ifoam'96 ifoam'96
Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
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The First Organic Crop Rotation at Íjebyn. P2; 32

Jonsson, S.

Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Patrons All 10, S-943 31 Íjebyn, Sweden

After six years the first crop rotation in the Íjebyn project has been completed. The aim of the project is to develop organic food production (especially milk) in Sweden. A full-scale study comparing organic farming with conventional farming on 100 hectares of farm land is being performed at the same time. The herd is divided in two separate cow-sheds with 40-60 cows in each. They get their fodder from separate fields and their manure and urine are kept separately and returned to the respective fields.
The results that can be presented illustrate events that occur during the conversion period on a milk-producing farm, where dairy cows have been kept for more than 100 years and where great emphasis is laid on ley cropping and quality of roughage. During the next crop rotation differing results may be considered as differences between the two farming systems.
Some of the interesting results from Íjebyn are: * total yield in the organic crop production is 6 % lower on a dry matter basis and 8% lower on an energy basis, than corresponding yields per hectare in conventional crop production; * the yields vary less between years in the organic system; * the production costs are lower for the leys, barley and green-crop in the organic system, i.e. organic roughage is 5% cheaper; * the yields of the dairy cows have been on a high level, about 7500 kg ECM/year, and in most years higher from the organic cows than from the conventional cows; * the fat content of the milk has been 0.1% higher and the protein content 0.2% lower from the organic cows than from the conventional cows; * animal health, especially fertility, is obviously better among the organic cows, which may increase the longevity and diminish the need of recruitment compared with conventional forms of livestock-keeping.