The aim of this project is to provide a better implementation of functional biodiversity in organic orchards. For this, we test promising, practically-oriented approaches and methods for improving natural regulation of pests in orchards. Moreover, a European network for knowledge and experience transfer is in development to improve the transfer into practice.
Orchards are perennial cultures, and especially in organic fruit production it is essential to design and manage orchards in a way which favours beneficials such as insect predators and parasitoids of pests and diseases. The value of Functional Agro-Biodiversity (FAB) for reducing pesticide use in fruit production is generally acknowledged, and many organic fruit growers try to increase it. However, they lack information about how the taken functional biodiversity measures may indeed contribute to FAB. Motivation is also negatively affected by the fact that they encounter many difficulties or fail due to various economical and technical reasons or by lack of situation-specific, detailed advice. To improve this situation, ECOORCHARD is combining several complementary and goal-oriented approaches: (i) identifying and compiling still “unknown” methods already implemented by fruit growers to increase FAB in EU countries in WP 1; (ii) elaborating suitable methods for collaborative application to monitor FAB on-farm and in scientific trials in WP 2; (iii) conducting collaborative scientific trials in WP 3 with focus on the quantification of the effect of a new approach to install FAB-boosting flower strips in the inter rows and (iv) the activities in WP 4 are devoted to learning from each other and dissemination. The different on-farm sites, scientific trials and a web-based stakeholder platform to collect and share information (made in WP 1) are important elements to bring the collected experiences and scientific results very directly to the organic fruit growers.
Publications in the FiBL shop
shop.fibl.org: Technical guide "Perennial flower strips – a tool for improving pest control in fruit orchards" (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Latvian, Polish, Danish)