Breeding of green cover crops

Project Details


Main research question/goal
In this project, ILVO is breeding cruciferous cover crops including white mustard, fodder radish, fodder rape and fodder turnip. Additionally, we evaluate the potential of new crops as cover crop. Cover crops are agronomically and ecologically valuable: they improve the soil organic carbon content, reduce nutrient losses, improve soil structure, protect soil from erosion and reduce nematode problems in main crops.

Research approach
Most cruciferous cover crops are bred through family selection. Important selection traits are a rapid youth growth, soil cover and biomass development, late flowering, and nematode resistance in white mustard and fodder radish. Within this programme we evaluate various cover crops for their agricultural performance in field trials. After multiple generations of selection, the best material leads to new candidate varieties ready for application and commercialization.

The results of this project translate into the development of new varieties that will contribute to an increased use of cover crops in Flanders. This will not only contribute to a more sustainable agriculture (through reduced nutrient losses, increased soil fertility and others), but also positively affect biodiversity (wild pollinators, field birds and other wildlife).
Effective start/end date1/01/12 → …

Flemish Discipline list

  • Phytopathology
  • Crop science
  • Agricultural plant breeding and biotechnology

Data Management Plan flag for FRIS

  • DMP not present


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