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Organic field vegetable production - baseline monitoring of systems with different fertility building strategies

{Project} Organic field vegetable production - baseline monitoring of systems with different fertility building strategies. Runs 2003 - 2006. Project Leader(s): ANON, Henry Doubleday Research Association .

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Document available online at: http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicveg/research/show_project.php?id=3


The organic units at HRI Wellesbourne (Hunts Mill) and at HRI Kirton have been measured throughout their conversion as part of Projects OF0126T and OF0191. This project will have the overall aim of providing baseline information about the performance of organic vegetable cropping systems in the post-conversion period. It will address both agronomic issues (such as soil fertility and the selection of appropriate fertility building strategies, weed control and pest and disease incidence) and economics of production. The work is of direct relevance to DEFRA’s aim of assisting UK farmers to meet the demand for organic produce and to provide a firm scientific basis for all policy decisions.
The project will also ensure that the Hunts Mill and Kirton organic units remain as a resource for future organic farming research. They are particularly valuable as trial grounds because they are available together with detailed background information about cropping and performance that was gathered during the conversion projects. At Hunts Mill the three basic rotations with their contrasting approaches to fertility building will be continued. The cropping at Kirton, on a much more fertile soil, will mirror one of these strategies.
The information collected will be collated with that obtained from these sites within the earlier conversion projects to provide comprehensive documentation for the sites. A number of measures will be undertaken to raise awareness about the value of this resource including workshops and open days (for researchers, advisors and growers) and by forging closer links with other organic systems studies.
The overall aim of this study is to provide continued baseline information on the agronomic and economic performance during the post-conversion period for organic field vegetable production systems. There will be the following specific objectives:
1) To complete three more cropping seasons at the established organic HRI units (at Hunts Mill, Wellesbourne and at Kirton).
2) To assess agronomic and economic performance of the systems. To achieve this the individual areas will be quantitatively and qualitatively monitored by assessing:
1. Yield of cash crops
2. Additions, removals and returns of nutrients and organic matter
3. Soil nutrient status
4. Weeds
5. Pests and diseases
6. Economic performance
3) To make these resources (i.e. the facilities together with their baseline data collected within this and previous projects) available for other organic farming research initiatives and to increase the awareness amongst researchers, advisors and growers of their potential value.

EPrint Type:Project description
Type of Facility:Other
Other Type:n/a
Location:Study conducted at two sites of Horticulture Research International, Wellesbourne and Kirton.
Keywords:vegetables, crops, economics, soil fertility, weeds, pests, diseases, knowledge transfer
Subjects: Knowledge management > Education, extension and communication
Crop husbandry
Farming Systems > Farm economics
Research affiliation: UK > Garden Organic (HDRA)
UK > Univ. Warwick, HRI
Research funders: UK
UK > Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Project ID:OF0332
Start Date:1 January 2003
End Date:31 March 2006
Deposited By: Defra, R&D Organic Programme
ID Code:6696
Deposited On:10 Feb 2006
Last Modified:20 Aug 2009 14:29

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