Last June 22nd around 40 farmers and advisors gathered around the Danish MAP. The demonstration included visits to project’s hosts fields, three farms close to Fjenneslev village on Zealand; practices shown were cultivating using plow, reduced tillage and Conservation Agriculture respectively. Plenum discussions were held as well.
Last winter, different sole as well as mixed cover crops were grown in different experimental plots placed in each field of the three farms cropping system. Focus was put on subsequent spring barley growth and the effect on ground cover (conservation agriculture farm) to increase biological diversity for reduced pesticide use.
After the field visit, a small lunch was served in the barn, as results of the first year were presented by colleagues from Copenhagen University. The one-year field data indicated that cover crop mixtures produce more biomass than single cover crop, whereas ongoing work focusing on the effect of different cover crops on the following cash crop was discussed.
Further work on collected data about insects, nitrogen, rooting and much more was introduced for later demonstrations. Functions and benefits of mixed cropping as well as concerns regarding costs and management were discussed in plenum among farmers, advisors, NGOs (eg. local Hunters Union representative and Association for reduced tillage Denmark) as well as researchers. Farmers intensively participated in the debate asking for further workshops about intercropping practices for increased sharing of knowledge across traditional barriers between science and practice. Danish ReMIX team will use this request for planning autumn/winter activities.