March 13, 2018 | Author: David | Category: Organic Farming, Crop Rotation, Agriculture, Scandinavia, Manure
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Research in Arable Farming Systems in Europe Acquired and New Stakes - C. DAVID INTRODUCTION Recently, the development of organic farming has been made possible by livestock production (Baars, 1998). As a result, the most common organic farming system in Europe was based on a large share of fodder crops in rotation, in combination with animal production (Olesen et al, 1998). Nonetheless, the large demand on organic cereals (Sylvander, 1992), associated with both the development of organic production, thanks to their image of being environmentally friendly practices and the setting up of a public compensation payment system (Lampkin, 1996) create a favourable context to promote an arable farming system. Consequently, conversion to a specialized arable farming system is expected to increase. Arable farming systems (AFS) will be faced with technical problems such as nitrogen management (David, 1997) and weed control (Thomas et al, 1994), which affect economic viability. Therefore, there seems to be a need for further research, concepts and tools, to enhance conversion and develop a sustainable system. After a rapid description of arable farming systems in Europe, this introductive paper raises again a state-of-the-art in research on organic arable farming. Finally, the research methodologies will be discussed. DEVELOPMENT OF NEW ARABLE FARMING SYSTEMS Over the last ten years, the fast growing market for organic cereals has created a favourable situation for specialized arable farming systems. The earliest organic cereals have been produced by mixed farms. However, the use of imported fertilizers led to further intensification and specialization and induced development of arable farming systems. In order to respond to the large demand of organic cereals, arable farming systems were recently converted into organic farming systems. Nonetheless, this recent development was divided between country and region, because of climate conditions and agricultural context. Thus, four AFS could be identified. Table 1. Main characteristics of arable farming systems in Europe CROP PRODUCTION INTENSIFICATION NITROGEN


Input Use Mixed Farming Systems - 50% Leguminous, Fodder crops - 50% Cereals North, European Arable - 40% Cereals Farming Systems - 20% Potatoes, Sugar beet Mediterranean Arable - < 30% Annual Farming Systems leguminous - Cereals Large-scale Arable - 40% Cereals Farming Systems - 20% Potatoes, Sugar beet


% Green Manure or Nitrogen Input leguminous 40 - 50% No


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