6. Organic grain farming

What makes organic grain special?

Organic cereal cultivation does not use synthetic chemical fertilizers, weed killers or growth regulators. By omitting these adjuvants, the farmer harvests a slightly smaller grain, but therefore healthier and more valuable food. Yields are 25-50% lower in organic farming than in conventional farming. Organic grains have been shown to contain more minerals and fiber and higher levels of essential amino acids.

How is organic grain grown?

For the organic cereal farmer, weed control in particular is a challenge. Weeds are kept in check mechanically and with a varied crop rotation. Specially bred varieties for organic cultivation are also grown. Fertilization is mainly done with farmyard manure such as slurry. Wheat and oats are grown alternately on our farm. Two years of grains are followed by two years of arable meadow.

What is the difference between summer and winter Grain?

Is the summer wheat harvested in summer and the winter wheat in winter? No! The harvest does not play a role in the designation of summer and winter, but it refers to the time of sowing. Winter wheat is sown in the fall, so the seed stays in the ground through the winter and the crop is harvested in the early summer of the next year. With spring wheat, on the other hand, the farmer sows in the spring and harvests in late summer.

Why not always winter wheat?

If a crop such as sugar beet is grown in the field, which is harvested late in the fall, the farmer can no longer sow the winter wheat seed in time. Therefore, spring grains are sown in these fields in the spring.

overview grain types

wheat
oats
rye
barley

SOWING AND HARVESTING ON OUR FARM

We cultivate a grain field of about 1 ha on our farm. On this field we sow 140 kg of wheat grains annually. From these 140 kg of seeds we can harvest about 6000 kg of wheat. Our wheat is mainly used to produce bread. The buyer is the Biofarm cooperative.



On our current plantation 120 kg of oats were sown and we expect a harvest of hopefully about 6500 kg of oats in summer 2021. We also have a cultivation contract with the Biofarm cooperative for this product. The oats are processed into oat flakes and can then be enjoyed, for example, in muesli or as porridge.

Sources:
Landwirtschaftlicher Informationsdienst (LID) Getreide

Image Sources:
(wheat) Foto by: Pixabay, from: Pexels.com
(oats) Foto by: Pixabay, from: Pexels.com
(rye) Foto by: Rituraj Pankaj, from: Pexels.com
(barley) Foto by Pixabay, from: Pexels.com