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Conversion to organic field vegetable production OF0126T

Lennartsson, Dr Margi (2000) Conversion to organic field vegetable production OF0126T. Henry Doubleday Research Association.

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Summary

Despite a high and growing demand for organic vegetable UK growers have been slow to convert to organic production. One of the reasons has been the lack of data and information relating to the conversion period. This roject aims to rectify this by collecting and evaluating agronomic and econmic data from farms undergoing conversion to organic fiel vegetable production. A total of eleven farms are being monitored; one main site (Hunts Mill at HRI Wellesbourne) and 10 commercial reference farms. The results of these studies are being made available for farmers undergoing or considering conversion. The project if of direct relevance toDEFRA's objectives of encouraging organic production, of substituting imports, protecting the environment and providing a firm scientific base for policy decisions.
The main conclusions from the first phase of the project (1996-2000) were that most farmers have managed the initial stages of their conversions to organic vegetable production satisfactorily. Growers' anticipated problems with pest, disease and weeds were found to be less serious than they had expected. Difficulties with soil management, however, have been on established organic farms, though the lower yields have often been offset by significant price premiums which have made overall financial returns competetive with comparable conventional crops. Many of the farmers have experienced a decline in Net Farm Income during the in-conversion period. The decline in income has been partly offset when there is the ability to claim organic aid and set aside payments on fertility building leys. Growers require a number of positive messages from policy makers and from the market to encourage them to make the decision to convert to organic production.


EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:vegetables, information, knowledge, conversion, agronomic performance, economic performance, crop yield, fertility building, soil management, weeds
Subjects: Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Crop husbandry > Production systems
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: UK > Univ. Warwick, HRI
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC) - Elm Farm
UK > ADAS
UK > Univ. Aberystwyth > Institute for Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS)
Research funders: UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Project ID:OF0126T
Location:HDRA
Ryton Organic Gardens
Coventry
CV8 3LG
Start Date:1 August 1996
End Date:31 July 2000
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:9915
Deposited On:14 Dec 2006
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:34
Document Language:English
Status:Unpublished
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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