Fallow Management is comprised of a number of steps:
In some circumstances, planting a legume crop might not be possible. Using a herbicide spray out system is the best method of fallow management in this situation. The soil still benefits from the break from sugarcane and no cultivation. However, it does not gain the additional benefits associated with growing a legume cover crop.
The presence of a trash blanket during the fallow will enhance the beneficial effect of zero cultivation in minimising the risk of erosion and the associated problems of off site sediment, nutrient and pesticide movement.
Legume fallows provide many benefits to growers and the environment. The benefits include reduced reliance on chemical nitrogen fertilisers and reduced ground exposure during periods of high rainfall and potential run-off.
Two types of legume fallows are used in the sugarcane farming system:
- Green manure cover crop
There are several types of summer legumes being grown as cover crops in sugarcane fallow. These include dolichos lablab, cowpeas, soybeans and field peas in the winter months. The grain legume crops are primarily soybeans and peanuts.