Yield and soil coverage of catch crops and their impact on the yield of spring barley
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The aim of experiment was to evaluate the impact of catch crops on the yield of spring barley. An assessment of the suitability of catch crops in relation to their yield and soil coverage was made. The field experiment was set up in a corn-growing area (south Moravia, Czech Republic). The results show a statistically significant difference in yield of dry matter and soil coverage among catch crops as well as among years. The most appropriate was the cultivation of Phacelia tanacetifolia Bentham and Sinapis alba L., which regularly provided the highest yields and soil coverage. In some years, similar results were also achieved for Fagopyrum esculentum Moench and Carthamus tinctorius L. Less suitable catch crops are Secale cereale var. multicaule L., which ensured lower yield and good soil coverage, but reduced the yield of spring barley, and Panicum miliaceum L. Yield of spring barley was affected by year and species of catch crops. The lowest yield of barely was in the year with unfavourable rainfall. The yield decreased with increasing quantities of catch crop matter. In the case of favourable rainfall year, there was no risk of lower yield of spring barley after monitored catch crops in one of the driest and warmest places in the Czech Republic.