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Continuous field trial OAFEG

Organic Arable Farming Experiment Gladbacherhof (Crop rotation tillage trial)



  • Due to processes of concentration and specialisation, an increasingly large proportion of organic farms are livestock-less. However, the direct and long-term effects of this farming practice on yields, nutrient efficiency, soil fertility and the environment are largely unknown.
  • With regard to numerous soil biological, physical and chemical parameters, reduced tillage compared to deep ploughing is desirable. However, the short- and long-term effects of different forms of tillage on yields, relevant soil fertility properties and the environment are uncertain.


Planned innovation & aims

  • With regard to livestock-free organic farming, weak points are to be identified and alternatives in crop rotation design and farm management to be shown.
  • With regard to reduced basic tillage, possible consequences are to be presented and the processes to be optimized.




In 1998, a 2-factor continuous field trial in split-plot design was set up on the  teaching and experimental farm for organic farming, Gladbacherhof, with:



  • 3 different farming systems/cropping rotations with and without livestock
  • 4 different tillage systems with different intensity levels.

The extensive study parameters relate in particular to yields and soil fertility properties


Lead Partner


Justus Liebig University of Gießen, Professorship for Organic Farming

Dr. Franz Schulz

Phone: 06474-71001-0



Duration of the project


Since 1998, open end




budget funds


Further literature

  • Schmidt H, Schulz F & Leithold G (2006): Organic Farming Trial Gladbacherhof. Effects of different crop rotations and tillage systems. Raupp J (Hrsg.) Long-term field experiments in organic farming. Köster (Scientific series/ISOFAR), Berlin, 165-182.
  • Schulz F (2012): Vergleich ökologischer Betriebssysteme mit und ohne Viehhaltung bei unterschiedlicher Intensität der Grundbodenbearbeitung. Dissertation. Justus-Liebig-Universität, Gießen.
  • Schulz F, Brock C, Schmidt H, Franz K-P, Leithold G (2014): Development of soil organic matter stocks under different farm types and tillage systems in the organic arable farming experiment Gladbacherhof. Arch. Agron. Soil Sci. 60 (3): 313-326.