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Green Manure Crops
By: Roland Bunch & ECHO staff
Green manure crops are crops that are [often times in North America] grown to be turned under to increase soil fertility. Leguminous green manure crops ( i.e., those which can make nitrogen fertilizers from atmospheric nitrogen) can offer small-scale Third World farmers a tremendous number of advantages.
Something like 30% of all the increases in harvests achieved by small farmers in the Third World during the last three decades has been achieved through the use of chemical fertilizers. As petroleum prices increase, prices of chemical fertilizers could easily become too expensive to be economically feasible for use with traditional basic grains. Almost overnight, Third World basic grain production could plummet. Widespread use of green manure crops could avert much of this impact.
- Comparison with Compost
- Cropping Systems
- Some Plant Species Suitable for Green Manures