Impact of cover crops in inter-rows of hop gardens on reducing soil loss due to water erosion

Kabelka D., Kincl D., Vopravil J., Vráblík P. (2021): Impact of cover crops in inter-rows of hop gardens on reducing soil loss due to water erosion. Plant Soil Environ., 67: 230–235.


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Soil degradation caused by water erosion in sloping hop gardens is definitely a serious issue because the space in inter-rows is without plant residues for most of the year in traditional cultivation. Cover crops in inter-rows of hop gardens and their efficiency in soil conservation are assessed in this article. There is only little research available in this area, and our data bring unique information on water erosion in hop gardens. Technologies with different types of cover crops were always compared with the conventional cultivation. The research was conducted within the years 2016–2020. A field rainfall simulator was used to determine the soil conservation effectiveness of selected technologies. The simulated rainfall was performed in two stages of cover crops growth with the main aim to measure the overall soil loss. The outcomes from the measurements confirmed that cover crops in inter-rows of hop gardens protect the soil surface from falling raindrops and significantly (P-value < 0.05) reduce soil loss. It can be concluded that this technology had a soil conservation effect already one month after sowing, and it is a basis for sustainable agricultural management on sloping hop gardens.


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