Öko-Feldtage (Organic Field Days) 2021
On the 23rdand 24thof June 2021 the third national Öko-Feldtage (Organic Field Days) will take place in Villmar, at the Staatsdomäne Gladbacherhof (Hessian State Domain), which is the research and experimental institute of the University of Gießen. This event unifies a unique combination of practise and research in organic agriculture and animal husbandry. It is the ideal platform to exhibit innovations and to discuss current topics with farmers and representatives from politics and business.
Germany has the biggest market for organic products in Europe. German politics aims for an expansion of organic agriculture and to increase the share to 20 % by 2030. The national Organic Field Days 2021 will demonstrate the strength and diversity of organic agriculture and will invite all actors to further increase its great potential. Not only organic farmers are addressed, as well are their colleagues from the conventional sector, so they can come into contact and interact on equal terms.
The first and the second Öko-Feldtage in 2017 and 2019 were a complete success. Therefore, the established cooperation of partners will continue in 2021. The FiBL Projekte GmbH is organiser of the Öko-Feldtage 2019. Co-organisers are the Hessian Ministry of Agriculture, the University of Gießen with the Hessian States Domain Gladbacherhof and the Foundation for Ecology & Farming (SÖL).
First Öko-Feldtage at the Hessian State Domain Frankenhausen
On 21 and 22 June 2017, more than 8000 visitors attended the first ever nationwide Öko-Feldtage in Germany. More than 200 companies, associations and organisations presented what they have to offer in the organic agriculture arena. Most exhibitors were from the sectors of agricultural engineering, inputs and seeds/vegetative propagation material. Eleven additional categories ranging from consultancy to research and certification all the way to animal husbandry and marketing were present. Central themes were: organic breeding, nutrient management and conservation tillage, as well as, agriculture and nature conservation.
A unique combination of practice and research
The program of the Öko-Feldtage was as diverse as agriculture itself. During many demonstrations the visitors could have a look at picks, harroweeders and through GPS and camera working machines. The innovation exhibition showed new developments like machineries for weed control, robots for snail control as well as an eco-friendly natural gas tractor. In special shows the visitors could also learn more about organic animal husbandry and composting. Topics like milking techniques and hygiene, keeping cows and calves together and pasture fence management were presented and discussed. Furthermore composting dung, blends of organic waste and trefoil-grass is becoming more important, which is why treatment and application technologies of compost were presented.
Current topics like the climate change have also been discussed with scientists and practitioners including its consequences for organic farming. Researchers and consultants presented even more research results about regional fodder, boar fattening, legumes and nutrient management. Another panel presented more about biodiversity on organic farms, organic plant protection and innovative techniques on the field.
Evaluation of the Öko-Feldtage 2017
We had excellent responses to our Öko-Feldtage 2017. A group of research assistants from the University of Kassel performed a survey on how the visitors and exhibitors liked it. They asked 501 visitors and 111 exhibitors. 93% of the visitors were satisfied and very satisfied with their visit. About 92% of the visitors said they learned about new topics which will help them in their future. 81% of the exhibitors were satisfied and very satisfied with their participation. The survey also showed that the Öko-Feldtage had visitors from all sectors, like farmers, students and representatives from an association. From out of all farmers, about a fourth were conventional, 4,5% were organic and conventional and 11,2% were in the changeover to organic farming, which shows the interest and potential in learning from one another.