Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands


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Description

The management of two separate management systems: an organic and an integrated farming system are described to provide an interdisciplinary approach Changes of matter fluxes in soils, changes of trace gas fluxes from soils, precision farming in a small scale heterogen landscape, influence of management changes on flora and fauna, as well as the development of agroecosystem models, the assessment of soil variability and the changes in nutrient status are important aspects of this book. Purchase the book.

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1st Edition

Pfadenhauer and J. The second dose of 0. It should retard the main shoot and induce a uniform development of side shoots. The grain moisture content at harvest was always below Between and , wheat yielded When we ignore the low yield in , which was caused by the special long summer drought, the yield trend throughout the test period was rising. Besides enriched experience and knowledge on farm management, a certain adjustment of the site to non-ploughing soil-conserving tillage may also have attributed to this trend.

In the integrated system as well, wheat was sown after two different pre-crops, potatoes and maize.

Agroecosystem Analysis (AESA)

Extreme levels in the crop rotation were recorded after maize. The reasons for the superiority of potatoes as precrop might be the good aeration and mixing of the soil during the tuber harvest despite rather soil-conserving seedbed preparation. Deficiencies of maize are the increased production of high-C root and plant residues, less soil aeration by and after harvest and a higher pressure of fungi on the subsequent wheat population. As cover material or after shallow incorporation, it helped reduce erosion and offered food for earthworms, thus contributing to a favourable soil structure.

Despite these measures, straw manuring could not compensate the humus balance.


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Soil preparation before mustard sowing as pre-crop 1. Maize Main targets of maize cultivation were high mass and energy yield for bull feeding. In some years, silage maize was substituted by grain maize for experimental reasons. Then, the main target was maximum grain yields.

Secondary target was soil and groundwater conservation. Maize as row crop in the Tertiary Hills with slopy fields and partially high percentage of silt in the soils involved a high risk of erosion. Above this, necessary herbicide applications in the early growth stages represented a serious danger of xenobiotics input into surface water and groundwater. After this, the mustard stand was established whose main purpose was to protect the soil: root development in autumn, ground coverage and protection against erosion under maize in spring.

Maize was sown into the frost-killed intercrop without additional soil preparation using a slotted precision drill for example, from F. Becker, Kleine. The frosted mustard plants formed the upper layer, below which residues of the wheat straw from the preceding year were present. The target could not be reached in all years because the mustard plants had not always reached the required length in autumn. The seed material had been dressed with Thiram and Mesurol against frit fly 34 H.

The fact that the crop rotation included two wheat links made resistance to Fusarium a further important criterion in the variety selection. Our approach was based on the assumption that maize removes from the soil about — kg N and 50—60 kg P. In the following spring, about kg N was given as mineral fertiliser. There were also years when no liquid manure was given to the pre-crop at all. In such cases, liquid manure was spread in maize up to a plant height of 60 cm using a high-clearance tractor. Under the normally growing mustard pre-crop, shatter grain and unsown weeds emerged, which made it necessary to apply a total herbicide in spring.

The general goal was to keep the populations free of weeds from the 3-leaf to the leaf stage. Mechanical measures were not used. Control measures against fungus attack and insects were not necessary.

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Harvesting took place with self-driven choppers which blow the chopped material to accompanying trailers. The resulting soil compaction had to be considered in soil preparation for wheat. Initially, it was planned to grow silage maize for bull fattening. Because of the fact that these bulls were not kept in the regarded farm, in some years different reasons led to the change in the production target in favour of grain maize experiments, production technique.

It becomes evident that the yields of silage maize varied much more than the grain yields; nevertheless, the former were clearly rising throughout the regarded period, which, similar to the situation in cereal growing, can be explained by the adaptation of the site to improved agronomic aspects. Potatoes Main targets of potato cultivation were high sales revenues from high yields and seed production. Varieties were selected according to demand. The local conditions for potato growing are difficult in Scheyern because of the very high erodibility on the slopy areas. On some fields, clay levels are far too high for potatoes.

Therefore, the guiding principle in all activities was consequent soil conservation. The risk of potato cropping in slopy regions is erosion. Planting potatoes parallel to the slope may reduce erosion at the beginning.

In case of strong rainfall, however, ridges may break and favour gully erosion. Therefore, the cultivation technology was aimed at building the ridges as stable as possible and thus to clearly reduce the risk of erosion. To reach the above-described target, ridging was 1. After a phase of optimisation, the set task was implemented on the basis of the following scheme. Tillage and ridging were performed with a ridge-forming cultivator developed in Scheyern which loosens the soil to a depth of 22 cm in the first operation; then large-size discs throw up the dams which are shaped by special dam-shaping blades.

In a second step, mustard seeds were distributed over the ridges by a sowing equipment attached on the ridging cultivator. The cultivator tines moving over the ridge were turned upward, and the space between the dams was loosened a second time. Initially, the green mustard plants favoured the protection of the dams in autumn and early winter; they supported aggregate formation by the roots and then the uptake of nitrate for the purpose of no groundwater contamination.

After mustard had been killed by frost, the plant residues served as protection against erosion. Risks of this approach were partially non-uniform emergence of the mustard seedlings and germination of shatter grain. Under favourable weather conditions in autumn, crops might reach a height of cm; the plants were killed by freezing not later than in December. The seed potatoes were planted with a fully automatic potato planter with a special tandem control which had been adjusted to this purpose. Because of the preformed ridges, higher ground clearance was necessary. Before the drop tube, a disc coulter had to be attached to cut off plant residues and to open the dam.

Other than on a usual potato planter, the covering discs had to have a larger diameter because of the pre-shaped ridges. It was important to not destroy the dam bottom which had formed a rather stable connection with the remaining soil on the surface; thus, the risk of erosion was lowered, particularly, the danger of dam ruptures Gerl and Kainz, c, ; Kainz et al. After planting the tubers, the ridges were interspersed with coarse, but high-porous lumps.

When the potatoes broke through, ridging was performed with a roller hoe. Much higher coverage was left by the overwintering cover crop bird rape because it developed much more and heavily lignified biomass which as well was degraded not before April. Higher coverage rates partially shielded the soil off and prevented a reliable effect of soil-applied preparations.

In such cases, foliar treatment post emergence was used for example, Metribuzin and Rimsulfuron. The decisive fungal pests in potato growing were P. The control of P. As first step systemic pesticides were applied for example, Metalaxyl-M , followed by 36 H. Attention was paid to a reliable effectiveness against A. The leaves of food potatoes were mulched by mid-September. For maturing, the tubers remained in the soil for another 3 weeks. Desiccation was executed as early as possible to exclude virus infections of the tubers. The interaction of the different farm sections — plant production with the differentiated crop rotation, grassland and livestock — is of utmost importance for the success of the organic farming system.

Cycles of matter and nutrients could be arranged in a way resulting in a sufficient N supply to the arable crops and good yields from livestock and fields.

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Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management

Inside the integrated farming system, the nitrogen supply can be assured by import of mineral fertiliser, so nitrogen fixation by legumes was not necessary and the feeding of the livestock could built upon maize. For this reason the methods of soil conservation — non-turning tillage, direct seeding — became more important. The achievement of objectives in the two farming systems can be followed by different parameters.

The food for livestock in the organic farming system was provided by grassland and the fodder legumes as a part of the crop rotation. The yield level of these legumes and the grassland were 1. After the change from lupin to a second field of lucerneclover-grass, the fodder volume increased and the livestock could be increased also.

For this reason a higher amount of manure was available for the crops. The potatoes benefited from this in a specific way. In the same period we achieved a trend of increasing yields of 7. For the sunflowers the goals could not be reached completely.

Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management: : Peter Schröder :

One of the reasons was the immigration of the slug pest Arion lusitanicus, which damaged plants in the early growing stage in some years. Within the integrated farming system, the potatoes, winter wheat and corn yielded on a regional typically level or in some years also a little higher. During the year period, all crops showed a positive trend of the yields. The main reasons for this success have been the cultivation techniques and the advancements in plant breeding. It is remarkable that these results could be achieved at a very high level of soil conservation.

The different measures like not-turning tillage, direct seeding and cover plants reduced the soil erosion significantly Fiener and Auerswald, ; Huber et al.

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The leaching of nitrate and pesticides could be decreased, too. The results of the two farming systems at the research station in Scheyern have shown that the goals verbalised at the beginning of the project could be achieved. The yields reached the region typical level or even better, and at the same time, the environmental achievement was improved significantly.

Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands
Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands
Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands
Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands
Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands Perspectives for Agroecosystem Management:: Balancing Environmental and Socio-economic Demands

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