New knowledge sharing site for organic tillage farmers

A new European initiative called OK-Net Arable has been launched to promote knowledge sharing among organic tillage farmers.

Organic tillage production is technically challenging and while farmers are successfully growing a range of tillage crops across the EU not much of that technical information is shared.

According to the Irish Organic Farmers and Growers Association (IOFGA) this new web platform has been launched to meet an information deficit in organic tillage production.

OK-Net Arable is a project linking partners across Europe to promote exchange of knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists

The International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) EU are the project co-ordinators and are working with 17 partners to bring the web based platform initiative to farmers across Europe.

Farmers can now use the new web platform to find practical organic solutions, according to Gillian Westbrook, IOFGA General Manager and Chairperson of the IFOAM Council.

At the same time, users will also be able to discuss how certain techniques or solutions work in the field with their geographical and climatic conditions, she said.

This should enable us to give feedback on the solutions, improve them and, ultimately increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping all over Europe.

Key areas the project concentrates on are soil quality and fertility, nutrient management, pest and disease control, weed management and solutions for specific crops, Westbrook outlined.

“Not only can we find solutions and engage with each other via this platform, we can also propose solutions. We hope this will help improve exchange of knowledge among farmers,” she said.

OK-Net Arable is a project which is funded by Horizon 2020, the EU’s main funding instrument for research and innovation.

The project, which was launched in March 2015 and will run until February 2018, currently has 17 partners from 12 countries throughout Europe.

Meanwhile, by promoting the exchange of knowledge the site is expected to increase productivity and quality in organic farming across Europe.