Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Evidence for benefits and barriers within intercropping of cereals and legumes in European organic farming systems and database for management

A survey among 63 organic farmers in European countries (D, DK, F, I and UK) gave essential evidence on existing experience among organic farmers on intercropping. Intercropping is a valid system for stabilizing the performance of arable crops grown in organic farming in quantity and quality. Easier harvest and less lodging, high competitive ability towards weeds, less demand for fertilization and more stable yield was most frequently quoted benefits. Extra costs for separation if seeds if they are to be sold on the market and difficulties in weed harrowing were quoted as the most important barriers. Suitable species and cultivars for intercropping have to be selected. Technical problems like harvest losses and difficult seed purification can be solved. Farmers should be encouraged and supported to choose growing systems of higher complexity, biodiversity, and stability. The knowledge can be used by farmers, advicers and scientist to develop further intercropping within EU agriculture.

Reported by

Kassel University
Department of Organic Farming & Cropping, Nordbahnhofstr. 1a, D37213
37213 Witzenhausen
Follow us on: RSS Facebook Twitter YouTube Managed by the EU Publications Office Top