Cover Crops
For soil improvement and livestock integration
Conservation Agriculture (CA): three principles
Minimal soil disturbance
Diversified cropping
- Intercropping
-Mixed cropping
-Crop rotation
Permanent organic soil cover
-Inclusion of cover crops
-soil cover; residues, mulch
What are cover crops
Crops planted for soil building to:
Create a living cover and diversity
Increase root and microbial
diversity in the soil
Build soil cover stover
Provide other uses such as;
Livestock fodder (cattle, goats
chickens) (Sunflowers, Sunhemp,
Fodder rye, oats, fodder radish…)
Food (sorhum, millet, turnips…)
N-fertilization (vetch, field peas,
Lucerne, clover….)
Winter CC mix: Black oats, fodder rye and
fodder radish
Smephi Chonco: Relay
cropping with beans
Rita Ngobese: Allowed
cattle in to graze
Eunice Maphumulo:
Planted in patches
where beans did not
germinate or grow
WCC (black Sia oats,
fodder rye, forage
Thembi Mkhize; separate plot
Nomusa Shandu; radish grew very well- let
cattle in to graze
Lungile Phungulo: relay cropping with maize
a lot of shading
Mrs Maphumulo: cowpeas
Mr MdungeniMiya: Separate plot of SCC to try
and improve soil quality
Mrs Khumalo: Maize, bean and butternut
Bergville (61): Summer CC mix: sunflower, Sunhemp, babala (millet), vetch, forage
sorghum and turnips. WCC mix (saia oats, fodder radish fodder rye)
SKZN&EC and Midlands: WCC mix
Cover Crops in Bergville
Khulekani Dladla, Stulwane-
Ntombakhe Zikode, Eqeleni- Sunhemp forage sorghum
and WCC
Phumelele Hlongwane,
Ezibomvini - millet
Stulwane(10) and Eqeleni (1); Teff, Lucerne, clover (red and white),
Lab-lab, cowpeas
Germination and growth for only 3 crops this season;
Teff, Lab-Lab and turnips
In season grazing and baling of dried fodder
Bergville: Fodder production experimentation
TEFF Mtholeni Buthelezi, StulwaneBales of veld grass mixed with residue from cowpea and Lab’Lab
LAB-LAB PhumeleleHlongwane, Ezibomvini
Seasonal effects
~40% reduction in yield
for maize
~80% of total yield loss
in beans; and 55%
reduction in yield to the
remaining participants
Lab-Lab, cowpeas and
SCC grew better than
the maize and beans
Sharp increase in maize
cob rots