On the 27th May the first Open FiBL Day took place under the motto “Organic agriculture and beyond” as a virtual event. Anyone interested to learn more about the work of FiBL at national and international level and across national borders was invited to take part. In more than 40 parallel sessions a large variety of different projects, services and scientific results were presented. ConServeTerra participated in the thematic slot “soil fertility and plant production” to inform the interested listeners about the first year of the project.
Harun Cicek from FiBL and coordinator of ConServeTerra, has put the importance of understanding mental and cultural barries that hamper the adoption of Conservation Agriculture in the Mediterranean area, in the focus of his talk. Although Conservation Agriculture has proven to be particularly effective in dry areas such as the Mediterranean, it lacks significant adoption from farmers. Thus, Cicek emphasized on the importance of seeing soil as a living entity so that farmers can be expected to practice soil conservation. With the Farmer Field School approach ConServeTerra works on improving this basic understanding of soil by practically demonstrate to farmers the positive effects of soil conservation techniques such as site-specific tillage, stubble and grazing management or the integration of pulses and legumes into crop sequences.
After the talk of Cicek, the participants could engage with the presenters to ask specific questions about the project. Participants were particularly interested in the methodological approach of assessing the importance of mental barriers when it comes to soil conservation and the question of how to evaluate the optimum level of grazing in a controlled scientific environment. The Open FiBL Day was a good event to inform a larger audience about ConServeTerra.