Themes and discussion

Find out more about organic arable farming and organic livestock husbandry, join the discussions, and exchange ideas and information with colleagues and scientists.

Nutrient management

Nutrient management

One of the main factors limiting yields in organic farming is insufficient nitrogen supply. Growing leguminous crops is the most effective way to increase nitrogen levels in the soil, but incorporating crop residues and manure can also be effective. Too much nitrogen or incorporating nitrogen at the wrong time of the crop cycle can cause more harm than good, so it is very important to understand the needs of each crop you are growing and the expected mineralisation rates of the fertiliser you apply. Deficiencies in potassium, phosphorus and sulphur may also limit yields and need to be considered in your fertilisation strategy.

On this page, you can find tools and resources that can help you design a robust nutrient management plan, and you can discuss the topic with others.


How to successfully convert to organic arable farmingMost popular tool

How to successfully convert to organic arable farming

The leaflet addresses farmers who are interested in conversion to organic arable farming. Information includes contact points for workshops and…

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Nitrogen budget calculator. A tool to calculate N-budgets in organic forage systemsLatest tool

Nitrogen budget calculator. A tool to calculate N-budgets in organic forage systems

The purpose of the tool is to help farmers in estimating the N content of forages based on the percentage of legumes, the management and harvesting…

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Tools

TitleIssuing organisationYear of releaseRating
A Guide to Nutrient Budgeting on Organic FarmsIOTA20103 (5)
Advanced system in wheat: Combination of agronomical levels: The French...PURE-
Aerated compost tea (ACT) to improve soil biology and to act as a...The Organic Research Centre ORC, Elm Farm20174.7 (3)
Are we mining the soil?The Organic Research Centre2018
Catch crop in maizeResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)20174 (1)
Choosing cover crops for arable crop rotationsInstitut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique...2018
Commercial organic fertiliser as supplementary fertilisers in potato crop...Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)20174 (1)
Composting leaflet – agroecological approach at your farmBioforum Vlaanderen vzw20134.5 (2)
Controlled traffic farming: A new track for soil and weed control in organic...INAGRO2018
Controlling docks by stubble cultivationResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)20174.5 (2)
Cover crop and living mulch toolboxTechnical University of Munich TUM, School of Life...20143.4 (10)
Crop Management of Rapeseed and Pollen Beetle ControlResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL20164 (1)
Crop rotation and its ability to suppress perennial weedsSEGES20163 (1)
Crop Rotation in Organic SystemsDalhousie University, OACC-
Demonstration of Plough DethatchersResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL20144.5 (2)
Direct Sowing of MaizeResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL2015
Direct sowing with green manureOrganic Farming Foundation Bioselena , IFOAM EU2018
Diverse fertility building leys in arable rotationsOrganic Reserach Centre (ORC), Elm Farm20173.5 (2)
Earthworms: architects of fertile soilsResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL,...20143.6 (11)
Efficient nitrogen use from livestock manureSEGES2016
Efficient use of nitrogen from livestock manureSEGES20174 (2)
Grain legumes and soil fertility - Strategies for a successful cultivationBundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN)20143.5 (2)
Green manure and cover crops in organic agriculture: general introductionFrench Research Institute for Organic Farming ITAB2012
Green manure and cover crops in organic agriculture: guide to the choice of the...French Research Institute for Organic Farming ITAB20124 (3)
Growing cover crops in organic arable crop rotations: Best practices from...SEGES20174 (2)
Growing cover crops in organic arable crop rotations: best practices from...SEGES2016
Hairy Vetch – an Excellent Green Manure for Dry ConditionsResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL20144 (2)
How to successfully convert to organic arable farmingLändliches Fortbildungsinstitut Österreich20175 (2)
Incorporating Green ManuresResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL20134.5 (2)
Inter-row cultivation for mechanical weed control in winter oilseed rapePURE-
Intercropping grain peas with barleyResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL2015
Knowledge exchange platform for agroecologySOLAGRO-3.2 (6)
LeNiBa - the KTBL / isip app for nitrogen balancing of legumesKuratorium für Technik und Bauwesen in der...-
Managing for Soil Health on an Organic Farm - A Farmer's PerspectiveSouthern Regional Extension Forestry2014
Monitoring and comparing cover crop performancesInstitut Technique de l’Agriculture Biologique...2018
Multispectral remote sensing in participatory on-farm variety trialsHungarian Research Institute of Organic...2018
NDICEA - A digital tool to model nutrient balances across a crop rotationOrganic Research Centre, Elm Farm2018
NDICEA - Nitrogen Planer – version 6.2Louis Bolk Instituut20144 (4)
Nitrogen budget calculator. A tool to calculate N-budgets in organic forage...Leibniz-Zentrum für Agrarlandschaftsforschung...20133.8 (4)
Nitrogen supply for winter oilseed rapeResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)20174 (1)
Nutrient Budgeting: Organic Considerations for Implementing NRCS CPS 590Southern Regional Extension Forestry2014
Nutrient management in farms in conversion to organicSächsische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft2008
Nutrient supplyResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL2011
Organic Cultivation in Spring 2016 - Varieties, Seeds and Crop managementLändliches Fortbildungsinstitut Österreich2016
Organic Field Crop ProductionDalhousie University, OACC-
Organic quality wheat production - Results of long-term field trials of...Ländliches Fortbildungsinstitut Österreich,...2016
Organic Small Grain ProductionSouthern Regional Extension Forestry2011
Organic Soybean made easyFiBL2018
Organic Weed Management: A Practical GuideCharles Merfield2000
Pest Management in Organic Cropping SystemsDalhousie University, OACC-
Plant protection in organic farmingEkogwarancja PTRE2008
Potato Crop ManagementResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)2010
Practical advice for organic production of lupinesVerband der Landwirtschaftskammern Arbeitskreis...20144 (4)
Processing Quality of Organic WheatResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL2015
Regionally adapted humus balance in organic farmingSächsische Landesanstalt für Umwelt,...20133.7 (3)
Results an lessons learnt from field vegetables activity - cabbagePURE-
Results and lessons learnt from wheat-based cropping system activityPURE-
ROTOR: organic crop rotation plannerLeibniz Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research...20074.4 (7)
SmartSOIL ToolAarhus University20152 (3)
Soil and Fertility Management in Organic SystemsDalhousie University, OACC-
Soil fertility - manure treatmentLandwirtschaftliches Zentrum Liebegg2009
SOILappSchool of Advanced Studies Sant'Anna, Institute of... , Scuola Esperienziale Itinerante di Agricoltura... , The Greek Network for Biodiversity and Ecology in...2018
Sort Out Your Soil: A practical guide to green manuresCotswold seeds & Garden Organic Cotswold Seeds Ltd , Garden Organic-4 (5)
Soybean silageAIAB2018
Successful cultivation of grain legumes mixed with cerealsResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)2017
Testing peas for legume fatigueResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)20175 (1)
The Spade test - Visual soil assessment in the fieldResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL20164.5 (2)
The use of legumes - Nature-compatible cultivation practicesBundesamt für Naturschutz (BfN)2014
Transition to organic productionDalhousie University, OACC-
Use of variety mixtures to reduce disease, increase resource-use efficiency...PURE-
Weed control in organic farming through mechanical solutionsUniversität Kassel20113.5 (4)
Weed harrowing in spring cerealsPURE-
Winter field peas as green manure before maizeResearch Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)20174.5 (2)