Research Summaries

Controlling pests and diseases in organic field vegetables

This review provides a summary and analysis of the most recent research on pest and disease control in organic field vegetables. Recognising that organic farming involves a whole systems approach it focuses on: Management (forecasting, seed treatments) and rotations to prevent pests and diseases, varieties and breeding for organic systems, products being developed for organic systems, biological control measures (fungi, compost, biofumigants), other strategies (predator support, distractants) and potential for new products.

Dairy cow breeding for organic farming

Organic farming requires that in the choice of breeds or strains, account must be taken of the capacity of animals to adapt to local conditions, their vitality, and their resistance to disease. In addition, breeds or strains of animals shall be selected to avoid specific diseases or health problems associated with some breeds or strains used in intensive production. This review considers the research into organic dairy cow breeds and breeding, it discusses the need for a specific organic approach to breeding and cross breeding and makes some clear recommendations for selection priorities.

Dairy cow nutrition

This review pulls together the results of over 40 research projects and brings us up to date with the latest in thinking on dairy cow nutrition, incorporates the findings of a wide range of organic trials and draws some clear recommendations on appropriate strategies for forage type and management, supplementary feeding, ration formulation and farming systems. It raises important issues around sustainability versus optimum production and highlights future research priorities.

Management of trace elements and vitamins in organic ruminant livestock nutrition in the context of the whole farm system

This review collates and summarises the organic research into trace elements and vitamins in organic ruminant livestock. It covers the role of trace elements and vitamins in animal health, their requirements (where known) and the extent and effect on health of known trace element and vitamin deficiencies. It also considers strategies for improving the level of trace elements available to ruminant livestock in forages as well as the role of supplements in various forms in treating established deficiencies.

Organic poultry nutrition and rations

The scope of the review is to consider recent sources of information relating to the feeding of organic laying hens, broilers and turkeys. In particular it reviews all the research commissioned by Defra together with other UK and European work and collates the results of that work in the light of commercial experience, providing advisers with a summary of the key recommendations.