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Compost: the effect of nutrients, soil health and crop quantity and quality
Compost is considered by many to be the holy grail of organic farming and growing. This review looks at the research and explores how compost varies according to the ingredients and the way it is made. It studies the evidence for compost improving plant health, quality and promoting disease resistance and summarises the situations in which compost is most useful.
This review of the research into organic poultry management focuses on breeding, rearing, housing, health and disease, medication and to a lesser extent nutrition which is covered in another Review. The results are analysed and practical recommendations made for the development of organic poultry systems and their management.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Organic plant raising
This review identifies the research on propagation composts and plant raising and suggests ways in which organic propagation can move towards less reliance on peat, addresses the problems of nutrient supply and considers alternative methods of plant raising.
The role and management of whole-crop forage for organic ruminants
Whole-crop forage plays an invaluable role in supporting the productivity and health of ruminants. This comprehensive review of over 60 references and research projects provides a thorough yet succinct analysis of the key issues concerning cereal and pulse species and variety selection, mixtures, management, quality and use in organic farming systems.
The role of management of herbal pastures for animal health, productivity and production quality
This review seeks to address the role and management of herbal pastures for animal health, productivity and product quality. It involves a review of research and focuses on the use of herbal ley mixtures and varieties and their role in animal health and growth, meat quality, production and yield and climate change issues.
Grass clover ley species and variety selection and management
Grass clover leys form the basis of most organic farming systems yet the selection of seed mixtures is often founded on tradition or cost. Based on a review of recent and past research this review provides a wealth of information on grass and legume species and varieties, mixture selection, ley establishment and pasture management.
Strategies for enhancing organic food quality
Production methods affect the quality of food and it is becoming increasingly important to ensure that, in order to meet market expectations, organic food achieves high standards of quality in all aspects. This review identifies food quality parameters and draws on research to identify how quality may be influenced in organic farming.