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The teaching and research unit Gladbacherhof at the Villmar site primarily serves research and teaching in the field of organic farming.

The task of the Gladbacherhof is to produce food and animal feed in a way that is as environmentally and resource-friendly as possible. This requires management that is more strongly based on the internal nutrient cycles on the farm and uses self-regulating forces on the farm as far as possible. This includes the preservation and creation of a richly structured cultural landscape with its ecologically valuable animal and plant communities. The focus of the study is on crop rotation and soil cultivation in organic farming, on ways to improve the baking quality of wheat, on the cultivation of legumes and on long-term effects on the nutrient balance of organically farmed arable land.

Facilities and location

  • 100 ha arable land, 60 ha permanent grassland in organic farming
  • 90 cows (black), own calf and heifer rearing,
  • 100 laying hens


(according to DWD climate maps, 1x1km long term average 1981-2010):

  • Precipitation: 680 mm/a
  • Average annual temperature: 10°C
  • Climatic water balance: 80 mm/a


Luvisols, pararendzina in silt rich soils

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Selected publications


  • Schulz, Franz, et al. "Development of soil organic matter stocks under different farm types and tillage systems in the Organic Arable Farming Experiment Gladbacherhof." Archives of Agronomy and Soil Science 60.3 (2014): 313-326.
  • Schmidt, H., F. Schulz, and G. Leithold. "Organic Farming Trial Gladbacherhof. Effects of different crop rotations and tillage systems." Long-term Field Experiments in Organic Farming. ISOFAR Scient. Series (2006): 165-182.
  • Kilian, Simone, and Dietrich Werner. "Enhanced denitrification in plots of N 2-fixing faba beans compared to plots of a non-fixing legume and non-legumes." Biology and fertility of soils 21.1 (1996): 77-83

Selected external funded projects

To be included

Long term experiments

To be included