DARCOF · Research > Darcof II > Enhanced bread wheat production

Enhanced bread wheat production

The demand for organically produced grain for bread, considerably exceeds Danish farmers’ production. Thus, nearly 70% of the consumed organically grown bread wheat is imported. A particular challenge to organic farmers is therefore to produce quality cereals for human consumption. Organic cropping systems based on rotations with grass-clover pastures and abundant recycling of organic matter accumulate significant quantities of labile organic nitrogen (N) in the soil. Nevertheless, the availability of N often limits yields of short-season crops without N2-fixing abilities.

The overall objective of the proposed project is to improve the N management and cropping methods in organic plant production. This is done in order to enhance the quality and quantity of Danish grown bread wheat, while improving the N-use efficiency of the crop, and reducing the leaching loss of nitrate from the soil/plant system.

Four work-packages (WP) contribute to the overall objective. In WP1 it is examined how N accumulated in grazed pastures can efficiently be used for production of bread wheat without excessive nitrate leaching. In WP2 the focus is on how soil tillage can be implemented for regulating soil N turnover during growth of cereal crops in order to improve the synchrony between soil N mineralization rates and N-uptake. WP3 examines how manure placement can enhance cereal crop uptake, and increase the competitive ability towards weeds. WP4 examines how the crop variety, N management and baking quality interact in organic production systems.

The studies draw on a spectrum of cropping systems, soil types and N-management, combining field experimentation and laboratory studies.


Project title
I.4 Nitrogen management and cropping methods for enhanced bread wheat production (NIMAB)

Project leader
Bent T. Christensen
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Crop Physiology and Soil Science, Research Centre Foulum
P.O. Box 50, DK-8830 Tjele
Phone: +45 89 99 17 09, Fax: +45 89 99 17 19
E-mail: Bent.T.Christensen@agrsci.dk

Project participants
Jørgen Eriksen, Ingrid K. Thomsen, Jens Petersen, Karsten Rasmussen, Johannes Ravn Jørgensen and Lene Pedersen, DIAS