ISSN: 2297-6485 doi: 10.12924/librello.OF

Organic Farming (OF; ISSN 2297-6485) is a new open access academic journal that publishes articles on advances and innovations in organic agriculture and food production to provide scholars and other groups with relevant and highly topical research in the field.

Organic Farming welcomes contributions in diverse areas related to organic farming and food production, such as soil and plant management, crop breeding, regulation of pests and diseases, protection of soil, water, biodiversity and other resources, livestock health and management, marketing and acceptance of organic products, food quality and processing, policies and regulations.

The articles of Organic Farming will be immediately accessible upon publication and we aim at making this journal a valuable venue for the communication among scientists, but also between researchers, producers, policy makers, traders and consumers of organic products.

Topics covered by this journal include, but are not limited to: agroforestry systems; biodiversity; biological pest and disease control; certification and regulation; compost and manure management; consumer research; crop rotations; ecosystem services; food processing; food quality and safety; green manures; nutrient cycling and run-off; organic energy production; organic farming for food security; plant breeding and genetics; poverty eradication and human development; regulation and policies; resilience and transformations; social acceptance and marketing; soil and water protection; sustainability and ethics of livestock production; sustainable agriculture; tillage and no-till organic farming systems; veterinary aspects of organic livestock production; weed ecology and management; and related topics.

Organic Farming will specially welcome original interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary contributions.


Latest publications

doi: 10.12924/of2018.04010007 | Volume 4 (2018) | Issue 1
Stefano Orsini 1, * , Susanne Padel 1 and Nic Lampkin 1
1 The Organic Research Centre, Elm Farm, Berkshire, UK
* Corresponding author
Views 700
PDF 482
HTML 154
Publication Date: 22 June 2018
Abstract: Organic farming is frequently associated with claims of more labour requirements than conventional. However, there is a fragmented knowledge about labour use on organic farms in terms of workload, nature and quality of employment provided. In the context of a growing organic demand and a need for more farmers to convert to reach policy targets set by many EU governments, it seems crucial to understand labour trends on organic farms and to what extent labour requirements may hinder the adoption of the organic methods. This paper presents a review of mainly European literature published since 2000. Studies presenting results by farm type usually indicate higher labour use per hectare on organic than conventional arable farms, whereas similar or lower labour use is reported on organic livestock farms, and the results are mixed for other farm types. We have identified in the existing literature two broad dimensions directly related with labour use, which need to be considered in comparative studies, namely farm structure (including farm type, but also farm size and diversification activities), and technical efficiency. These two broad dimensions give us insights into some more specific factors affecting labour use, and how labour is related with productivity and technical efficiency. Overall it appears that claims that labour requirements represent a concrete obstacle to the adoption of the organic methods need to be treated with caution, and more research is needed to understand the role of labour in farmers’ decision to convert to organic farming. The review of the nature and quality of employment indicates positive health effects related to higher satisfaction and lower exposure to pesticides in organic agriculture as the most important advantages for farm workers. Overall, there is limited research on whether the organic sector provides better opportunities in terms of job prospects, wages and employment of women.


doi: 10.12924/of2018.04010003 | Volume 4 (2018) | Issue 1
Patrice A. Marchand
Institut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique (ITAB), Paris, France
Views 439
PDF 459
HTML 132
Publication Date: 17 May 2018
Abstract:

So called ’active substances’ (A.S.) which are allowed in Organic Production are regularly criticized for different reasons. Previously, although permitted in Organic Farming some substances were not approved under EU general plant protection products (PPP) regulation; therefore they were removed for their toxicity or exhibited characteristics (persistence, broad spectrum). Recent approbations under different new Articles of the EC regulation 1107/2009, gave rise to substances granted without maximum residue limits (MRL). We previously described approved basic substance (Art. 23) as potential candidates for organic farming; here we describe low risk substances (Art. 22) as new implements for substitution of controversial organic biopesticides and consequently as candidates for substitution (Art. 24).


doi: 10.12924/of2018.04010001 | Volume 4 (2018) | Issue 1
Thomas Felix Döring 1, 2
1 Editor-in-Chief of Organic Farming, Librello, Basel, Switzerland
2 Agroecology and Organic Farming Group, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Views 402
PDF 413
HTML 182
Publication Date: 16 May 2018
Abstract: This year, organic farmers, advisors and researchers in the West of Germany celebrate the 25th anniversary of the foundation of an organic research and demonstration network. Established to support and improve organic farming systems, the network is funded by the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia and is organized around 30 participating pilot farms called Leitbetriebe (‘leading farms’), with support from the university of Bonn and the Chamber of Agriculture For each of the practice-oriented research topics covered in this network, the typical five-year cycle of research involves a first year of experimental exploration and literature studies. The farmers participating in the pilot farm project discuss and select the topics of priority and review the research plans proposed by the scientists. This is followed by three years of systematic replicated field trials on several farms, and a final year of demonstration and evaluation, where the presentation of results is jointly done by farmers and researchers.

doi: 10.12924/of2017.03010066 | Volume 3 (2017) | Issue 1
Stefan Kuehne 1, * , Dietmar Roßberg 1 , Peter Röhrig 2 , Friedhelm von Mehring 2 , Florian Weihrauch 3 , Sonja Kanthak 4 , Jutta Kienzle 5 , Wolfgang Patzwahl 6 , Eckhardt Reiners 7 and Julia Gitzel 1
1 Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI), Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Kleinmachnow, Germany
2 Bund̈ Ökologische Lebensmittelwirtschaft e.V. (BÖLW), Berlin, Germany
3 Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft (LfL), Institut für Pflanzenbau und Pflanzenzüchtung (IPZ), Hopfenforschungszentrum , Wolnzach, Germany
4 Bundesverband Ökologischer Weinbau, ECOVIN, Oppenheim, Germany
5 Fördergemeinschaft Ökologischer Obstbau e.V. (FÖKO), Weinsberg, Germany
6 Naturland Fachberatung Wein- und Obstbau, Sulzfeld am Main, Germany
7 Bioland Bundesverband, Mainz, Germany
* Corresponding author
Views 1046
PDF 967
HTML 650
Publication Date: 21 December 2017
Abstract:

Copper pesticides used to control fungal and bacterial diseases such as grapes downy mildew (Plasmopara viticola), downy mildew of hops (Pseudoperonospora humili), apple scab (Venturia spp.), fireblight (Erwinia amylovora) and potato late blight (Phytophthora infestans), play an important role in plant protection. In a 2013 survey of copper application in Germany we found, that while the amounts of copper used per hectare in conventional grape (0.8 kg ha−1), hop (1.7 kg ha−1) and potato-farming (0.8 kg ha−1) were well below those used in organic farming (2.3, 2.6 and 1.4 kg ha−1, respectively), they were nearly identical to those used in apple growing (1.4 kg ha−1). Due to the smaller farming area, only 24% (26.5 tonnes) of the total amount of copper was applied in organic farming compared to 76% (84.8 tonnes) in conventional farming. Since 2001, the Federal Agency for Agriculture and Food (BLE) promoted a copper research and minimization strategy which was funded with a total of C10.2 million. Our status quo analysis of research in this field shows that some progress is being made concerning alternative compounds, resistant varieties and decision support systems. However, it also shows that new approaches are not yet able to replace copper pesticides completely, especially in organic farming. In integrated pest management, copper preparations are important for the necessary active substance rotation and successful resistance management. The availability of such products is often essential for organic grapes, hops and fruit production and for extending the organic farming of these crops. We conclude that the complete elimination of copper pesticides is not yet practicable in organic farming as the production of several organic crops would become unprofitable and may lead to organic farmers reverting to conventional production. Several existing copper reduction strategies were, however, identified, and some, like modified forecast models adapted to organic farming, varieties more resistant to fungal diseases and new alternative products, already contribute to copper minimization in German agriculture.


doi: 10.12924/of2017.03010051 | Volume 3 (2017) | Issue 1
Thomas F. Döring 1, 2, * , Jonathan Storkey 3 , John A. Baddeley 4 , Rosemary P. Collins 5 , Oliver Crowley 1, 6 , Sally A. Howlett 1 , Hannah E. Jones 6 , Heather McCalman 5 , Mark Measures 1, 7 , Helen Pearce 1 , Stephen Roderick 8 , Christine A. Watson 4 and Martin S. Wolfe 1
1 The Organic Research Centre - Elm Farm, Newbury, UK
2 Faculty of Agriculture, University of Bonn, Germany
3 Rothamsted Research, AgroEcology Department, Harpenden, UK
4 Crop & Soil Systems Research Group, Scotland's Rural College, Aberdeen, UK
5 Institute of Biological, Environmental & Rural Sciences, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, UK
6 School of Agriculture, Policy and Development, University of Reading, Reading, UK
7 Institute of Organic Training and Advice, Cow Hall, Newcastle, UK
8 Duchy College, Rosewarne, UK
* Corresponding author
Views 936
PDF 1006
HTML 625
Publication Date: 1 December 2017
Abstract: Legume-based leys (perennial sod crops) are an important component of fertility management in organic rotations in many parts of Europe. Despite their importance, however, relatively little is known about how these leys affect weed communities or how the specific composition of leys may contribute to weed management. To determine whether the choice of plant species in the ley affects weeds, we conducted replicated field trials at six locations in the UK over 24 months, measuring weed cover and biomass in plots sown with monocultures of 12 legume and 4 grass species, and in plots sown with a mixture of 10 legume species and 4 grass species. Additionally, we monitored weed communities in leys on 21 organic farms across the UK either sown with a mixture of the project species or the farmers’ own species mix. In total, 63 weed species were found on the farms, with the annuals Stellaria media, Sonchus arvensis, and Veronica persica being the most frequent species in the first year after establishment of the ley, while Stellaria media and the two perennials Ranunculus repens and Taraxacum officinale dominated the weed spectrum in the second year. Our study shows that organic leys constitute an important element of farm biodiversity. In both replicated and on-farm trials, weed cover and species richness were significantly lower in the second year than in the first, owing to lower presence of annual weeds in year two. In monocultures, meadow pea (Lathyrus pratensis) was a poor competitor against weeds, and a significant increase in the proportion of weed biomass was observed over time, due to poor recovery of meadow pea after mowing. For red clover (Trifolium pratense), we observed the lowest proportion of weed biomass in total biomass among the tested legume species. Crop biomass and weed biomass were negatively correlated across species. Residuals from the linear regression between crop biomass and weed biomass indicated that at similar levels of crop biomass, grasses had lower weed levels than legumes. We conclude that choice of crop species is an important tool for weed management in leys.


View more publications...



ISSN: 2297-6485
2012 - 2018 Librello, Switzerland.