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Organic Knowledge Network Arable - D2.1 Description of farmer innovation groups

Cullen, Beth; Amos, Dominic and Padel, Susanne (2016) Organic Knowledge Network Arable - D2.1 Description of farmer innovation groups. Deliverable OK-Net Arable. Organic Research Centre , Newbury, UK.

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PDF - Submitted Version - English


This report has been produced as part of the Organic knowledge Network Arable (OK-Net Arable) project, which uses an interactive multi-actor approach, bringing practitioners from regional innovation groups together with advisers and scientists.
The aim of this report is to provide a description of the farmer innovation groups involved with the project. It covers information about the structure of the farmer innovation groups, the agronomic context, existing knowledge and skills, main challenges faced as well as potential solutions and tools to address these challenges.
In total 14 farmer groups involved in the project, located in 10 countries. The groups have similarities in that they have mostly been established with an arable focus and have connections to research institutes. All groups have been established relatively recently, between 2010 and 2015. Members are a mix of new entrants and experienced organic farmers, most groups include farmers who have farmed organically for over 10 years. The members range in age from 20 to 70 years old, but most group members are over 30 years of age, and are predominantly male.
The farmer innovation groups represent a range of farm types including cereal producers, organic mixed farms, including livestock and field vegetables (e.g. potatoes, cabbage, leeks etc.), horticultural farms as well as stockless arable cropping systems. In terms of typical crops grown, most groups appear to be focused on cereal crops, which is to be expected given the focus of the project.
The report outlines some common challenges identified by the groups, namely: weed management, soil fertility, and pest and disease control. Other challenges were also mentioned, including: lack of knowledge and research, nitrogen management, nutrient cycling, challenges with grass and clover rotations, soil water content, cultivation issues, climatic changes, seeds and the availability of organic varieties.
Recommendations for the project going forward include identifying best practice examples, ensuring that information can be found easily and consumed quickly, identifying context specific information, and provision of reliable information from trusted sources. Important areas include responding to farmer priority challenges in terms of the tools that the project tests, linking farmer perspectives with researcher knowledge and recommendations, and developing easy-to-use methods for online farmer-to-farmer knowledge sharing.

EPrint Type:Report
Keywords:Farmer groups, innovation, knowledge exchange, organic arable production, OK-Net Arable, EU, Horizon 2020
Agrovoc keywords:
Organic foods
Knowledge management
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Cereals, pulses and oilseeds
Knowledge management
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > OK-Net Arable
UK > Organic Research Centre (ORC)
Related Links:http://www.ok-net-arable.eu/, http://farmknowledge.org/
Deposited By: Padel, Dr Susanne
ID Code:30748
Deposited On:29 Nov 2016 09:34
Last Modified:29 Nov 2016 09:34
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed
Additional Publishing Information:This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 652654. This communication only reflects the author’s view. The Research Executive Agency is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information provided.
This deliverable contains original unpublished work except where clearly indicated otherwise. Acknowledgement of previously published material and of the work of others has been made through appropriate citation, quotation or both.

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