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    Seit 25 Jahren Biozahlen aus aller Welt

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    Im Jahr 2000 erschien zum erstmals das Statistikjahrbuch „The World of Organic Agriculture“. Ebenso lange werden die Zahlen dieses Gemeinschaftswerks auf der Leitmesse Biofach vorgestellt. Helga Willer berichtet, wie alles begann und wie sich die Datensammlung seither entwickelt hat

    Insecticide contamination in organic agriculture: Evidence from a long-term farming systems comparison trial

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    Synthetic pesticides applied in conventional agriculture to control pests tend to compromise ecosystem services, and their residues may contaminate organic agriculture. To understand the significance of this contamination, also in small-scale farming systems in sub-Saharan Africa, quantitative data is required. Therefore, we compared synthetic insecticide and botanical/biopesticide residues in conventional and organic agricultural production systems after nine years of continuous cultivation of a maize-based crop rotation system at two sites in Kenya. Our results show high detectable concentrations of synthetic insecticide residues (imidacloprid, acetamiprid, chlorpyrifos, and chlorantraniliprole) in conventional plant produce and soil. Furthermore, the organophosphate chlorpyrifos was detected at concentrations above European Union Maximum Residue Limits (MRL) for plant produce, indicating potential risks for human health. Additionally, we detected imidacloprid, acetamiprid, chlorpyrifos, and chlorantraniliprole concentrations in the soil, indicating potential environmental harm. No residues of biopesticide/botanicals were detected in any of the production systems. However, we detected imidacloprid and chlorantraniliprole in organic plots. The findings indicate that the MRLs can be crossed even if synthetic insecticides are applied according to or below the recommended rates on the conventional plots. Thus, synthetic insecticides potentially risk human health and the environment, while botanicals and bio-pesticides represent a safe alternative

    Environmental impact of Danish organic tomatoes grown in greenhouses: quantifying the reduction potential from changes in energy supply towards 2030

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    The demand for organic food products, including tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum, L. 1753), is growing. Heated greenhouse production is well described through life cycle assessment (LCA), but inventories reflecting organic production conditions are inadequate or missing. At the same time, energy systems in Europe are changing, which is expected to have a considerable impact on the emissions from the energy intensive greenhouse production. Thus, this study is assessing the current environmental impacts using LCA of an organic tomato production in a heated greenhouse, and estimate the expected changes to impacts due to changes in energy supply. The assessment is based on activity data from a commercial greenhouse production. Current organic tomato production where plants are transplanted into the greenhouse in the late winter has impacts of 1.06 kg CO2 eq., 7.22x10-4 N eq., 3.49x10-5 kg Sb eq., and result in 3.12 kg C deficit from land use while consuming 24.58 MJ of energy per kg organic tomato. The impacts from earlier started tomato cultures are higher, as increased yield does not remedy increased energy use. The result from current production 22 shows that direct energy consumption is responsible for the main impact on climate change (78%), cumulative energy demand (75%), marine eutrophication (56%) and land use (62%). However, expected future changes in the energy system towards 2030 are likely to reduce life cycle environmental impacts considerably (reduction potential for climate change impact: 69%, cumulative energy demand: 48%, eutrophication potential: 47%, mineral, fossil and renewable resource depletion: 4%, land use: 48%) as intensity of the energy supply changes. Mitigation options such as increased energy efficiency, alternative heat sources and agronomic management decisions are further discussed

    Higher than expected: Nitrogen flows, budgets, and use efficiencies over 35 years of organic and conventional cropping

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    Organic and conventional cropping systems differ in type and amount of nitrogen (N) inputs. In organic cropping only organic fertilizers are permitted, while both organic and mineral fertilizers are used in conventional cropping. Fertilizer type and amount can affect N use efficiency of a cropping system, but contributions via symbiotic N fixation and changes in soil N stocks are rarely quantified based on field data when computing nutrient budgets. We calculated an N budget that accounts for these contributions based on annual data records for a period of 35 years at the Swiss DOK (bio-Dynamic, bio-Organic, Konventionell) field experiment. Here, different organic and conventional cropping systems have been maintained at two fertilization levels: typical for the respective system, and half these doses (low). Controls comprise a conventional treatment receiving solely mineral fertilizers and an unfertilized treatment. At the typical level, average fertilizer N inputs were 93 (bio-dynamic), 96 (bio-organic), and 171 (conventional system) kg N ha−1 yr−1. Nitrogen output via harvested products regularly exceeded N input with fertilizers in all treatments. In each of the 7-year crop rotation periods, legumes (grass-clover ley, intercrops, soybean) were grown in three years. Their symbiotic N fixation was quantified based on 15N studies and legume N yield data. It ranged from 75 to 122 kg N ha−1 per year of the DOK experiment, was slightly reduced under low fertilization and was the main N input for most treatments. Soil surface budgets (sum of N inputs from fertilization, symbiotic fixation, seeds, and deposition minus N outputs via crop harvests) yielded balances from −31 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (in non-fertilized control) to +46 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (conventional system with typical fertilization level). Nitrogen use efficiencies (NUE; N output with harvests as % of sum of N inputs) reached values >100 % in treatments with negative balances while NUE ranged from 85 % to 99 % in treatments with positive balances. Changes in topsoil (0–0.2 m) N stocks over time ranged from −26 to +9 kg N ha−1 yr−1 and declined in both unfertilized and mineral fertilized controls, and in systems receiving animal manure at low fertilization levels. Thus, positive soil surface N balances and animal manure are needed to maintain or increase topsoil N stocks. While NUE was generally high in all cropping systems there remains a trade-off between either soil N mining at higher NUE or potential N loss to the environment at lower NUE

    Futtermittelliste 2024

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    Die Futtermittelliste bildet die verbindliche Grundlage für die Herstellung und den Einsatz Futtermitteln im biologischen Landbau. Mischfutter, welche dieser Liste entsprechen und geprüft sind, dürfen mit der Hilfsstoffknospe ausgezeichnet werden

    Cultivating change with agroecology and organic agriculture in the tropics: Bridging science and policy for sustainable production systems

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    Despite the technological advances in food systems since the green revolution, current global agricultural and food systems are not meeting the world’s needs. Although food availability has increased substantially, the number of people suffering from hunger and malnutrition has remained steady in the last 40 years, coupled with a surge in obesity and diet-related diseases. Additionally, current food systems have contributed to extensive deterioration of land, water, and ecosystems; depletion of biodiversity; and enduring livelihood pressures for farmers. Nowhere are such challenges more evident than in the tropics, where disproportionate food insecurity, malnutrition and impacts of climate change pose significant threats. This myriad of challenges in current food production systems is projected to worsen if we continue with “business as usual” due to the increasing impacts of climate change, demographic shifts, political instability, conflicts, and heightened demands on natural resources. Indeed, the current food system paradigm has proven unable to support the people and natural resources it depends on, making it a threat to its own existence. To address these pressing issues, it is imperative to explore alternative approaches which show promise in transforming food systems and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, agroecology and organic (AE/O) agriculture present promising alternatives supported by a growing body of evidence. AE/O systems that implement holistic farm management, going beyond simply substituting synthetic agrochemicals with AE/O alternatives, show promise in achieving yields and incomes that are on par with conventional. In fact, AE/O systems have been shown to improve household income and livelihood resilience compared to conventional in the tropics. The hidden costs of the current global food system amount to around 10 percent of global GDP. The transition to AE/O systems offers a pathway to lower costs to the public by increasing climate adaptation and mitigation, increasing resilience to external shocks, improving food security and nutrition and lowering exposure to harmful pesticides. Thus, investments towards AE/O are not only a moral imperative but an economic win. Beyond these benefits, AE/O can have additional environmental benefits that clearly outweigh conventional systems, including preserving biodiversity and improving soil health and water quality. Despite notable progress, a transition towards sustainable food systems requires increased attention, understanding, and action. Transition to AE/O systems requires long-term funding models that prioritise a holistic approach, and value chain development that supports fair pricing and strengthens the connection between consumers and farmers. Equitable access to essential resources, i.e. AE/O inputs, mechanisation, credit and land, is imperative. To empower farmers to transition to AE/O farming, they need improved access to farmers’ organisations, capacity development and market access. Transdisciplinary and participatory education and research must also be advanced to facilitate knowledge co-creation and the adoption of optimal local solutions. Furthermore, engagement programmes should aim to improve food literacy of citizens. Initiatives to accelerate the transition must carefully consider social and cultural values, empowering women, marginalised groups and youth. Finally, decisions and policies must be coordinated and informed by close participation with relevant stakeholders, including those that incentivise AE/O agriculture

    Behavioural changes to moderate heat load in grazing dairy cows under on-farm conditions

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    Heat stress poses an increasing risk to welfare, health and productivity of dairy cows, especially for cows on pasture. To apply timely mitigation strategies for grazing cows, simple indicators are needed that signal heat stress. We conducted an exploratory study on the behaviour of grazing dairy cows in relation to the environmental heat load on four commercial dairy farms in Switzerland with herd sizes ranging from 20 to 57 cows. In a scan-sampling procedure standing/lying, feeding/ruminating, low inter-individual distances, proximity to drinker, use of natural shade and insect infestation were observed during 30 days (5–9 days/per farm). Additionally, 10 focal cows per farm were equipped with accelerometers to analyse lying duration and locomotor activity during on average 46 days per farm. On one farm all cows (N = 57) were equipped with GPS devices which were used to calculate inter-individual distances among cows continuously during 69 days. Air temperature and relative humidity were recorded to calculate the temperature-humidity index (THI). For behaviours recorded in direct observations, a principal component analysis was performed for variable reduction. The first three principal components (PC) as well as the variables from automatic measurements were used as outcome variables in mixed effects models with daily maximum THI (THImax), time of day (continuous, in 10 min intervals) and their interaction as explanatory variables. The three PCs could be described as: “feeding and standing”, “proximity to drinker” and “standing in close proximity and seeking shade”. The daily pattern of these PC's differed by THImax (interaction time of day * THImax; all p < 0.01). On days with high THImax compared to days with lower THImax cows were seen more often close to the drinker in the morning, but not in the afternoon when they were observed standing close to each other and in the shade. On days with high THImax, cows also were lying less and increased their locomotor activity towards noon (interaction time of day * THImax; p < 0.001). Data from GPS devices confirmed the findings: On days with high THImax, cows reduced their inter-individual distances over the course of the day, while this was not observed on days with lower THImax (interaction time of day * THImax; p < 0.001). Insect infestation increased with higher THImax. We conclude that a distinct change in daily behavioural patterns, especially a reduction of lying behaviour, an increase in locomotor activity and a decrease in inter-individual distances could be used to monitor heat stress of dairy cows on pasture

    Biogemüsefibel 2024

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    Infos aus Praxis, Beratung und Forschung rund um den Biogemüse- und Kartoffelbau

    Wo glückliche, gesunde Schweine leben

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    Die Bioschweinehaltung muss sich weiterentwickeln, wenn sie den wachsenden Erwartungen an Tierwohl und Umweltverträglichkeit gerecht werden will. Sophie Thanner stellt Best-Practice-Beispiele vor, die den Weg weisen

    Anforderungen im Biolandbau - Kurzfassung 2024

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    Die Publikation bietet einen Überblick über die wichtigsten Anforderungen der Bio-Verordnung des Bundes und weiterführende Anforderungen von Bio Suisse und Demeter für die biologische Produktion landwirtschaftlicher Rohstoffe


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