13 May 2014
Agroforestry and Biodiversity

Farm Woodland Forum annual meeting

29 May 2014
Soil Association National Livestock Event

The Soil Association and The Woodland Trust event in Gloucestershire



18 April 2014
Tenancy opportunity at Dartington

Opportunity to take on a pioneering farm on Dartington Hall estate

16 April 2014
Sustainability of a small-scale organic vegetable supply system

Market garden and box scheme compared with supermarket distribution



11 March 2014
Agroforestry letter to Defra

26 organisations call for Defra to back agroforestry


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. Robbie Girling

Other staff involved:

Bruce Pearce

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. 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)