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Alternatives to ploughing in organic agriculture

Title OriginalAlternativen zum Pflug im Biolandbau
Abstract

Because of high demands, a the relatively high risk of yield loss and a feared increase in weeds, most organic farmers in Switzerland do not dare to stop using the plough. Of the 15,000 hectares of open arable land, only about 2,000 hectares are cultivated without the classic plough with a plough depth of 10 to 25 cm. Direct sowing accounts for only 50 ha. These are undersown crops in cereals that are counted as direct sowing. Strip mulch sowing are an even great-er risk for organic farming and practically do not exist there. Direct and mulch sowing are to be further developed in organic farming. The goal is to develop stable systems that do not lead to a yield reduction or an increase of weeds and volunteers. This lowers the inhibitions of starting ploughless cultivation systems. The share of mulch sowing should double in organic arable farming over the next 4 years. In addition to cereals and maize, more challenging crops, such as oilseed rape, sunflowers, field peas, field beans, soya and possibly sugar beet should also be cultivated without a plough.

Financing/ Donor
  • Bio Suisse
  • Fondation Sur la Croix
    • Coop Sustainability Fund
(Research) Program
  • Partnership Coop and FiBL
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Role of FiBL

Project coordination, conduction and interpretation of on-farm-field trials, dissemination

Research area
FiBL project number 55271
Date modified 12.11.2019
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