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Background: Organic arable farming

There is a high demand for crops from organic production. The challenges of organic production include additional work, lack of farm manure and weed infestations. Organic arable farming places high demands on the cultivation techniques.

The following pages provide background information about organic arable farming, including FiBL projects and publications.

Knowledge Network OK-Net Arable: European knowledge exchange for the optimisation of cultivation techniques in organic arable farming

Various challenges in organic arable farming require farmers to have a great amount of knowledge and competence. The exchange of successful practices and experiences between farmers is, on a European level, limited. In the framework of the EU research and innovation programme Horizon 2020, the project Organic Knowledge Network Arable promotes the exchange of traditional and innovative knowledge among farmers, advisers and scientists. The project includes 17 partners from 13 countries and addresses the biggest challenges in organic farming in order to increase productivity and quality all over Europe. The main goals of the project include the development of a European network of farmer innovation groups that provides suitable examples of co-innovation between practical agriculture and science. This network will serve to exchange innovations and experiences and to test the training material developed in the project. The scientific and practical knowledge on organic arable farming is provided to the users in an appropriate manner. Creating the internet platform farmknowledge.org  where material developed in the project is already available, serves as a tool of organic farming knowledge exchange in Europe. In the search bar on the right-hand side, you have direct access to the knowledge base.

The project is running from 1 March 2015 until 28 February 2018 and is coordinated by the IFOAM EU group. Other organisations, like FiBL Switzerland, FiBL Austria and the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture ÖMKi, are also participating. Germany is involved through the FiBL Projekte GmbH and Bioland Beratung GmbH.

The task of FiBL Switzerland is the scientific collection and identification of current research outcomes and best practice in organic arable farming, especially the challenges in the field of soil fertility, nutrient management as well as pest and weed control. Additionally, it makes a strong contribution to developing new training material in order to close the knowledge gaps in Europe.

FiBL project team

Partners of the OK-Net Arable project

  • International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements European Regional Group (IFOAM EU Group)
  • Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Switzerland (FiBL Switzerland)
  • Organic Research Centre (ORC)
  • Bioland Beratung GmbH (BBG)
  • Aarhus Universitet (ICROFS)
  • Assocaiazione Italiana per L'Agricoltura Biologica (AIAB)
  • European Forum for Agricultural and Rural Advisory Services (EUFRAS)
  • L'Istituto Agronomico Mediterraneo di Bari (IAMB)
  • FiBL Projekte GmbH
  • Ökológiai Mezőgazdasági Kutatóintézet Közhasznú Nonprofit. Kft. (ÖMKi)
  • Estonian Organic Farming Foundation (EOFF)
  • BioForum Vlaanderen (BioForum)
  • L'Institut technique de l'agriculture biologique (ITAB)
  • SEGES
  • Za Biologichno Zemedeliebioselena (FOA Bioselena)
  • Forschungsinstitut für biologischen Landbau Österreich (FiBL Austria)
  • Consorzio Marche Biologiche, Società Cooperativa Agricola (Con Marche Bio)