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Organic vegetable production in Germany – status quo

von Fragstein und Niemsdorff, Peter; Geyer, Bernd and Reents, Hans-Jürgen (2005) Organic vegetable production in Germany – status quo. Paper at: Researching Sustainable Systems - International Scientific Conference on Organic Agriculture, Adelaide, Australia, September 21-23, 2005. [Unpublished]

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A survey about common practice in organic vegetable production was carried out on 100 farms in 2002 and 2003 that ranged from small to big scale vegetable holdings and reflected all important growing regions in Germany. Aspects of structure and production techniques were considered. Evaluations were made by categorizing (a) into three regional groups – South (Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg) |S|, East (New Länder) |E| and North/West (other Old Länder) |NW| - (b) into seven groups of producer organisations and (c) into eight groups of cultivation area for vegetables. The visited farms were either pure market gardens or farms with agricultural and horticultural crops or farms with or without production in greenhouses.
Farms with more UAA were located in |E| and |NW|. In |S| there was a higher proportion of vegetables in arable crop rotations. The smaller the farm, the more surface could be found for sheltered production. The cultivation programmes of field vegetables were based on a high diversity of different species, leaded by crucifers and umbellifers and legumes, mainly as green manures. Outdoor crop rotations are structured according to the guidelines of organic cultivation. The N provision of crop growing in greenhouses was based on the use of farm yard manure or other external N sources. Purchased N fertilizers were partly of animal-based, partly of crop-based origin. Fertilization of P and Ca was seldom mentioned. Soil analyses were less made (a) in |E| compared to other regions, (b) in small holdings compared to farms of bigger size. Low nutrient status’ in soil (class A or B) demand a reconsideration of nutrient management in organic vegetable production. Applied plant protection products had mainly insecticidal activity. Compared to other organisations Bioland farms had higher levels of plant protection, related to surface grouping, smaller farms used more plant strengtheners as supplement to plant protection. Mainly used beneficial organisms were lacewings and predatory mites, much more in |S| than other regions.
Perspectives for further development of the farms were mainly linked to improvement of equipment, labour efficiency and marketing. Essential key words were less hand weeding, more efficient working processes and better connections to other farms for common organisation and marketing. Special wishes to politicians and administrators were better aids for marketing and less bureaucracy, to producer organisations less organisations and less fees, to scientists more references to practical issues and more holistic approaches in running scientific trials for organic agriculture.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Organic Vegetable Production, Germany, survey, production techniques
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Research affiliation: International Conferences > 2005: 1st ISOFAR Conference > 2005: 1st ISOFAR Conference
Related Links:http://orgprints.org/4013/, http://www.isofar.org/adelaide2005, http://orgprints.org/view/projects/int-conf-isofar-2005.html
Deposited By: ISOFAR
ID Code:4220
Deposited On:15 Nov 2005
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:30
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted
Additional Publishing Information:The paper presented here is the final paper submitted by the authors to the conference Researching Sustainable Systems.
The final edited papers are available with the following publication:
Köpke, Ulrich; Niggli, Urs; Neuhoff, Daniel; Cornish, Peter; Lockeretz, Willie und Willer, Helga, (Hrsg.) (2005) Researching Sustainable Systems. Proceedings of the First Scientific Conference of the International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), Held in Cooperation with the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture, Australia (NASAA), 21 – 23 September 2005, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia.. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-Frick, and International Society of Organic Agriculture Research (ISOFAR), c/o Institute of Organic Agriculture (IOL), DE-University of Bonn. http://orgprints.org/4013/
Distribution: Paper copies may be ordered from FiBL at a cost of 28 Euros plus mailing costs (see FiBL shop at http://www.fibl.org/shop); FiBL order number 1394. A PDF version is available free of charge for ISOFAR members via the member area of www.isofar.org.

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