Research / Projects
Bioinstitut is currently engaged in the following projects
The main theme of our current projects is conservation agriculture in relation to preserving nature and the landscape in addition to the creation of a procedure for farm plans and proposals for modifying the system of distributing financial support in agriculture. At the same time, there are projects which are being carried out directly via agricultural practice.
Optimizing Agricultural and River
Landscapes in CZ with Emphasis
on the Development of Biodiversity
Registration no.: 2B06101
Implementation period: VII. 2006 – VI. 2011
Funding: Part of research project 2B06101 – National Research Program II. (Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports)
Primary project organizer: Palacký University Olomouc
Co-participants: the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, the Czech Agricultural University in Prague, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry, the Research Institute for Fodder Crops, the Potato Research Institute, OSEVA – Research Station
One of our organization‘s objectives within this research project is to create and verify a procedure for environmental conservation management plans for agricultural enterprises in the landscape. The project is thematically connected to the Organic Farmers for Nature project where we transfer the results of research directly into practice on the agricultural enterprise. The main goal for the year 2008 was to verify in practice the working version of the “Procedure for Mapping an Agricultural Enterprise, ” which serves as the basis for creating conservation management plans. During the course of the vegetation period for 2008, more enterprises – covering various production areas, of various sizes and management structures (plant production only, livestock production, or mixed farms) – were mapped. Within the project, a collective of authors produced a methodical handbook: Non-forest Woody Vegetation – Design, Planting, and Maintenance. When designing farm plans, the planting of non-forest woody vegetation is one of the most frequently proposed measures.
Optimizing Organic Agriculture and Selected Agri-environmental Measures with Emphasis on Nature and Landscape Conservation
Registration no.: SP/2d3/155/08
Implementation period: VII. 2008 – XII. 2010
Funding: Research and Development, Ministry of the Environment
Primary project participant: Bioinstitut, o. p. s.
Co-participants: Palacký University Olomouc; the Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation Praha Zbraslav, the Institute of Agricultural Economics and Information – Brno. During work on this project, individual organizations focus on methods of organic agricultural land management and the implementation of selected agri-environmental measures and then monitor their infl uences and impact on ecosystems.
A range of international literature illustrates the positive eff ects of organic agriculture on the environment. The situation in the Czech Republic, which underwent socialist change in the post-war period with the consolidation of individual plots of land and the elimination of a large percentage of stabilizing elements from the landscape, often does not indicate this despite implemented agri-environmental measures. The goal of the project is proposals for optimizing the organic method of farming and selected agri-environmental measures benefi cial to conserving nature and the landscape. At the same time, there is the assumption that even organic farmers will profit from these measures, because only demonstrable effects on the environment will be supported in the future within the Common Agricultural Policy. The results of the analysis will be applicable even within conventional agriculture; they will be especially appropriate for protected land areas.
The Use of Legume-Cereal Intercropping for Increased Self-suffi ciency in Fodder and Maintenance of Soil Quality on Organic Farms in the Czech Republic
Registration no.: A/CZ0046/1/0024
Implementation period: XII. 2008 – V. 2010
Funding: The project is supported by the EHP and Norway Financial Mechanisms and by the Czech State budget via the Research Support Fund
Co-participants: Agritec, s.r.o, Mendel University of Agriculture and Forestry
Brno, Bioforsk Organic (Norway)
Legume-cereal intercropping (LCI) has long been a part of traditional agriculture (even before the introduction of intensive, large-scale agriculture) and has been used as a part of crop rotation on arable land. Its eff ects on soil improvement and high-quality grain production (legume and cereal) is historically well-known. On the other hand, this technique is currently not widely used. There is an evident flack of findings for improving the OF animal fodder base in CZ which are of practival use and verified by experiments. It is necessary to offer Czech organic farming alternative for insufficient cereal production as well as high-risk and expensive imports (GMO soy). The solution could be LCI, which does not suffer from disease and pests, easily maintains a weed-free state, and, thanks to the presence of legumes, also enriches the crop rotation with nitrogen (fixing air-borne nitrogen into the soil). It is necessary to reestablish possible LCI components with respect to the conditions of organic farming and with respect to new varieties, potential weed levels, the mechanical treatments used in organic farming, cultivation economics, and, primarily, nutritional feed value.
Education and Information
Bioinstitut supports the creation of information points
on farms that are open to visitors. In this way, it is
gradually creating a network of model farms, often of
those fulfilling above-standard requirements for nature
and landscape conservation or processing and selling organic produce
directly on the farms.
The aim is to provide information about the relationship between conservation management in the landscape and both species diversity and landscape character – and, furthermore, to inform about the options for processing organic produce on the farm combined with direct ”farmyard” sale or local store sale, e.g. health food stores.
We organize trips to selected farms in combination with seminars intended for both the public and for parties newly interested in an organic method of farming and as well as for workers from state agencies dealing with agriculture, high school and university students and consumers with a relationship to nature and the method of food production. These activities are carried out thanks to two education and information oriented projects.
Organic Agriculture and Processing Organic Food (EZZB)
Implementation period: IX. 2008 – XII. 2010
Funding: a public commission of the Ministry of Agriculture
The organizer of the public commission is the PRO-BIO Association of Organic Farmers with its branches and regional centres in cooperation with Bioinstitut, o.p.s. and the Association of Organic Farming Consultants in CZ – EPOS.
The organizer of the public commission is the PRO-BIO
Association of Organic Farmers with its branches and
regional centres in cooperation with Bioinstitut, o. p. s.
and EPOS – the Association of Organic Farming Consultants
in the Czech Republic.
The aim of the project is to ensure sufficient information for successful and competitive organic farming management, to increase public awareness of its benefits and advantages and thus contribute to its general development in the Czech Republic. Within the scope of meeting orders, in 2009 we elaborated method of processing meat and milk on the farm, and through seminars connected with practical demonstrations of processing we offered them to organic farmers. We provide grants to model farms for the establishment of information points; we distribute information and educational material and hold seminars for farmers, state administration and the public.
Organic Farmers for Nature. Model Organic Farms as an Example for Preserving Nature and the Landscape on the Level of the Agricultural Enterprise
Implementation period: VII. 2008 – VI. 2010
Funding: Supported by a grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway within the EEA and Norway Financial Mechanisms through the Civil Society Development Foundation, the Ministry of Agriculture for CZ, and Liechtenstein‘s Sonnenwiese Foundation via FiBL.
We are gradually equipping farms with exterior information
boards, brochures, and other informational materials. Thanks to the informational support that we provide for the
farms, visitors can learn how to recognize the fundamentals of
farming in accordance with nature or how organic products
Work with members of the "Organic Farmers for Nature" network involves visits to the farms, individual advisory services, contact via telephone or e-mail, and consultation. On-site advisory services aim to increase the influence of management on farms with species diversity. This is then followed by advice on the options for utilizing agricultural grants as well as the Ministry of the Environment‘s financial resources. In this respect, data is gathered for the compilation of farm plans, and measures are proposed (e.g., strategic plantings in the open landscape).
The basic significance of these activities lies in motivating and supporting the interest of organic farmers in attending to both agricultural and non-agricultural land; in this way, the organic farm is perceived as an interconnected whole in which measures can be used to support nature as well as for agriculture alone – planting windbreaks, hedgerows, etc. serves as protection against water and wind erosion; planting groups of trees and bushes as well as solitary trees ensures the welfare of animals (providing shade); sowing and planting specific types of plants supports functional biodiversity – the beginning of beneficial relationships between organisms of agricultural and non-agricultural areas (pest
– predator) is a utilized form of biological plant protection.
To support education, the transfer of information from research to practice, and the mutual exchange of experience, we organize seminars and excursions for farmers, advisors, state agency workers, schools, and the public.
Another way of ensuring informational and professional support for the OF sector is the creation of practical handbooks aimed either directly at primary production or at processing organic produce. We have published brochures on farm-based slaughtering and processing of meat, farm-based processing of milk and milk products and farm-based herbs cultivation in OF. The goal of creating handbooks is to support the development of farm-based production and processing, i.e., developing the domestic production of organic products and the regional organic market.
Organic Farmers for Nature – Wildlife-Friendly Organic Production
A Joint Project of FiBL Switzerland, FiBL Austria and Bioinstitut Czech Republic
PROJECT REPORT 2006-2009