Erosion protection and saving of resources in organic maize farming
- Topic area
- Disaggregation level
- Environmental protection
- Climate change adaptation
- EIP European Innovation Partnership
- Project region
- Upper Austria
- LE– Programming Period
- LE 14–20
- Project period
- 2019-2022 (geplantes Projektende)
- Project costs overall
- EN - 16.01.1. Unterstützung beim Aufbau & Betrieb operationeller Gruppen der EIP für lw. Produktivität & Nachhaltigkeit
- Project initiator
- ARGE Biomaisanbau
Short descriptionCurrently agricultural enterprises are confronted with inacceptable soil losses, among other things this concerns also holdings which cultivate organic maize on sloping terrain. This development is particularly problematic, as maize has been gaining in significance as an important forage alternative in the course of the past few years as a result of the yield losses in grassland areas due to droughts and feeding damage by grubs. The project aims at demonstrating how maize can be cultivated in an erosion-reducing, erosion protecting way, and without herbicides, in particular on sloping terrain.
Point of departureMaize is grown almost all over the world, this is due to its multifarious advantages. It is not only a valuable crop, but also a high-quality source of feed (cattle, pigs, poultry) and provides, as a C4 plant, highest energy yields with low water consumption per hectare. Moreover, maize fits perfectly in crop rotation and maintains its quality also as silage maize almost constantly all over the year. It can be perfectly supplemented by (clover-) grass silage. However, maize cultivation can have negative effects in case of a suboptimal cultivation and damage the soil and the organisms living therein. This happens, for example in the case of unfavourable soil management and lacking erosion-reducing measures. Extreme weather conditions, such a severe rainfall, which have increased in the course of the past few years, contribute also to soil erosion. It is therefore indispensable to make a contribution to erosion protection. This project addresses organic maize cultivation on sloping terrain and aims at protecting the soil against erosion and at saving resources. Well-known cultivation measures are tested, and new cultivation measures are developed.
Project implementation and measuresImportant project steps are, among other things:
1. Identification of the status quo on the farms, e.g. basic data on areas and crop rotation, as well as use of machinery.
2. Development of experimental areas as well as monitoring and maintenance of the experimental areas
3. Preparation of a growing guide for farms outside the operational group