2 July 2015
Organic support schemes

Workshop at Elm Farm on the new schemes plus new opportunities for organic farming

7 July 2015
National Organic Combinable Crops 2015

View ORC trials and more at Shimpling Park Farm



25 June 2015
GM wheat trial fails

Wheat trial failure confirms folly of GM’s sticking plaster approach

17 June 2015
Better Organic Business Links final conference

Report and S4C video clip



11 June 2015
The role of agroecology in sustainable intensification

New study highlights methods to safeguard UK food security


Optimise Subsidiary Crop Application in Rotations

Acronym:

OSCAR

Contract period:

1 April 2012 to 31 March 2016

Project webpage:

http://www.oscar-covercrops.eu

Main funder:

EU FP7

Contact staff at ORC:

Dr. Bruce Pearce

Other staff involved:

Nick Fradgley, Sally Westaway

Project aims

The project aims to develop improved conservation tillage systems, based on subsidiary crops (also known as cover crops) , used both as living and dead mulch, that

  • increase the duration of soil coverage by plant canopies;
  • minimize the need for soil tillage and reduce tillage intensity;
  • increase the diversity of species within the plant canopy and the rotation;
  • reduce the need for fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides; and
  • in dry climates, conserve water and reduce need for irrigation.

ORC's role

ORC will lead the dissemination activities in OSCAR and will develop a toolbox for using cover crops and living mulches. See www.covercrops.eu. The core of the experimental programme in OSCAR is a set of coordinated field trials in 12 different environments, ranging from boreal climates in North Europe to Mediterranean and tropical subhumid climates. ORC will host one of these trials.

Project leader and partners

  • University of Kassel Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, Ecological Plant Protection group (KU, Germany). (project leader)
  • Research Station Agroscope ART Reckenholz-Tänikon (ART, Switzerland)
  • Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Plant Health and Plant Protection Division (BIOFORSK, Norway)
  • Agronomic Institute of Paraná (IAPAR, Brazil)
  • The International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA, Morocco).
  • Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Morocco (INRA)
  • Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation (IUNG, Poland)
  • Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU, Sweden)
  • Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna (SSSA, Italy)
  • Technische Universität München (TUM, Germany)
  • University of Copenhagen (UCPH, Denmark)
  • Università di Pisa (UNIPI, Italy)
  • Universita' della Tuscia (UNITUS, Italy)
  • Wageningen University, Department of Plant Sciences (WU)
  • Arcoiris s.r.l (ARCOIRIS), Italy (SME)
  • Ferrari Costruzioni Mecchaniche s.r.l. (Ferrari, Italy) (SME)
  • Marangon Srl. (MAR, Italy) (SME)
  • P.H. Petersen Saatzucht Lundsgaard GmbH & Co. KG (PHP, Germany) (SME)
  • Friedrich Wenz GmbH (Wenz, Germany) (SME).

Publications

Baresel P, Döring TF, Finckh MR. 2012. OSCAR – a new European project on cover crops. 12th Congress of the European Society for Agronomy Helsinki, Finland, 20-24 August 2012 (abstract, accepted).

Other output

Newsletter Issue 1, December 2012

OSCAR project leaflet. Download here (566kb pdf file)

Like the Oscar Project on Facebook

Follow the Oscar Project on twitter