The cross visit under NEFERTITI project was organized from 02 to 4.07.2019 in Kassel, Germany. The cross visit was organized by two networks: Network 6 “Increasing productivity and quality in organic arable crops” and Network 7 “Improved nutrient use efficiency in horticulture” during the Organic Farming Days 2019.
At the meeting participated representatives from different countries (Germany, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Finland) – members of the two networks, and participants were advisers, farmers, researchers and researchers, representatives of regional / national authorities, experts from the European Commission.
The main reason for the excellent organization of the event is due to Mrs. Julia Huber (NATURLAND) and Mrs. Anne-Catherine Spiegel (BIOLAND) and of course to Mr. Michael Kugler, who has been all the time.
From Network 7 participated 12 cross-visitors. From Network 6 participated 14 participants.
The Organic Agriculture Days 2019 is being held for the second time in Grebenstein (Kassel area), in the Hessian State Domain, which is a research and experimental institute of the University of Kassel. This event is a unique combination of practices and research in organic farming and animal husbandry. It is the ideal platform for exhibiting innovation and discussing topics with policy and business representatives. The first days were spent in 2017 with great success. FiBL Projects GmbH is the organizer of the 2019 Organic Farming Days. Co-organizers are the Ministry of Agriculture of Hesse, the University of Kassel and the Frankenhausen Hesse and the Foundation for Ecology and Agriculture (SÖL).
On July 3, 2019, it was visited pilot fields during the 2019 Organic Farming Days. During these days, various farmers and institutes demonstrated innovative techniques and technologies in the production of the most environmentally friendly crops. The organization of these organic days was impressive – the huge number of farmers who came to see and learn something new, the organization of the program and the fields themselves, the considerable number of stands, a map describing each stand with the announced time of the range of the demonstration activities, the sounding of each a demonstration, different places for rest and food for the participants and guests, etc.
As part of the cross-visit, participants from Network 7 “Improved nutrient use efficiency in horticulture”, participated in specific demonstrations of technologies, practices and processes which improve plant nutrition. Innovative approaches were presented in this area, with the focus of the demonstration activities as follows:
– methods and techniques for composting;
– direct sowing with combined green manure;
Two composting machines have been demonstrated which contribute to its faster and efficient conversion into organic fertilizer. The capacity of the machines is tens of cubic meters per hour, which ensures the proper processing of large quantities of compost and from there the production of high quality organic fertilizer used in organic vegetable production. Accept time, the machines contribute to the homogeneous treatment of the entire compost, which increases the quality of the resulting organic fertilizer.
On the demonstration was presented a direct seedling machine for direct planting of vegetable seedlings. After the sideer (bean or mixture) is cut directly, the seedling of the respective vegetable crop is planted without plowing the side. The technology combines the protection of soil moisture, the better development of plants in the initial stages, the preservation of the soil structure, the reduction of processing costs.
During the morning visitors could build their own programme with flexibility so it could easily be adapted to each one interests.
The activities were quite commercially oriented. If the intention of the cross visit would have been to disseminate best practices, then the spirit was too commercial. Probably if the group would have been composed by German speaking visitors, we could have easily found the way to get direct information and learn from other growers and not only from exhibitors.