Enhancement of value added in organically cultivated catch crops by the management opimisation of soil fertility
The agricultural advantages of mixed cultivation in low-input-systems are often demonstrated for the higher yield stability, a more effective weed suppression and a better use of the growth factors light, water and nutrients. We wanted to evaluate in the system of organic farming the mixed cropping especially under a simultaneous reduced intensity of soil cultivation in constricted crop rotations with grain legumes.
Within the project, we evaluated the intercropping of spring or winter peas and cereals and we determined the suitability of shallow ploughing in organic pea cultivation. Another intent of this project was to investigate the impact of mechanical soil loading (0, 26, 45 kN rear wheel load) during seedbed preparation in deep (25-30 cm) and shallow ploughed (7-12 cm) soils on the performance of spring pea and oat sole or intercrops. The focus of our investigations was the weed development, yield performance and quality assessment of the harvested products, but also the impact of intercropping on the infestation with pea pests.
We conducted three-factorial field experiments with spring peas (2009, 2010) and two-factorial field experiments with two winter pea cultivars (E.F.B. 33: normal-leafed, coloured-flowered, James: semi-leafless, white-flowered, 2009/10, 2010/11) followed by a succeeding crop experiment (2010/11, 2011/12). The spring pea experiments were conducted similarly at Köllitsch (East Germany) and Trenthorst (Northern Germany), whereas we examined the intercropping of winter peas at the Trenthorst site.
In conclusion, in spite of a partially higher weed infestation, short-term shallow ploughing resulted in a comparable or better agronomic performance and grain quality of sole and intercropped peas. Shallow ploughing mitigated the risk of a decrease in pea performance caused by mechanical soil loading during sowing operations. Pea-cereal intercrops can nevertheless suppress weeds good - that is one of its advantages. In organic cultivation of peas with reduced tillage this effect is particularly effective.
8.2008 - 6.2013
Project funding number: 08OE009 sowie 2811OE085
Funding program: Bundesprogramm Ökologischer Landbau und andere Formen nachhaltiger Landwirtschaft (BÖLN)
Project status: finished