Cover crops for sustainable agriculture in the Nordic Region (CoverCropsNordic)

Coordinator: Ievina Sturite, NIBIO, ievina.sturite(a)nibio.no 


About the network

Text and photo: Ievina Sturite

In arable crop rotations, use of cover crops can result in appreciable carbon sequestration, however, the effect of cover cropping on soil organic carbon stocks has not been fully explored for the Nordic region. Furthermore, cover crops alter the availability of mineral nitrogen, carbon and oxygen and hence also the availability of nitrate for leaching and production of nitrous oxide (N2O), one of the most potent greenhouse gases.

Ongoing research projects on cover crops initiated in the Nordic region like CatCap in Denmark (DK) and CAPTURE in Norway (NO) and long- and short-term experiments on cover crops in Sweden (S) give us the unique possibility to interlink these research projects and to collate and learn from similarities and differences between observations and results in different Nordic regions/climate zones, soils and cropping practices. Creating a network will be essential for increasing synergies among researchers and PhD students within the topic, and for linking research and practice in collaboration with living labs in DK and later in NO.

In this network project, researchers and PhD students from University of Copenhagen (UCPH); Denmark, Swedish University of Agriculture Sciences (SLU); Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU); Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO); Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences (INN); Norwegian Centre of Organic Agriculture (NORSØK) will focus on soil health and agroecology by using cover cropping.  The long-term aim of the network is to increase synergies in research on cover cropping strategies for a sustainable agriculture and food sector in Nordic region, resulting in future joint activities and projects.