Optimisation of organic grain legume production
Legumes are essential in the system of organic farming because of the nitrogen fixation and their function for the nutrient supply. They improve soil fertility, and provide a protein-rich feed stuff. In field trials with the focus of mixed cropping of grain legumes, especially the cultivation of blue lupins and peas we focused on yield optimisation and weed management. , We also evaluated the feed quality and their contribution to protein supply in organic animal husbandry.
Yields of organically grown grain legumes are very variable from year to year. Furthermore, declining yields are observed in practice for several years. Due to this situation, a decrease of organically cultivated grain legumes is evident. On the other hand, a much higher demand for grain legumes as a protein-rich feed is needed due to the increased demand of organically produced meat and eggs. For a higher production of locally produced, high-protein animal feedstuff in the near future, we develop cropping strategies for optimizing the production of grain legumes with the aim of high and stable yields.
In field trials at the site Trenthorst, we examine various options for optimizing the cultivation of all major grain legume species: faba bean, pea, lupine and common vetch. We focus on the development of strategies for a more effective weed and pest control as well as the cultivation of alternative grain legumes such as the cultivation of winter forms of pea, common vetch and White Lupine. The emphasis in this context is the development of intercropping systems and of cultivation methods for optimizing the direct weed control.
The cultivation of grain legumes in mixed cropping is a very effective, indirect method of weed control in grain legumes. Yield can be stabilized, but the cultivation strategy depends on the species of grain legume and the partner crop.
In Blue lupines, the use of mechanical hoe in wider row distances showed a good possibility of direct weed control.
1.2003 - 12.2018
Project status: ongoing