27 September 2017
ORC FABS annual event

Members event at Bradwell Grove Farm, Glos

5 October 2017
LEAF Intercropping Workshop

Gloucestershire event - save the date



21 September 2017
Towards farmer principles of health

Developing healthy farming systems

19 September 2017
Underutilised Crops

New Factsheet from DIVERSIFOOD project



16 August 2017
Promoting crop diversification in European agriculture

A major 5-year European project ˗ DiverIMPACTS launched

We are recruiting!

ORC is looking to appoint a Fundraising Officer More...

ORC Bulletin No.122 Spring/Summer 2017 is published

The Bumper Spring/Summer issue of the ORC Bulletin (122) has mailed out to our subscribers and supporters! Articles cover; organic potato production, farmer principles of health, agroforestry for woodfuel and tree fodder, organic farming in the Netherlands, box scheme customers' motivations, 'ancient wheats', intercropping, policy developments and much more!

The Autumn/Winter 2016 issue No.121 is now also available for free download here

New projects at the Organic Research Centre

LIVESEED

This 4-year EU Horizon 2020-funded project aims to boost organic seed and plant breeding efforts, and increase the availability of cultivars adapted to organic growing conditions. The project will help to establish a level playing field in the organic seed market across Europe, improve the competitiveness of the organic seed and breeding sector, and encourage greater use of organic seeds by farmers. LIVESEED will improve guidelines for cultivar testing and strategies for ensuring seed health. It will develop novel breeding approaches suited for organic farming. The LIVESEED project is coordinated by IFOAM EU and consists of 35 partners from 18 countries. More...

DiverIMPACTS

ORC is a partner in a new five year crop diversification project under the EU Horizon 2020 programme, called DiverIMPACTS. The project is led by INRA (France) and aims to realise the full potential of crop diversification through rotation, intercropping and multiple cropping. The work aims to demonstrate clear technical, economic and environmental benefits of crop diversification for farmers, value chains and society. It also aims to provide key tools, strategies and innovations to remove any barriers and ensure uptake of practices and subsequent benefits at farm, value chain and regional levels. More...

DIVERSify

Designing innovative plant teams for ecosystem resilience and agricultural sustainability (DIVERSify) is a new 4-year Horizon 2020 project. DIVERSify aims to optimise the performance of crop species mixtures (‘plant teams’) as a means to improve yield stability, reduce pest and disease damage, and enhance stress resilience in agricultural systems.More...

Agroforestry Innovation Networks

Agroforestry Innovation Networks (AFINET) is a new 3-year Horizon 2020 project. AFINET will promote innovation in agroforestry through the development of a network, based on successful sharing of practical experiences and existing research knowledge, applied to different contexts, climates and agricultural sectors. More...

CEreal REnaissance in Rural Europe

CEreal REnaissance in Rural Europe: embedding diversity in organic and low-input food systems (CERERE) is a new 3-year Horizon 2020 project. The project will promote innovation through diversity-based ‘alternative’ cereal food systems in Europe through knowledge exchange and communities of practice adopting a bottom-up approach in multi-actor network. More...

Current projects at the Organic Research Centre

Innovation for Sustainable Sheep and Goat Production in Europe

Innovation for Sustainable Sheep and Goat Production in Europe (iSAGE) is a four year Horizon 2020 project aiming to make the European Sheep and Goat sectors more sustainable, competitive and resilient. These improvements come from strong collaboration between industry and research institutions. More...

SustainFARM

Innovative and sustainable intensification of integrated food and non-food systems to develop climate-resilient agro-ecosystems in Europe (SustainFARM). The main objective of SustainFARM is to enhance agronomic, environmental and economic performance of integrated food and non-food production systems (IFNS) by optimizing productivity and valorizing woody components, residual wastes and co-products.More...

Agricology

Agricology is a new online resource that translates scientific research in to practical advice to help farmers become more profitable and more sustainable, while protecting the environment. www.agricology.co. uk aims to provide farmers with the best practical information on ecological techniques. More...

GREATSoils



GREATSoils -Growing Resilient Efficient And Thriving Soils is a three-year AHDB Horticulture funded project, led by the Soil Association. The project aims to evaluate and improve growers' soil assessment methods in order to optimise and maintain soil fertility and organic matter levels, benefitting yields and reducing costs. More...

Innovative Farmers

Innovative Farmers is a not-for-profit network that gives farmers research support and funding on their own terms.The network is part of the Duchy Future Farming Programme, funded by the Prince of Wales’s Charitable Foundation. The Soil Association, Organic Research Centre and Waitrose have been partners in the programme and are now joined by LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) and Innovation in Agriculture, ensuring that the new network represents farmers and growers across the industry.
More...

Organic Knowledge Network Arable

The OK-Net Arable project is a three-year project, funded under Horizon 2020, which aims to improve the exchange of innovative and traditional knowledge among farmers, farm advisers and scientists to increase productivity and quality in organic arable cropping all over Europe, in order to satisfy future market demand. ORC is responsible for facilitation of knowledge testing with farmer innovation networks in the participating countries and will carry out this work in the UK with organic arable farmers.
More...

Embedding crop diversity and networking for local high quality food systems

ORC is a partner in DIVERSIFOOD a new four-year European project, funded through HORIZON 2020 and led by INRA the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, which will bring together farmers, scientists, processors, traders and consumers to promote the greater use of diverse plants and produce with a local and cultural identity. This will help to demonstrate how society can encourage sustainable agriculture, as well as promoting this concept through production and marketing. The project will work with wheat (einkorn, rivet, emmer, durum and bread wheat), oats, barley, maize, chickpea, beans, lupins, false flax, buckwheat, broccoli, tomato, carrots, onions and chestnuts.
More...

Health networks

The main aim of the project is to create an international network of producers and scientists in order to initiate new and interdisciplinary approaches to health measurement and health research in ecological agriculture. This will ultimately serve to improve health effects in the entire food system. The second aim of this project is to identify which principles, strategies and methods organic farmers have adopted for successful health management on their farms. This will lead to the identification of best practice examples with regards to health and managing healthy agricultural systems.
More...

Grazing cereals

Funded by the Duchy Future Farming Programme (DFF), 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 DFF 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...

Recently completed projects:


Value Added

Sustainability assessment

Health concepts

EU Regs evaluation