Project

Efficient Crop Rotation Systems for Oilseed Rape (EFFO)

Goal: Winter oilseed rape is an important crop in Luxembourg grown on 5000 ha on average per year. The main advantages of cultivating oilseed rape are: (1) reliable yields of approx. 42 dt/ha (2) importance as a break crop in cereal-based rotations (3) importance as a food resource for insects and (4) continuous soil cover throughout the year to prevent soil erosion. On the negative side, the production of winter oilseed rape (WOSR) is characterized by intense usage of fertilizers and pesticides. Based on regular ground and surface water-analysis, a high level of contamination by transformation products of WOSR specific herbicide compounds were found in Luxembourg. Therefore, scientific, administrational and advisory institutions of the agriculture business defined a multi-site multi annual collaborative project - EFFO. The objectives are: (1) to identify suitable cropping techniques to reduce the amount of highly mobile herbicides and transformation products used in WOSR and (2) to explore the potential substitutes as oil producing crops e.g. false-flax.

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Project log

Michael Eickermann
added an update
On Friday 23rd of February, project results will be presented to farmers at a full-day seminar in Ettelbrueck, Luxembourg. To increase the impact of the event, the following researchers have been invited to give additional presentation about the main topic of the conference dealing with "sustainable fertilizer management in winter oilseed rape": Dr. Jana Peters (Landesforschungsanstalt für Landwirtschaft und Fischerei, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern), Dr. Klaus Sieling (Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel) and Dipl.-Ing. Günter Stemann (Fachhochschule Südwestfalen, Soest).
Please check the attached file to get some details.
 
Juergen Junk
added an update
Latest findings from the EFFO project will be presented at the 9th BIOMET Stralsund (DE)
 
Michael Eickermann
added an update
Last year, we already revealed the potential of new cropping techniques, especially those of “Colza Associé” which consists of a mixed crop of rapeseed, lentils and clover. Allowing the reduction of both the number of herbicide applications and the risk of ground water contamination, they can be successfully integrated in agriculture even if it will change the operational procedures for the farmers. As for the previous year, the results of this second experimental year turn out to be very encouraging:
The cultivation of biologically grown oilseed rape surprised with very good yields. This is an indicator that growing conditions were suitable for oilseed rape in 2017 even under a high pressure of insect pests. These findings still need to be confirmed in the coming years.
A new technical approach based on drones has been developed in cooperation with the German start-up GEOCOPTIX in order to identify weed plants, plants that grow completely spontaneously in the field. This remote sensing approach is the first step to establish precision agriculture techniques in Luxembourg and develop new techniques for environmental protection.
Like in the first year, field trials will continue over the next years and will focus on herbicide residues in the soil of the different experimental varieties. As a possible alternative for oilseed rape, oil-producing hemp will be grown and tested as a next step. Additionally, data-sets on the composition of weed plants in interaction with cropping techniques will be recorded.
In order to guarantee the development of smart tools in precision farming closely related to agricultural practices in Luxembourg, research project partners and GEOCOPTIX will enhance their cooperation in the coming years.
Results have been presented under presence of Fernand Etgen (Ministre de l’Agriculture) and Carole Dieschbourg (Ministre de l’Environnement).
 
Michael Eickermann
added an update
Since sowing in last week of August, all data-sets have been collected now for closing the autumn season in 2017, including: plant growth parameters, LAI, insect pest occurrence, soil sampling as well as weed detection and weed species identification in the different cropping systems in the EFFO Experiment. Data-sets will now be analysed and presented at the official EFFO-Expert-Talk end of November.
Picture description: larvae of the turnip sawfly (Athalia rosae) on leaves of oilseed rape. In the last years, the number of individuals of A. rosae is increasing in Luxembourg.
 
Michael Eickermann
added an update
Next to the original research objectives, we have added a remote sense approach for identifying weed species in oilseed rape. First experiments have been done successfully this autumn.
 
Juergen Junk
added an update
Juergen Junk
added a project goal
Winter oilseed rape is an important crop in Luxembourg grown on 5000 ha on average per year. The main advantages of cultivating oilseed rape are: (1) reliable yields of approx. 42 dt/ha (2) importance as a break crop in cereal-based rotations (3) importance as a food resource for insects and (4) continuous soil cover throughout the year to prevent soil erosion. On the negative side, the production of winter oilseed rape (WOSR) is characterized by intense usage of fertilizers and pesticides. Based on regular ground and surface water-analysis, a high level of contamination by transformation products of WOSR specific herbicide compounds were found in Luxembourg. Therefore, scientific, administrational and advisory institutions of the agriculture business defined a multi-site multi annual collaborative project - EFFO. The objectives are: (1) to identify suitable cropping techniques to reduce the amount of highly mobile herbicides and transformation products used in WOSR and (2) to explore the potential substitutes as oil producing crops e.g. false-flax.