Farmers' University

Farmers’ University puts the farmer and the farm in the centre. Based on experiences and questions from farmers we bring in researchers to discuss the issues. These may relate to agronomic, economic, political, social and cultural questions. This enables exchange of innovations and good practices from farmer to farmer. It also opens up a new pathway of dialogue between farmers and researchers in cooperation.

In the BERAS Implementation project, a pilot course for developing the concept was held in Järna in July 2013. The course itself was financed by EU Rural Development Program through the County of Stockholm. BERAS Implementation contributed with the conceptual and global aspects.
Here we present the invitation, the course program and the memory notes from the course. The work itself continues, and if you are interested to join in one way or the other – please contact info(at)beras.eu

Read on-line or download:

Farmers University invitation

Farmers University summary Aug. 2013

Farmers University program

Guidelines for Ecological Recycling Agriculture

Highly intensive and specialized agriculture endangers the environment of the Baltic Sea. BERAS Implementation contributes to solve this problem through a systemic shift to Ecological Recycling Agriculture. Guidelines developed by scientists and advisors provide expertise for Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA) to farmers and advisers as well as for the educational sector and decision makers.

Farming Guidelines (Vol. 1) provide practical recommendations for ERA. They present agronomic measures and optimization strategies for effective nutrient recycling within and between farms during and after conversion. Software Tools help to improve crop rotation planning and nitrogen fluxes at farm level.
Stein-Bachinger, Reckling, Granstedt et al.

Economic Guidelines (Vol. 2) give advice and support to farmers on how to plan the conversion process and highlight how the changes to ERA farming will affect the farm economy.
Reeder, Redelberger, Schmidt

Marketing Guidelines (Vol. 3) provide support and ideas to farmers on how to more effectively promote and sell organic and ERA products.
Jonczyk, Stalenga, Heinonen, Koreleska

Farm Examples (Vol. 4) are a personal presenta¬tion of different farms around the Baltic Sea. They focus on the chal¬lenges and future plans of farms mainly in con-version to ERA.
Koker, Stein-Bachinger et al.

To read and download, please visit ERA Guidelines

Nature Conservation in Organic Agriculture – a manual for arable organic farming in north-east Germany

In this manual, Sarah Fuchs and Karin Stein-Bachinger explain how wild animals and plants can be better protected during the production of food. The results were acquired within the framework of a long-term interdisciplinary research project (Nature Conservation Farm Brodowin). The contents were intensively discussed and agreed upon with experts recruited among farmers, advisers, authorities and scientists. The first part illustrates the habitats of legume-grass leys, grain crops and landscape elements with their ecological importance and introduces basic conservation strategies. The subsequent practical section contains brief and clear instructions for conservation of fauna and flora. 20 profiles of measures and 17 profiles of species help the farmer to decide on which fields it is worthwhile protecting certain species and what agricultural consequences they may have. Furthermore, concrete options for the optimization of nature conservation across the whole farm are explained with the aid of practical examples.

Sarah Fuchs is a graduate biologist. She works as a freelancer and in an office for ecological research in Brandenburg.

Karin Stein-Bachinger holds a Ph.D in Agronomy and is senior scientist at the Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF e.V.), Müncheberg, Germany, She is the national coordinator of the BERAS Implementation project (Baltic Ecological Recycling Agriculture and Society) and co-editor of the Guidelines for Ecological Recycling Agriculture.

Download Nature Conservation in Organic Agriculture

Pilot case Farmers’ University handbook in Lithuania.
You can read, print or download a pdf version in Lithuanian here