DOI: 10.12924/of2018.04010001 |Publication Date: 16 May 2018
Research into Practice—Promoting Participation, Perseverance and Publications
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|
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.
Keywords: organic agriculture, participatory research