Project runtime: March 2016 – February 2019
Project partner: BIO AUSTRIA NÖ and WIEN (project management), 6 bio farmer, IfÖL (BOKU), FiBL
In the farming region of eastern Austria an operational group was established consisting of organic farmers, consultants and scientists. The aim of this group is the development and testing of innovative soil cultivation and green manure systems under on-farm and on-station conditions to facilitate the sharing and transferring of experience and knowledge within and outside the group. On-farm trials on six organic farms in Lower Austria with different aims and questions* will be established and scientifically supervised. Additionally, the influence of soil tillage conversion from an intensive use of the plough to a reduced tillage system with a chisel on a stockless cash crop organic farm on soil properties and crop yields is investigated within a long-term experiment (formerly project “MUBIL**”).Optimization of farm-specific reduced soil tillage in combination with green manuring and/or organic fertilizers will be investigated to determine how these contribute to an increase of yields and income, an improved nitrogen and nutrient supply to the crops, and an increase of humus content in the soil. These optimized cultivation systems aim to contribute to protecting against soil erosion, and climate shifts. Additionally, these systems aim to enhance the efficient utilization of on-farm resources, to enhance soil quality and biodiversity, and to allow for the adaption of systems to climate change.*e.g. On-farm questions: 1. direct seeded soy in a roller-crimper cover crop compared to a conventional tillage method with precision seeded soy; 2. effect of subsoil loosening on soil properties and plant growth system on wheat or maize in a reduced soil tillage system; 3. weed infestation, soil properties and yield performance of spelt under shallow ploughing (Stoppelhobel) compared to non-inversion stubble tillage (chisel).*MUBIL-project: To assess the effects of conversion to organic agriculture in a stockless farming system in dry eastern Austria on yield, soil fertility, and the diversity of flora and fauna, this long-term monitoring project was established in Marchfeld region east of Vienna. Fields of a stockless cash crop farm were converted to organic farming in 2001/2002. An eight-year crop rotation was implemented, five hectares of flowering strips along hedges and field margins were newly established. Four fertilization systems were compared: 1. Lucerne-green manure; 2. Lucerne-green manure + communal compost; 3. Lucerne-harvested and removed + farmyard manure; 4. Lucerne-harvested and removed + digestate.
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