6 January 2015
2015 Oxford Real Farming Conference

Tickets now on sale

14 January 2015
Agroecology and sustainable intensification

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18 December 2014
Hedgerow harvesting machinery trials

Different techniques for harvesting hedgerows compared at Elm Farm

17 December 2014
Organic Producers' Conference Proceedings online

See videos, photos, presentations and reports from the conference.

25 November 2014
ORC welcomes Defra’s proposed organic payment rates

New Countryside Stewardship Scheme support rates for organic farming in England have been announced today.

Photos from the Organic Producers' Conference.
Created with flickr slideshow.

Organic Producers' Conference proceedings now online!

2014 Organic Farm Management Handbook

The essential reference for organic businesses.

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ORC’s still appealing this Christmas!

John Pawsey explains why the work of the Organic Research Centre is so important and needs your support

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One-day introductory seminars on organic food production and supply chains - January and February 2015

Topics include: Organic farming overview; Organics as a business; Organic crop production; Organic livestock production; Organic and the environment; and Sustainability assessment (more advanced). 50% RDPE funding for English producers and 100% bursaries for students/apprentices available. More

Current projects at the Organic Research Centre

Grazing cereals

Funded by the Duchy Originals Future Farming Programme (DOFF), the project Winter grazing cereals: The effects on crop-weed competition and grain yield helps to tackle the broader challenge of managing weeds without herbicide – one of the themes of the 2nd round of the DOFF research fund. Black-grass is a particularly difficult to control weed that affects many farms across Britain – and is the source of much frustration for organic and conventional farmers alike! Led by innovative farmer John Pawsey at Shimpling Park Farm in Suffolk and the Organic Research Centre, this project will look at how grazing winter wheat with sheep can help control the black-grass. More...

Wheat and Barley Breeding Improvement (WHEALBI)

The aim of the WHEALBI project is to apply genomic, genetic and agronomic approaches to improve European wheat and barley production in competitive and sustainable cropping systems. This is an EU FP7 project led by Institut National De La Recherche Agronomique (INRA) from France, with 17 European partners. ORC will lead a task to identify wheat and barley ideotypes with enhanced performance under organic husbandry. We will work in close conjunction with NIAB, who will be conducting similar work under different tillage regimes.More...

Agroforestry for Europe (AGFORWARD)

The Organic Research Centre is working with 26 partners from across 23 European countries to promote agroforestry practices in Europe that will advance sustainable rural development, i.e. improved competitiveness and social and environmental enhancement. ORC will develop participatory research and development networks centred on silvopoultry systems (such as Woodland Egg producers) and silvoarable systems within the UK. We will also be collecting data from our own agroforestry research sites to model impacts on yields and ecosystem services at a field, farm and landscape scale. We will develop policy recommendations and tools for farmers and advisors.More...

Coordinating organic plant breeding activities for diversity (COBRA)

The Organic Research Centre is leading a European-wide project to support the development of plant breeding focused on the needs of organic producers. Funded through the CORE Organic II Eranet, with Defra providing the financial support for ORC and other UK work, the project aims to improve seed quality and health, promote genetic and crop diversity, and encourage the adoption of suitable materials by organic producers. More...

Towards Eco-energetic Communities

The aim of this project is to demonstrate that local short chain systems using biomass from landscape elements for local energy or heat production are economically feasible. Through realizing these short chain systems and bringing together experiences from different partners and regions in North Western Europe, we want to demonstrate that this currently unused biomass from landscape elements can contribute to local sustainable energy production, with respect to ecological, social and cultural aspects. ORC will work with farmers, land owners and the local community to develop a pilot energy co-operative using woody biomass from local landscape elements. This project has received European Regional Development Funding through INTERREG IV B. More...

Ekhaga Sustainability Assessment

The overall aim of the project is to transfer the FAO SAFA guidelines into a set of societal level indicators (i.e. water quality, soil health, biodiversity) which can be used in a sustainability monitoring system of organic/ecological farms. It is intended that the indicator sets will be appropriate for labelling, policy- monitoring and farmer-decision making approaches. As project leader, ORC will engage with all areas of the project. More...

Other current projects:

Recently completed projects:

Health concepts

EU Regs evaluation