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Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖL): Tier

{ Programme part} BÖL: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖL): Tier. [Federal Organic Farming Scheme (FOFS): Animal Husbandry.] Runs 2002 - 2008. Programme Leader(s): Lange, Stefan.

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Online at: http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de/ausschreibungen_f_und_e_massnahmen.html

Summary

The Federal Organic Farming Scheme (FOFS): This scheme is a temporary funding source (2002 – 2007/2008) especially to support the whole organic farming sector (incl. research) in Germany. In the summer of 2001, the Federal Ministry of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture commissioned a project team comprised of representatives from associations and science and headed by the Federal Agricultural Research Centre to develop a proposal for a package of measures to foster organic farming in Germany. A hearing of representatives from trade and industry, associations, consultancy, science and administration laid the foundation for the team's work.
Based on this work, the Federal Minister of Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture Renate Künast decided to incorporate the proposed measures into the Federal Organic Farming Scheme (FOFS) to translate them into practice. This scheme supplements existing support measures with the aim of improving the basic conditions necessary for expanding organic farming. At the same time, it strives to increase supply and demand on a balanced, sustainable basis. These measures tackle all levels of organic farming, from the production to the consumption of organically produced food. Plans include training and information measures. Emphasis is also being placed on research promotion, the development of new technologies and steps to translate research findings into practice. Currently the FOFS is the main pool of the BMVEL for organic research funding.
Animal husbandry Programme Part
The role of research about animal husbandry can be deduced from the history of organic farming. It has never played a major role and even lost part of the genetic resources like locally adapted breeds and health features. Compared to the subject of crop husbandry, less project proposals were handed in. One reason for the lower number of research projects on organic animal husbandry under the BOEL is that projects concerning animal husbandry are in general far more expensive than e.g. crop husbandry projects. During the first period of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme BÖL (2002-2003) several status quo projects about animal husbandry of cattle, pigs and poultry, as well as aquaculture were realised. The results served as a basis for follow-up projects considering more specific, current and relevant issues.
1) Animal health and rearing of livestock
In general, it can be observed for all productive livestock that differences in the health status of animals under organic or conventional livestock husbandry differ less than between farms of the same production type. This allows the conclusion that it is mainly a matter of husbandry management determining if an animal is healthy or not.
In the case of cattle husbandry, which plays an important role in organic farming, one research focus is animal health. Mainly udder diseases like mastitis prevent a higher productivity and better quality of the given milk. Therefore, management support systems are developed in running projects and implemented into practice. These tools should enable farmers to establish the basic conditions (building of stables, hygienic aspects, milking techniques) for improved animal health. Only when these preconditions are fulfilled, more advanced treatments (e.g. homoeopathy) can be successful in mastitis prophylaxis.
A similar situation can be found in pig husbandry, where project results show that the status of animal health is not yet satisfactory. Considering observations on living animals as well as diagnostic findings of the carcass (liver, lung) it was evident that the presently practised hygienic management and husbandry systems are often not compatible with the requirement for better health conditions under organic farming. In comparison to other countries the basis for organic pig production is comparably narrow in Germany. Only a few hundred farms are involved in breeding of piglets and fattening of pigs. Next to the research itself, knowledge transfer is of main interest. Therefore, different projects of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme include extension service in their research. Furthermore, pig farms from neighbouring countries like Austria and Switzerland are partly included in surveys and evaluations.
The organic rules and regulations for species appropriated husbandry and better animal welfare do not necessarily guarantee advanced animal health. To adjust this imbalance is a challenge the Federal Organic Farming Scheme is facing with the current projects.
2) Animal Feeding and Breeding
Following recent regulations for organic animal husbandry it will be compulsory to feed animals with 100% organic fodder. So far, it was possible to use conventional additives. This upcoming restriction means a challenge for all organic farms involved in animal husbandry still reaching high outputs in spite of the low energy density and partly different composition of organic fodder under the circumstances of a permanent tightening market competition.
There are two ways to go in order to solve the existing problems. On the one hand, there are several breeds used in organic farming today, which are not adapted to an optimum in their demands and requirements to the conditions of organic animal husbandry. In lack of adequate breeds, adapted hybrids are used, which have been reared for the demands of conventional circumstances. Features like longevity, robustness, persistent performance and adaptation to extensive husbandry conditions were lost along the way. Therefore, it is of main importance for the establishment of suitable breeds for organic farming to establish breeding programmes and develop breeding criteria under the recognition of still available genetic resources.
On the other hand, it is necessary to improve the used fodder in a way that neither deficiency symptoms nor depression of performance will appear. This problem can be clearly demonstrated by the example of feeding layers: When the layers are fed according to organic criteria, a deficit especially in essential amino acids in the fodder is detectable. A supplement, e.g. of synthetically produced methionine, is not allowed. Therefore, two joint projects from the Federal Organic Farming Scheme are searching for ways to extract methionine from natural sources: In one project, different algae species are screened in view of a higher methionine synthesis. Another project is focusing on the search for bacteria showing higher methionine production caused through natural mutation. If these projects are successful, a natural source of methionine might be available in the future. Used as a fodder additive, it could avoid the above-named deficiency symptoms.


EPrint Type:Research Programme description
Part or Full Programme:Part of programme/Cluster of projects
Keywords:Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau, BÖL, Federal Organic Farming Scheme, FOFS, Germany
Subjects: Animal husbandry
Research funders: Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN
Germany > Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung - BLE
Related Links:http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de/ausschreibungen_f_und_e_massnahmen.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/BOEL.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-tier.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-tier-tierernaehrung.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-tier-status-quo.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-tier-tiergesundheit.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-tier-tierhaltung.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-tier-tierzucht.html
Acronym:BÖL
Start Date:1 January 2002
End Date:31 December 2008
Deposited By: Geschäftsstelle Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau, Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung (BLE)
ID Code:5967
Deposited On:29 Sep 2005
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:28

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