Biokompetenzzentrum Schlägl

ARGE Biomaisanbau

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 description

Currently 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 departure

Maize 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 measures

Important 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

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