In Brandenburg and Berlin, demand for organically grown vegetables is increasing. High water consumption and nutrient requirements with a short cultivation period and tightening climatic conditions are challenges that vegetable farms in the region have to face. Maintaining and improving soil fertility on very heterogeneous but predominantly sandy sites in Brandenburg require costly measures with limited budgets and personnel capacities. Therefore, targeted innovations are necessary to improve the economic situation of farms and to contribute to environmental protection at the same time.
The investigated method of conservation tillage represents an innovative approach by pulling only the strips for the planting rows in a mulched catch crop or an existing undersown crop (strip-till) without tilling the soil. The method is to be transferred from arable farming to organic vegetable production in northeastern Germany. With field and exact trials on the production areas of the three participating farms and the IGZ, suitable combinations between vegetable crops (e.g. white cabbage, celery and leek) and undersown crops (green rye and earth clover) are to be determined within three years. In addition, the method for strip tillage and planting will be evaluated under practical conditions for organic vegetable production. In addition to the effects on soil moisture, weed pressure and soil fertility, the economic efficiency of the procedure will also be investigated.
There may be an improvement for organic horticulture in Brandenburg in terms of climate adaptation and resilience.
Further information and the current project status can also be found on the project’s blog (in German).
The project is funded within the framework of the EIP-Agri: