CASE STUDY 1: Hidinge Farm, Sweden.
Keywords: Odling i Balans, Integrated farm management, Integrated nutrient management, IFM, Environmental audit, Agricultural sustainability, Environmental indicators.
The aims of the integrated crop management initiative in Sweden ‘Odling i Balans’ (OiB) are to minimise any environmental impact of crop cultivation, to produce high quality agricultural products and to develop a resource-efficient agriculture while at the same time ensuring economically viable farming. An additional objective of the organisation is to demonstrate and learn, by way of work carried out on 17 reference farms, that these objectives are attainable. This presentation will particularly describe plant nutrient use efficiency for the Hidinge Farm. A very important feature of OiB is that the reference farms form a bridge between research and development, and practice and application.
Activities carried out have a clear information profile and should not be associated with any form of labelling or marketing concept. OiB’s corresponding organisation in the UK is LEAF. Both OiB and LEAF started their activities in 1992. In the presentation I will, as a representative of the pilot farms, describe and discuss possible differences but also demonstrate some common set of values in OiB’s concept for sustainable crop production.
Measures that are taken to enhance production methodologies of conventional agriculture will have considerably more effect than the introduction of measures involving either a restricted area or a specific branch of production. It is important to work with the majority of farmers. OiB produces checklists and provides suggestions for improvements, as well as developing models for calculating environmental indicators which can be used together with information and advisory services.
Key indicators about nutrient efficiency are widely used. Key environmental indicators are used more and more to describe the conditions within crop production both in concern to efficiency, sustainability and direct environmental effect. By calculating environmental indicators over a number of years is it possible to show the results and trends for the actions taken.
OiB’s internet home-page contains information regarding reports from the pilot farms together with a presentation of results from different projects (OiB, 2005).
HÃƒÂ¥kan Wahlstedt, Hidinge gÃƒÂ¥rd, S-716 92 Fjugesta, Sweden.
Lars Törner, Odling i Balans, S-260 30 VallÃƒÂ¥kra, Sweden.
CASE STUDY 2: Thorney Abbey Farm, UK.
Keywords: Dairy farming, Organic manures, Integrated management,
Red clover, Green water, Environment.
Integrated management plays an important role at Thorney Abbey Farm. The philosophy extends throughout the farming system and can be illustrated by the approach to cropping and plant nutrition.
With the introduction of Nitrate Vulnerable Zones, many farmers are taking greater care to avoid polluting with organic manures but few quantify the value of these sources of plant nutrients.
Sue and Andy Guy recognise that they have not fully mastered the use of the organic manures and ‘green water’ available to them on the farm but they are improving the efficiency with which they utilise them year on year.
The Guys believe that 21st century farming must respect the views of the consumer and the retailer as well as satisfying the needs of the producer for profit and job satisfaction. These requirements include the need for profit, environmental protection and enhancement, animal welfare and leisure access to the countryside.
In 2005, the financial benefit to the farm, derived from home produced organic manures and ‘green water’ and from legume-fixed nitrogen was calculated to be £3,935, or £53.18 per productive hectare. In addition to the financial benefits of integrated farm and crop management, there were further unquantifiable benefits to the business.
The three pillars of integrated management on the farm – commercial benefit, environmental benefit and social benefit – are being successfully measured and are actively managed.
Andy Guy, Thorney Abbey Farm, Oxton Road, Southwell, Nottingham, NG25 0QZ, UK.
CASE STUDY 3: JSR FARMS LTD., UK
Keywords: Integrated farm management, Pig manure, Precision farming, IFM, VRT, Fertiliser recommendations, Sustainable farming.
For many years JSR has striven to adopt a scientific basis for the utilisation of the manure and slurry produced from its in-house pig units, with these materials being applied across the arable farming enterprise. Often thought of by the farming industry as waste products, this paper demonstrates that, far from being a waste, the manure and slurry is a very valuable fertiliser asset if collected, stored and applied at the optimum time of year to growing crops.
Detail is provided as to the application process and timings, but more importantly to the measurement of both total and available nutrients (nitrogen, phosphate and potash) using on-farm assessment techniques for accuracy, in addition to standard published guideline figures. The financial aspects in terms of fertiliser savings are quantified by worked examples.
Present and future legislation as well as the wider environmental aspects are considered, an area in which JSR has much experience, being a LEAF demonstration farm.
The use of precision farming techniques and variable rate technology has assisted the integrated nutrient management approach, by allowing correction and balance of both base fertiliser and/or nitrogen applications.
Philip Huxtable, JSR Farms Ltd, Southburn Offices, Driffield, E Yorkshire YO25 9ED, UK.
56 pages, 15 figures, 11 tables, 4 references.