage seeding

No tillage disc harrowing and low density seeding of forage grass are used to restore natural steppe vegetation for fodder production and biodiversity conservation.


»WOCAT technology 1175

AMP28 02

Catch crops

Catch crops are planted to retain and recycle soil nutrients and prevent leaching. When the catch crop is terminated, these nutrients are then released back into the soil for the following crop.


»Wikipedia Catch crop

AMP28 03

Dedicating a full season to green manures

Annual green manure species are grown for a full season as part of the crop rotation. This allows flexibility in timing the termination of the green manure and planting the next crop, e.g. to allow soil moisture to be replenished in dry areas.



AMP28 04

Planted fallows for weed management

Dense cover crops are planted during the fallow period, suppressing the majority of the weeds and significantly reducing their ability to reproduce.


»Wikipedia Cover crop

AMP28 05

Improved fallow

Fallow is enriched with fast-growing trees, shrubs or vines. This agroforestry practice has its origins in slash-and-burn agriculture. Improved fallow accelerates the process of soil rehabilitation.



AMP28 06

Multiple-season green manures

Perennial legume green manures are planted and allowed to grow for multiple seasons in order to improve soil fertility, reduce soil compaction, erosion and weed pressure, and promote biodiversity. The trade-off with not producing a crop has to be considered, but green manures can provide fodder.



AMP28 07

Leguminous crop in plots temporarily set outside the crop rotation

A plot is cultivated with perennial legumes and set temporarily outside the crop rotation for 4-5 years to recover its soil fertility and reduce the need for biocides while providing supplemental income.


»WOCAT technology 2963

AMP28 08


Perennial herbaceous fodder plants

Perennial herbaceous fodder plants such as alfa-alfa and esparzet are cultivated for fodder production and to fertilize unproductive cropland. They can be harvested for 6-10 years without tillage.



»WOCAT technology 1000

Note: Most of the Further information links are to a full description of the example in the WOCAT database. However sometimes the link may be to similar practices or a research paper. Occasionally the link is to a commercial product in which case it should be understood that this does not imply any endorsement of the product by iSQAPER.

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