SNF - Cover Crops

Conservation agriculture increases farming productivity and contributes to protecting fields. Cover crops play an important role by promoting soil fertility and suppressing weeds among others.


  • Lead school School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences
  • Institute Agriculture
  • Research unit Plant Production and Biodiversity
  • Funding organisation SNSF
  • Duration 01.01.2013 - 31.12.2017
  • Project management Prof. Dr. Bernhard Streit
  • Head of project Prof. Dr. Bernhard Streit
  • Project staff Prof. Dr. Bernhard Streit
    Fabienne Bauer
  • Partner Institut für Agrarwissenschaften ETHZ
    ART-Swiss Soil Monitoring Network
    INRA Rennes
    European Conservation Agriculture Federation
    Swiss No-Till
    Wirtschafts-, Energie- und Umweltdirektion (WEU)
  • Keywords cover crops, conservation agriculture, soil fertility, precision agriculture


Goal of the project: Development of novel cover crops for conservation agriculture. Description of the demands on the habitat of different cover crops. Provision of a database with suitable cover crops.

Course of action

Investigation on the demands on the habitat, about which little has been known until now, and the agronomic benefits of various types of crop cover systems and mixes, using modelling and field experiments. Additionally the correlation between crop cover systems and both the main crops and soil functions will be investigated. The properties of the various cover crops in relation to sustainable use of the soil will be revealed.