Norwegian - Czech research project focused on legume-cereal intercropping
"Utilizing legume-cereal intercropping to increase self-sufficiency with animal fodder and maintain soil quality on organic farms in the Czech Republic"
Project period: 1.12.2008 - 31.5.2010
Registration Number: A/CZ0046/1/0024
Financing: project is supported by the Financial Mechanisms of European Economic Area and Norway (FMs EEA/Norway) with a contribution from the Czech state budget intermediated by the National Training Fund
The legume-cereal intercropping (LCI) has a long agricultural tradition and has been used as a part of the crop rotation on arable land for decades. The ability of LCI to reduce weeds, enrich the soil with nitrogen, suppress and disrupt the spread of pests and disease as well as to improve plant health is of special interest on organic farms. However, the LCI technique is currently not in use in the CR, not even in organic arable farming systems. Further, it is evident that information how to improve the organic feed availability, especially with concentrates, are highly required. It is necessary to offer to Czech organic farmers an alternative to lack of organic cereals and risky and expensive imports (GM- soya).
The LCI could be a solution, but it is necessary to examine the currently available varieties of cereals and legumes, the optimum ratios of cereal to legume seed for planting, and to test how to cope with the current weed levels by the mechanical treatments used in OF. The feed value as well as the economics of the LCI is also required to study for the situation of today.
This project will utilize former research results of Agritec and Bioforsk Organic, and expand this information with new knowledge achieved by a combination of field experiments and on-farm research. This will ensure an efficient transfer of the results into practice.