Green manure crops are crops that are 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 farmers a tremendous number of advantages.

In general GMCCs:

  • provide large quantities of nitrogen for the soil.
  • add many tons of organic matter to the soil, thereby improving topsoil depth, water-holding capacity, nutrient content, friability, and texture of the soil.
  • present no transportation problems, in contrast to compost and chemical fertilizers.
  • require no capital outlay after the initial purchase of a handful of seed. Because they require no chemical inputs, dependency on outside sources of fertilizer, nutrients, and pesticides is reduced.
  • can shade the soil up to eleven months out of the year, a factor extremely important in tropical climates for preservation of soil moisture and organic matter.
  • cover they provide for the soil protects it from wind and water erosion.
  • provide generous amounts of high protein fodder for animals, which can be especially valuable if it is available during the last months of the dry season.
  • sometimes provide human food, including various kinds of edible beans, peas, and pods.
  • can provide income, by selling firewood, food or feed.
  • often provide an incentive for people to abandon harmful traditional practices, such as burning crop residues or letting animals loose in the dry season to devour everything in sight.
  • when intercropped with basic grains, can control weeds, thereby eliminating costly weeding operations


  1. 26 ឧសភា 2017 By integrating legumes into cropping systems, small-scale farmers in low-resource settings can invest in the long-term health and resilience of their soils. Success or failure depends largely on choosing the right legume(s). With that in mind, this document presents insights on legume selection...
  2. 01 មករា 1985 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...
  3. ដំណាំយកធវើជីធមមជាតិពីលាមកសតវ និងធវើគមរបដី (GMCC) គឺជាដំណាំដែលដុះលឿនខលាំងដែលគរប និងការពារដី និងមានការបនសលនូវកំទេចកំទីការពារកុំឲយដីហួតបានយាងចរើន និងធវើឲយដីធូរ និងសំបូរជីជាតិ។ រុកខជាតិបនលែអនលក តរូវបានគេកំណតអាទិភាពចំពោះលទធភាពទបបមរែបមរួលនីតរូហសែនរបសវា។ គេអាចដាំរុកខជាតិបនលែអនលកទាំងនេះបានដោយការបរើគរាប...
  4. This green manure cover crop selection tool is an interactive way to discover which varieties are appropriate for your unique situation. By changing the conditions and requirements a prioritized list of potentially appropriate crops is generated. Each of these plants can be sourced through the...
  5. Session:The major factor in the increase in droughts across Africa has been caused mostly by the gradual death of fallowing, and the resulting decrease in rainwater infiltration from about 60% down to 20% in most areas. GM/CCs are the only feasible way to save Africa from the rapidly increasing...
  6. ធនធានសំខាន់ 21 ឧសភា 2019 Now available through Amazon as well as the ECHO Bookstore Smallholder farmers around the world face some of the harshest growing conditions globally, yet they produce the majority of the world’s food. Soils in these areas often lack nutrient and water holding capacities, due to erosion or poor...
  7. ធនធានសំខាន់ 14 វិច្ឆិកា 2012 The UNCCD estimates that over 250 million people are affected by land degradation, and about 1 billion people in over 100 countries are at risk. According to the WMO, 33% of the world’s land surface is vulnerable to land degradation.Degraded lands lead to overall reduced productivity and reduced...
  8. ធនធានសំខាន់ 28 កញ្ញា 2016 Farmers in many parts of the world, because of human population growth, have little choice but to crop their land continuously, with scarce resources to replace nutrients withdrawn by each successive crop. Crop residues are often lost as a source of organic matter and mulch, usually through...
  9. This group pageexists so that individuals involved in GMCCaround the world can connect. We encourage you to share the challenges you face in your GMCCendeavors, discuss lessons and techniques learned through your experiences, and share your story!
  10. 01 តុលា 2005 One of the most important things a farmer can do for his farm is to prevent soil erosion. One way to do so is by keeping soil covered, especially during the rainy season. Vegetative cover and high levels of soil organic matter are key. Below is a brief description of several vegetative or...
  11. 30 មិនា 2017 Forage peanut is a perennial herb native to Brazil that is found throughout South America and has many uses.
  12. 20 មេសា 2014 EDN 122 highlighted multi-purpose cowpea varieties with spreading vines that cover the soil. Below is an ECHO research update from South Africa relating our experience so far with a spreading cowpea variety intercropped with maize grown in a Foundations for Farming (FFF) system. “Living carpet”...
  13. 08 មេសា 2016 A report from Roland Bunch regarding his efforts to promote green manures and cover crops in Africa.
  14. 01 កក្កដា 2011 This article is from ECHO Asia Note #10 Introduction During the late rainy season, the permanent hill fields that surround a cluster of hilltribe villages in the Chiang Dao district of northern Thailand radiate various hues of green. These verdant fields, belonging to ethnic Lisu, Lahu, Akha,...
  15. 30 មេសា 2015 We recently learned of correspondence among several network members on the topic of Conservation Agriculture (CA) in areas of heavy rain. The information seemed potentially helpful for others in ECHO’s network, so we are sharing it here.
  16. 20 មករា 2005 Cover cropping is Fundamental #7. It is the technique of growing plants that protect the soil to conserve topsoil and moisture. It can be considered a living mulch. Under sowing legumes below existing crops and other companion plants will work well. You get all the advantages of mulching; soil...
  17. 20 មករា 2005 Green fertilizer is Fundamental #5. It feeds the next crop efficiently. As you plow crop residue into the soil it will eventually become humus and fertilizer for following crops. It is a form of composting, in which materials do not need to be transported to a mixing/composting site. You could...
  18. 20 មេសា 2004 Rice bean (Vigna umbellata) is one of the top five most commonly grown green manure/cover crops in the world.
  19. 27 តុលា 2014 The following photos were all taken in the fields or homes of practicing farmers in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, Haiti, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, Benin, Cameroon, Japan, Thailand and Indonesia
  20. 19 មករា 2017 Dr. Motispresented an overview of the use of tropical legumes as green manure/cover crops. Drawing on findings from ECHO research, this talk will cover 1) benefits of legumes, 2) basic characteristics and growth requirements of some commonly grown legumes, and 3) ways to integrate these into...
  21. 08 កុម្ភៈ 2017 Cover crops play a key role in sustainable agriculture by providing sustainable sources of nutrients as well as protective soil cover to minimize erosion and reduce moisture stresses. Examples of successful cover cropping systems in East Africa will be illustrated as well as constraints and...
  22. 07 កុម្ភៈ 2017 Pigeon pea is an important green manure/cover crop with multiple agronomic and market impacts for small farmers, and fits ideally in a conservation agriculture system. Kilimo Markets integrates value chains through enhancing production, inputs supply chains especially seed for which it is...
  23. 08 កុម្ភៈ 2017 Dolichos lablab is an under estimated crop which recently is finding its niche Presenter :Wilfred L Mariki is a retired Principal Agricultural Research Officer, from Selian Agricultural Research Institute who pioneered a country program to introduce CA in Tanzania 1999 – 2011, under FAO-UN. He...
  24. 20 មករា 2002 The conventional view of the relationship between soil nutrients and crop productivity in the tropics is leading to both damaging agricultural policies and inefficient and damaging farm-level practices. There is no need to use the huge quantities of chemical fertilizers that are so often...
  25. 20 មេសា 2013 The article by Dov Pasternak about lablab (in this issue) reminded me of material in ECHO’s files from many years ago. Reimar von Schaaffhausen, working in São Paulo, Brazil, sent articles and letters over the years about the valuable role that lablab (and pigeon pea [Cajanus cajan]) have played...
  26. 07 កុម្ភៈ 2017 Pigeon pea is an important green manure/cover crop with multiple agronomic and market impacts for small farmers, and fits ideally in a conservation agriculture system. Presenter : Said Silim has recently retired from a distinguished career in international development from ICRISAT, and helped to...
  27. This group page exists so that individuals involved in GMCC around the world can connect. We encourage you to share the challenges you face in your GMCC endeavors, discuss lessons and techniques learned through your experiences, and share your story!
  28. AccessAgriculture Training Video In the coastal savanna of West Africa, farmers explain how a mucuna cover crop helped to revive their highly degraded soil, and suppress the noxious weeds Striga and Imperata. They show how to grow it to benefit your maize and cassava, and why discussing land...
  29. The Tropical Forages websiteis a collaborative effort between CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems, Department of Primary Industries & Fisheries (Qld), Centro Internacional de Agricultura Tropical (CIAT) and the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). The website is designed to enable...
  30. Abstract,Agronomía Mesoamericana, 2017 The objective of this study was to assess the knowledge on cover crops and native vegetation mulches and the willingness to implement them by papaya, oil palm, and banana producers in Costa Rica. An evaluation instrument with twenty eight questions to be...
  31. 23 ឧសភា 2017 This presentation on Gree Manure Cover Cropsseeks to answer the question: How do we achieve all of these objectives (profitability, practically, resiliency, reduced reliance on fossil-fuels, sustainability) when land is limited/degraded, inputs are unavailable or unattainable, labor is scarce,...
  32. This document distinguishes between ‘anchor’ cover crops (that are intercropped with a main crop such as maize) and ‘secondary’ cover crops (that don’t compete with the main crop because they have a short life cycle, and that can help cover the soil at the start of the growing season). The...
  33. Session :Green manure/cover crops are the only feasible way for smallholder farmers to significantly increase the organic matter content of their basic grain fields (that is, anything over 0.5 ha) at a reasonable cost. We can now say that we know of good species and systems that will work in...
  34. 19 វិច្ឆិកា 2019 Session :Green manure/cover crops are the only feasible way for smallholder farmers to significantly increase the organic matter content of their basic grain fields (that is, anything over 0.5 ha) at a reasonable cost. We can now say that we know of good species and systems that will work in...
  35. Ed : While not dealing specifically with tropical crops, some of the management situations discussed can be adapted for consideration in other contexts. Farmers around the country (US) are planting cover crops on millions of acres to protect and improve the soil, and the more that farmers use...
  36. ធនធានសំខាន់ 20 មករា 2013 About 98% of agricultural production in the Sudano Sahelian region of West and Central Africa is based on rainfed crops. With a mean annual rainfall of 300 to 800 mm/year, the number of staple crops is very limited. It includes two grain crops: pearl millet (Pennisetum glaucum) for sandy soils...
  37. Session:By using green manure/cover crops, rural families can make sure theyhave enough calories, with or without droughts. By growing ediblegm/ccs (nearly all of which are leguminous, they can get enough proteins.By drying and storing the leaves of lablab beans or cowpeas, they can add to their...
  38. 26 វិច្ឆិកា 2019 Session:By using green manure/cover crops, rural families can make sure theyhave enough calories, with or without droughts. By growing ediblegm/ccs (nearly all of which are leguminous, they can get enough proteins.By drying and storing the leaves of lablab beans or cowpeas, they can add to their...
  39. 26 វិច្ឆិកា 2019 Session: Permanent ground cover is one of the fundamental principles of conservation agriculture. This coverage can be achieved by keeping crop residues on the ground, but if the time between harvest and installation of the next crop is large, it may be necessary to install other cover plants...
  40. 19 មករា 1984 Leucaena leucocephala ("koa haole"-Hawaii; ipil ipil - Phillipines) is a fast-growing, leguminous tree that can be used for reforestation, for firewood, and as a forage crop that can equal alfalfa in nutritional value. There are three basic types of leucaena trees: Hawaiian, Salvador, and Peru....
  41. 20 មករា 2005 Proper crop rotation is Fundamental #1. It will beat the disease and pest cycle while promoting nutrient cycling. This is a forgotten age-old method to assure the health of future crops. It is of the utmost importance to minimize nutrient loss for long-range success. When the same plant is...

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