Author: Stefano Canali, Crea-AA, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

belgoium soilveg 2

Terminating ASC with roller crimper 

 

What’s the best way to manage Agroecological Service Crops? Comparing the usual management of ASC as green manure vs the use of roller crimper in a no till system, SoilVeg found that the latter generate an higher overall environment benefit, although with lower yields.

 

SoilVeg is an applied research European project involving 9 European countries and 14 partner institutions for 3 years. It aimed at introducing the no-till technique and at improving the management of agro-ecological Service Crops in organic cropping systems for vegetable production in order to get better soil conservation and resource use.

The ASC crops are often introduced in the agro-ecosystem to provide or enhance ecological services promoting the whole soil-plant system equilibrium. Indeed, ASC introduction have impact on soil quality and fertility and soil nutrients losses and they also contribute to increase soil C sink potential, to mitigate GHG emissions and influence weeds, diseases and pests occurrence.

But what’s the best way to manage ASC? This has been SoilVeg main challenge. Project team has been testing the hypothesis that, compared with the incorporation of ASC into the soil as green manure, the use of the no-till technique, based on the use of the roller crimper reduces nutrient losses from the soil/plant system and GHG soil emission.

This spider graph highlight, at a glance, the difference between the two examined systems - Business As Usual which use ASC as green manure and SoilVeg which utilize the roller crimper in a no till system of management – showing how they score on a variety of indicators. The orange defined area marks the benefits gained by BAU while the green defined area highlights the benefits of using SoilVeg devised management.

As it is clearly showed, SoilVeg management generate an higher overall environment benefit, scoring higher on environment related indicators such as climate change mitigation potential, fossil fuel energy saving, loss of nutrients and overall biodiversity. However, it implies lower yields and lower yield quality.

soilveg web

 

Simulations have shown how no-tillage contributes to mitigate climate change through Increasing soil carbon sequestration and, at the same time, reducing soil N2O emissions.

Data gained in Spain and elaborated by DayCent over a 30 years simulation predicted a decrease of CO2 emission of 0,70 Mg per ha per year under the current climatic conditions and of 0,86 Mg per ha per year under adverse climate change scenarios and a 10% reduction of soil N2O emissions when comparing no-till with green manure management.

soilveg table

 

Even when dealing with energy analysis the project reached some crucial points: namely, no-till ASC operations generally require less energy than conventional management through green manure which requires additional chopping and plowing in the soil. If properly set, ASC mulching induced energy saving to weeds control and for irrigation.

Furthermore, it is interesting to note that weed communities changed in function of ASC and termination strategies and that roller crimper treatments reduced weed species richness but also contributed to weed control thanks to weed density reduction. Thus, SoilVeg trials open up the hypothesis of stressing weed contribution to agroecosystem functioning without the need of controlling them.

Moreover, the introduction of ASC with no-tillage seems a good strategy to maintain higher system biodiversity. Roller crimper proved not to be harmful to arthropod

populations and proved to promote the conservation of important soil predators. Actually, the use of roller crimper enhanced the presence of important groups of predator arthropods.

 

On the basis of the results obtained within the SoilVeg Project scientists have identified the next research needs to further implement and to enhance the impact of the no-till tecniques in the organic vegetable systems and these research needs are all focused on how mitigate yield reduction in no-till systems; i.g.

 

  • Identify high biomass production ASC species and cultivars
  • ASC proper sowing density 
  • ASC species and cultivars screening for their attitude to be flattened (in order to get a low regrowth) 
  • Cash crop density and planting layout 
  • Cash crop and cultivars attitude to be cultivated in no-till systems 
  • Plant breeding for no-till (namly, appropriate rooting system) 
  • Roller crimpers design 
  • Innovative no-till transplanter design (In-line tillage and ASC root pruning)

 


 

Read more at the CORE Organic website: http://www.coreorganic.org/ , find publications from the project at: http://orgprints.org/view/projects/soilveg.html or watch the videos at: https://vimeo.com/234648899 .

 

Financial support for this project has been provided by funding bodies within the FP7 ERA-Net CORE Organic Plus, and with cofuns from the European Commission.

Note: This press release has been translated and broadcasted at national level by the project partners in all the involved Countries (Italy, Slovenia, Denmark, Spain, Belgium, France, Latvia, Estonia).

 

 

More than 100 participants from 23 countries came together for 3 days (June 27-29, 2018) to present and discuss new results in order to move organic agricuture forward. The event was interdisciplinary, with different topics represented in all sessions and an interesting mix of social and natural scientists. A main headline was how agroecological principles and theory may be better utilised in developing certified organic food and farming. A follow-up workshop is planned in 2020.

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Dear members and friends of ISOFAR,

I like to let you know some information about our activities in the first half of the year 2018.

> Read more

isofar grab it ws

More than 100 participants from 23 countries came together for 3 days (June 27-29, 2018) to present and discuss new results in order to move organic agricuture forward. The event was interdisciplinary, with different topics represented in all sessions and an interesting mix of social and natural scientists. A main headline was how agroecological principles and theory may be better utilised in developing certified organic food and farming. A follow-up workshop is planned in 2020.

The international workshop, «Agroecology and Organic Agriculture as a Response to Global Challenges», was arranged with beautiful Capri island as a venue, during June 27-29, 2018. With orange necklaces, the participants were easy to identify among the many tourists in the narrow streets of Anacapri village. Many young researchers were present, and a broad range of Italian universities were represented, demonstrating the important role of agroecology and organic agriculture in this country. The network of organically oriented researchers in Italy, GRAB-IT (Gruppo Ricerca Agricoltura Biologica), arranged the event in cooperation with the nearby University of Naples Federico II and the scientific association Centro di Portici which also endorsed by ISOFAR.

At the opening session, Prof. Dr. Gerold Rahmann (ISOFAR President) presented ISOFAR aims and missions to the participants and encoraged them to join the Society. Several dedicated and reputable international scientists participated as invited plenary speakers, such as Alexander Wezel (ISARA, Lyon, former president of the association Agroecology Europe), Erik Steen Jensen (SLU, Sweden), Ulrich Hamm (Witzenhausen University, Germany), Elena Mente (University of Thessaly, Greece). The current Agroecology Europe president, Paola Migliorini, who is also in the Board of GRAB-IT, was active during the whole workshop, contributed to explainmany interlinkages between these two fields of science. It was generally agreed that we should cooperate more closely in future.

A topic that created much interest was the session on circular economy, where several speakers warned against the risk that even if this way of designing activities may seem truly sustainable, the actual effect of transforming resource use to renewable instead of finite inputs may be an even harder exploitation of natural land, resources and and habitats, unless we concurrently reduce our activities significantly.

Long-term experiments were the topic for a Special Session, and positive results on soil C sequestration by reducing soil tillage and introducing cover crops were reported from various locations, ranging from Iowa (US) to Kazahstan. Part of the session was dedicated to the launching of the European Long Term Experiments Network. The special session was sponsored by the Italian Research Council for Agriculture and Economics (CREA) and the Italian Ministry of Agriculture (MiPAAF); at its end an invitation was launched to participate in an application for a COST action on networking of long-term experiments which will be endorsed by ISOFAR and Agroecology Europe. Marion Cassagrande (ITAB, France) is the contact person, and may be approached via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  

Appropriate attention was also given to consumer research, wine consumption which was the topic of another special session as well as organic aquaculture. An apero-poster session was organised so that the authors got a significant attention while socialising and getting to know other participants.

 

Some ISOFAR Board members made oral (Raffaele Zanoli, Stefano Canali, Anne- Kristin Loes and Victor Olowe) and poster (Khalid Azim) presentations at the workshop. The high point of the workshop was the selection and award of the papers of three best papers in which the paper of Anne- Kristin Loes was among them.

 

Selected papers from the event will be published in Organic Agriculture and other relevant journals.

The President of GRAB-IT (Prof. Raffaele Zanoli) annunced the next international workshop which will be held in Italy in 2020 (in Pollenzo near Turin, at the Università di Scienze Gastronomiche, the “Slow Food University”, just after the Terramadre/Slow Food exhibition in Turin) which jointly organised by GRAB-IT, RIRAB (the Italian network for organic food and farming research) and other associations and movemnts involved in agreocology and slow food concet promotion.


Author

Dr.Anne-Kristin   Loes,

ISOFAR Board Member, Senior Scientist at Norwegian Centre for Organic Agriculture

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Dear members and friends of ISOFAR,

I like to let you know some information about our activities in the first half of the year 2018. The board has met twice, one virtual, one vis-à-vis on Capri (before the GRAB-IT conference - the Italian conference of Organic Agriculture Researcher, which we supported). ISOFAR board members gave several oral and posters presentations. As president I was honored to give a keynote in the introduction of ISOFAR and our activities, to have more members and a clear agenda to be recognized as important network of scientists. The key message was, to work on challenges, not on regulation. That does mean, to have a clear commitment in the goals of Organic Agriculture, the understanding of future challenges of sustainable food security and safety, and the role to stimulate and initiate a science based discussion in the movement and the scientific community, as well as becoming a “Plan B” for politicians and stakeholders. We know, as scientists we are poor in resources, but rich in ideas and communication. We need more members throughout the world to become stronger as association.

The Capri board meeting was important to know each other better and to make a programme and agenda for our term till 2020: we like to make a special workshop 2019 in Morocco (in conjunction with an Organic Conference), to discuss the “how” we can help with Organic Agriculture to solve future challenges (the “why” was already published as result from a Korea workshop 2015). The results will be published as well in a special issue of Organic Agriculture in 2020 and the OWC. Together with representatives from Springer, our publisher, we have discussed the amendments in our Journal of Organic Agriculture, which we discussed and decided at our India workshop last November. The Journal is on a good track, 219 papers have already been published, the procedure of review is fine and in time. Springer is happy and we try to achieve the final step of recognizion in an application for ISI this year.

With ISOFAR support the German government has decided to launch a call for “knowledge centres for Organic Agriculture”. This is important, because the foreseen 4 centres shall disseminate the knowledge of Organic Agriculture to farmers and consumers, not only as certified products, but as sustainable and local adapted production measures with increasing output for small scale and poor farms. The topic and informations can be found on the webpage.

ISOFAR is represented in the IFOAM world board. The changed of the goals and strategy of IFOAM, confirmed at the General Assembly in Dehli 2017, is called Organic 3.0. ISOFAR has initiated and followed the discussions since 2011, at the OWC11 in Seoul. ISOFAR is committed to support this idea with scientific work.

I invite you all to make Organic Agriculture stronger with research, to work on future challenges of the food system and to be active member of ISOFAR.

gerold ny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Prof. Dr. Gerold Rahmann
President of ISOFAR

Linked to an international workshop on organic agriculture and agroecology, the ISOFAR world board met at Anacapri, Italy during June 25-26, 2018. 11 board members out of 13 were present to discuss the development of the society’s own journal, Organic Agriculture (Springer) and plan further actions.

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