Inagro (Flanders, Belgium) organized a visit to the trial fields of its organic trial farm on Wednesday, June 28. The program included two parallel tours. An explanation about how was dealt with the difficult spring this year (due to the wet months of March and April) was also addressed. A networking event in the farm shed concluded the afternoon/evening.
A total of 70 interested people were welcomed including a large number of organic farmers but advisers and people from various agricultural supply companies were also present. Beforehand, people could sign up for a guided tour along trials in arable crops or in vegetable crops. The arable tour program included topics such as: innovative protein crops (lupin, chickpea and quinoa), mixed cropping of pea and barley and alfalfa cultivation. The vegetable tour included for instance: organic crop protection in cabbages and growing crops in combination with non-living mulch (like wood chips).
Preliminary results from the SoildiverAgro case study 7 (Atlantic central, Belgium) were presented to both groups as the topic could interest all. The objective of this case is to test the potential beneficial impact of different cover crop mixtures on soil biological diversity and ecosystem services. During this, people could also see the potatoes that are the last main crop of the multi-year trial that is investigating whether choosing multi-species cover crops mixtures in the crop rotation can increase soil biodiversity. In organic farming, soil life is very important for converting organic matter into nutrients for crops and for soil resilience to diseases and pests!