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Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖL): Pflanze

{ Programme part} BÖL: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau (BÖL): Pflanze. [Federal Organic Farming Scheme (FOFS): Plant.] 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.
Subject area Plants / Crop Husbandry
Projects on crop husbandry are generally over-represented within the German Federal Organic Farming Scheme. The structure of the German research system in organic agriculture is responsible for this: research capacities for crop production are much larger than in other areas, such as animal husbandry and food research. The main cause for this imbalance can be seen in the fact that organic farming developed as an alternative, especially to conventional plant production.
The main themes within the research area of plants / crop production
1) Plant protection and plant breeding
Under the given economic conditions, there is a need for the plant production in Germany to rationalise the measures for soil cultivation up to crop harvest. The growing demand for products of consistent and high quality with a constant availability can only be fulfilled by organic farmers, if their stock is healthy and if they can achieve high yields.
Hence, questions concerning plant health and safety are of main importance. This was reflected by the fact that from a total of about 180 projects, 50 were dedicated to organic plant protection .
The use of chemical pesticides as applied in conventional farming is forbidden in organic agriculture. Conventional pesticides treat plants symptom-oriented, while organic agriculture works system-oriented. This systemic view includes soil cultivation, crop rotation, the use of disease-resistant varieties and the specific application of biological pesticides, up to the appropriate living conditions for beneficial insects.
The projects of the Federal Scheme try to meet these challenges. Therefore, several projects were initiated in the field of plant breeding. These dealt with breeding of resistant crops, such as wheat and fruits. Furthermore, one project addresses the issue, to what extent organic wheat varieties need a special and modified licensing procedure, which is to be established deviant from conventional testing parameters.
Plant protection in organic agriculture is far more complex than in conventional agriculture. Thus, its needs to be system-oriented (see above). Nevertheless, it is important that single measures need to be effective. This means that also biological plant protection preparations have to be reliable in their effect. If this is not the case, then they are unable to fulfil their duty in context of soil cultivation, crop rotation and selection of crop variety.
Many projects of the Federal Organic Farming Scheme are devoted to the research of active ingredients, their formulations in different concentrations, their compositions, etc. Highly qualified scientists work in such projects. Based on their research topic, the scientists have to analyse and solve relatively isolated research questions. The research results that were presented in October 2003 and November 2004, showed that this can constitute a danger: The clarification of chemical interrelations should not lead to the systematic approach of organic plant protection to get lost. Plant protection in organic farming should not be a simple substitution of conventional methods. The results of single research questions should be re-included into the overall context of the biological cultivation system and also include existing practical experiences.
The example of plant protection makes it quite clear, how important and equally difficult it is to fill the requirement of interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary research with life.
A special problem within organic plant protection is the intensive use of the heavy metal copper. At present, there is no alternative available. Nevertheless, there are several projects in viticulture and potato cultivation that deal with the following aspects: which kind of formulation will reduce the copper concentration in the applied medium, what kind of cropping measures will help avoid the use of copper and which active substance can replace copper in the long-term.
2) Plant strengthening preparations
The organic pesticides available on the German market are subject to great dynamism. A large amount of preparations, as well as small manufacturers that are sometimes unable to keep up on the market, are responsible for this. Furthermore, there is a category in Germany called “plant strengthening preparations”, which are subject to a simplified licensing procedure. This category does not exist in all European countries. Therefore, it is difficult for the farmers to choose the appropriate preparation for their crops and their cultivation. In order to improve this situation a project was started, which provides a list containing all relevant information about plant strengthening preparations and other inputs available on the market, their components, their effect as defined by the manufacturer, as well as independent research results. This input list is continuously updated. Thus the farmer and the advisor have a transparent overview of all currently available preparations and their usability.
Furthermore, the development of improved mechanised repelling methods against thistle (Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop) and dock varieties (Rumex spp.), as well as the use of developed prototypes, was subject of projects within the Federal Scheme.
3) Plant nutrition
Organic crop production refrains from using supplemental mineral fertiliser, as its availability for the plant is quite predictable. The management within a closed cycle and the use of organic fertilisers is the basis for plant nutrition in organic agriculture.
Due to increasing specialisation, organic farming has to deal with a growing number of farms operating with low or without any animals. Therefore, fertiliser from animal husbandry is hardly available to these farms. They have to focus on organic fertilisers of plant origin, and on the design of a sustainable crop rotation. These issues are taken up by the Federal Scheme: e.g. reasons for a depression in harvest and other cultivation problems on farms operating without animal husbandry are being investigated. Furthermore, the effect of fertilisation from leguminous plants in field vegetables or faba bean meal for different crops are studied.
For the prediction of available minerals of the organic material, as well as the soil nutrients available in the long-term, importance is placed on the balance of soil humus. The methods used in conventional agriculture cannot simply be applied here. Systematic research on humus balance has not been done. In order to remove this deficit and to supply the organic farmers, as well as the advisors with a balancing method, which is quite accurate and still practical, a broad project was recently started.


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: Crop husbandry
Research funders: Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN
Germany > Bundesanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Ernährung - BLE
Germany > Federal Organic Farming Scheme - BOELN > Plants
Related Links:http://www.bundesprogramm-oekolandbau.de/ausschreibungen_f_und_e_massnahmen.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-pflanze.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-pflanze-pflanzenbau.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-pflanze-pflanzenernaehrung.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-pflanze-pflanzenschutz.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-pflanze-pflanzenzuechtung.html, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/de-boel-pflanze-status-quo.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:5970
Deposited On:29 Sep 2005
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:28

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