ARGE Wassersparender Bio-Ackerbau

Climate-resilience by water-saving organic arable farming

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain
Climate protection and climate change

Disaggregation level
Business management
Risk management
Climate change adaptation
EIP European Innovation Partnership

Project region
Lower Austria

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period
2019-2022 (geplantes Projektende)

Project costs overall
477.567,14 €

EN - 16.02.1. Unterstützung bei der Entwicklung neuer Erzeugnisse, Verfahren & Technologien der Land-, Ernährungs- & Forstwirtschaft

Project initiator
ARGE Wassersparender Bio-Ackerbau

Short description

Agriculture is vehemently affected by climate change, the effects are clearly feasible already now. In order to be able to ensure a sustainable, future-oriented agriculture, appropriate adaptation strategies are required. These strategies should increase the water absorption and water storage capacities of soils, reduce the evaporation of water and protect the soil against extreme conditions. For this purpose, there exist already procedures, which have to be further developed, systematically analysed, and communicated to farms. Within the framework of this project the focus is as much on on-farm and on-stage trials as it is on the transfer of knowledge and results to agricultural practice.

Point of departure

The past few years have already brought about yield depressions in arable farming and crop production due to droughts and high temperatures. Climate scenarios show that it can be assumed that severe changes of the regional production conditions will take place in the course of the next decades, In dry regions and in the case of bad soil water storage conditions first and foremost summer crops e.g. summer cereals, maize, potatoes, and soy beans will be increasingly affected by water shortage and drought damage. For this reason, sustainable climate adaptation strategies are needed, which, ideally, do not only increase soil health, but also the water storage capacities of the soil. Systematic scientific studies of appropriate strategies (e.g. direct seed and transferred mulch systems) are not yet sufficiently available, but show a promising potential. Therefore, further studies and the targeted involvement of practitioners are needed in order to be able to develop practicable procedures which can be applied comprehensively.

Project implementation and measures

Important project steps are:
1. On-farm field trials on the effects of direct seed and transferred mulch systems on the soil-water-balance nutrient dynamism and yield development
2. Collection of scientifically sound data and demonstration of results of experiments as a comparison of tillage intensities and fertilisation systems (on-station)

Moreover, this project provides also insights into the effects on the individual farm in terms of business management and labour.