Since Adam and Eve’s time, since mankind has existed, agriculture has been the most intelligent and economical occupation in terms of energy invested in food production. It does not need poisonous substances and artificial fertilizers. (Two tons of crude oil is needed to produce one ton of artificial fertilizer). Everything flourishes, everything grows, the poppies and the cornflowers can flourish again, thousands of bumble bees and bees hum happily, and even the skylarks can be heard again. Homegrown animals graze and sit in the sun on the green fields. Bio farmers make the region a free sanatorium for all. The finest harvested grains are kept as seeds to be used for next years’ crops. Harvests are sufficient, healthy and tasty.
Mina Hofstetter was Pionieer and Hans Müller (1891-1988) Founder of the organic agriculture. Some of their main thoughts and aims were:
- Healthy food comes out of a healthy soil.
- Less quantity of food but higher quality of food.
- The soil is a living organism – soil management therefore only superficial (on the surface).
- Ground cover as often as possible.
- Compost is the ideal fertiliser.
- Stone flower is a precious soil improver.
- Green manuring instead of fallow fields.
Our crop rotation begins with 2 years of white clover. Those two years are building the basis for natural fertilizer as well as for a healthy buildup of the soil.
1st + 2nd year: white clover, 3rd year: wheat, 4th year: oats or barley, 5th year: spelt-wheat or rye
This way of cultivating is what we think would be ideal regarding crop rotation. It is important for the land that the crops be modified specifically to every plot depending on its state of the soil. Harvests of 4 tons / ha of wheat, 2.5 tons / ha of sunflower, 2.5 tons / ha of soy are realistic..
It is our aim, to decrease the number of mechanical vehicles passing through the fields, i.e. mulch-seeding of cereals into the clover. In this case, already in the second year, a harvest can be expected, with the same positive impact as the clover/grass mixture.
Our system of Manfred and Friedrich Wenz produces its fertility without any additions of fertilizer. The ploughless cultivation system tries to maintain the natural set-up and structure of the soil, which is the living room for the earthworm and many other important soil microorganisms. Therefore the soil is slacked in a depth to maximal 5 cm. With that, high earthworm populations can be achieved which makes the soil more fertile and work on it more natural and efficient. A good earthworm population can in the long-term dissolve plough compressions and other soil compressions. A healthy soil saves and infiltrates water, reduces pollutants, recycles without losses and produces our food. It is crumbly, rich in humus and alive.
You can find more about the system of Manfred and Friedrich Wenz in the following movie in German: “Ploughless Agriculture, Biodynamic, by Wenz“. Receive at: Frumenta AG, Bereich Verlag, Stollenrain 10, Postfach 344, CH-4144 Arlesheim, Fax: +41 706 96 44
Advantages of the system:
- High surface performance through minimal soil management
- Low need of driving forces
- Low need of machines
- Increases the ground load capacity
- Maintaining of the natural set-up and structure of the soil, produces good structure
- Produces fertile soil through the field’s own means
- No need of fertilizers (Nitrogen fixation due to a high stake of legumes in the crop rotation)
- Low running costs
- In praxis tried and tested system (Manfred and Friedrich Wenz)
- Low risk of diseases in the crop rotation through high organic activity in the soil.
- High quality of products (wheat protein contents of > 14 % possible!)
- Low investment costs
- High degree of independence of the farm from third persons
- Low peak financing because of omitted investment in soil aids, such as fertilizers, pesticides… and therefore lower financial risk
- More constant yields