Enhancing the economic value of organically produced cash crops by optimizing the management of SOIL FERTILITY

prototype of a combined dosing and planting machine

The interdisciplinary research project on soil fertility focused in four experimental and five project years on the relationship between the cultivation of grain legumes and soil fertility, especially on low stock density or stockless organic farms. In surveys of 32 farms, as yet only suspected interrelationships, such as the increase in weed coverage ratio with increasing soil humus content, were confirmed. The results also suggest that a longer break as usually recommended between pea cultivation on a plot is required. In addition, interesting new aspects were revealed. Regarding the health of grain legumes, a newly developed differential diagnosis allows to narrow the reason for occurring "legume fatigue" down or conduct a simple risk assessment before sowing grain legumes. The project also showed that green waste compost can significantly improve the health of pea roots. Various methods of compost application on grain legumes were tested and optimized for practical use. Besides green waste composts, green waste chaff also plays an important role in nutrient supply of legumes. Superficially applied, it also can improve the growth of crops by suppressing weeds, protecting against siltation and increasing water infiltration rates. The results on agricultural machinery show that even small tractor loads during see bed preparation and seeding can lead to massive soil compaction and hence yield declines in peas. Therefore, reduction of soil pressure in pea cultivation is essential. It could be shown that the weed-suppressive effect of pea mixed cropping with oats can compensate for the increased weed pressure under reduced soil tillage when compared to deep plough tillage and delivers yield security. Our project also drew attention to the advantages and potential of winter pea cultivation. A continuous transfer of knowledge right from the beginning of the project was anchored in agricultural practice.The first task of the department of agricultural engineering was the development of a combined dosing and planting machine for an in-row application of bulk compost by grain legume planting. A prototype was developed and sucessfully tested in several field trails. The second task was the improvement of the material properties of compost. For that reason a new innovative low temperature process was defined for the production of compost pellets with suppressive properties.


Reihenapplikation von Komposten zur Kontrolle bodenbürtiger
Krankheiten – technische Lösungen für Kartoffeln und
- Beitrag zur 12. Wissenschaftstagung Ökologischer Landbau 2013



FiBL Deutschland

FiBL Schweiz

Bayerischer Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft (LfL)

Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Dresden


Stiftung Ökologie und Landbau

Universität Kassel

Johann Heinrich von Thünen Institut


see also : bodenfruchtbarkeit.org

Film: Kompostausbringung in der Reihe


responsible : Björn Bohne