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Organic Farming on large farms with special reference to Eastern Germany

Bachinger, J. and Stein-Bachinger, K. (2000) Organic Farming on large farms with special reference to Eastern Germany. In: Wilson, M. J. and Maliszewska-Kordybach, B. (Eds.) Soil Quality, Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Security in Central and Eastern Europe, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, 69, NATO Science Partnership Sub-Series 2: Environmental Security continued within NATO Science Series IV: Earth and Environmental Sciences, pp. 125-138.

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Nearly 3 % of the total arable land of the five new States of Germany have been converted to organic farming according to the AGÖL standards. The average farm size reaches about 200 ha, while the average size of organic farms in West Germany amounts to 30 ha. The structure of the large farms in East Germany contrasts with the organic farms in West Germany and are mainly characterised by a higher complexity of organisation, involving mainly blue collar workers and low livestock units.
Under the site and structural conditions of large organic farms in North-East Germany, for economic and environmental reasons, it is especially important to develop and apply special nutrient management strategies concerning the prediction and optimisation of nitrogen inputs so as to prevent deficits and losses. As long-term management strategies the calculation of humus and nitrogen balances are suitable for an overview of the nutrient fluxes of the total farm. To optimise the nitrogen uptake and to minimise nitrate leaching, the effects of specific cultivation methods, selected fields and crops, and short-term management strategies are developed for site- and situation-adapted decision making.
Positive abiotic and biotic environmental effects of organic farming systems, similar to those known from small family farms, can be described or predicted for large farms in North-East Germany. These effects include significant reduction of nitrate losses through leaching and nitrate contents in the soil water; prevention of pesticide leaching; conservation and increase of the humus content; reduction of CO2-emission caused by intensive agriculture; conservation and increase of biodiversity of flora and fauna.
To achieve an expansion of organic agriculture, particularly in CEE countries, the development of specific markets with higher prices (especially for milk products) and/or specific economic rewards of the positive environmental effects are necessary.

EPrint Type:Conference paper, poster, etc.
Type of presentation:Paper
Keywords:Eastern Germany, management, environment, economy, Ökonomie, Ostdeutschland, Großbetriebe, Umwelt
Subjects: Soil > Nutrient turnover
Crop husbandry
Research affiliation: Germany > Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research - ZALF
Related Links:http://www.neutrino.co.jp/abi_asen/0-7923-6378-7.PDF, http://www.wkap.nl/prod/b/0-7923-6378-7, http://www.zalf.de
Deposited By: Bachinger, Dr. Johann
ID Code:980
Deposited On:15 Aug 2003
Last Modified:12 Apr 2010 07:27
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed
Additional Publishing Information:ISBN 0-7923-6377-9 (hardbound)
ISBN 0-7923-6378-7 (paperback)

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