Sustainable yield increase in ecological cash cropping as a result of individually optimized catch cropping


Ministerium für Energiewende, Landwirtschaft, Umwelt, Natur und Digitalisierung des Landes Schleswig-Holstein

Federal State



Mercatorstraße 3
24106 Kiel

Website: External link to the authority

Project Title

Sustainable yield increase in ecological cash cropping as a result of individually optimized catch cropping

Project description

The preservation and enhancement of soil fertility are especially in organic farming  the basis of long-term, sustainable development. This includes the enhancement of soil life, as well as the supply of soil nutrients. With increasing specialization of organic farms ,new, individual farms need to develop strategies to increase soil fertility in organic crop production. The OG Nutrient Management and Yield Increase in Ecological Cash Cropping will develop innovative solutions to increase profitability performance by a catch crop in organic crop production. The goal of this project is to evaluate and compare the potential of different catch crops and strategies of catch cropping between different site types in connection with soil preservation and enhancement of soil fertility. The related yield performance of the following crops is studied at the participating farms and at agricultural experiment stations.

Results focusing on practiceorientation

Exact trials have shown that higher nitrogen losses are to be expected in the post-harvest period, particularly when growing grain legumes. The subsequent cultivation of catch crops led to a significant minimisation of environmentally relevant N emissions in the form of nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emissions. The freezing catch crops turned out to be unfavourable under northern German weather conditions. Premature mineralisation of the previously bound nitrogen from the dead plant components led to an earlier release of nitrogen in February-March and thus to undesirable nitrogen losses. Taking all the test parameters into account, the winter-hardy undersown catch crop showed the greatest potential for successful nitrogen transfer over the winter. The simultaneously higher carbon input can have a positive long-term effect on the soil humus content.

Key words

  • Outdoor horticulture and woody crops (incl. viticulture, olives, fruit, ornamentals)
  • Soil

Main funding source

Rural development 2014-2020

OG contact information

Grüner Kamp 15-17
24768 Rendsburg

Phone: 04331-9453300


Type of OG partners

  • Farmer
  • Researcher

Begin of project


Project status


Total budget applied for in EUR


Link 1

project website of EIP Agrar SH


DEF0B Rendsburg-Eckernförde

To top