Organic research: technical leaflets

Technical leaflet 1: Organic dairy cow nutrition – Download the leaflet here (PDF 201KB).
Summarises the key recommendations arising from research, in particular focusing on the absolute priority of improving production from forage and the importance of rumen and cow health as well as addressing issues of forage quality, the effect of season on forage protein, the role of mixed forages and self sufficient dairy systems.

Technical leaflet 2: Financial performance, benchmarking and management of livestock and mixed organic farming – Download the leaflet here (PDF 297KB).
Provides an overview of the financial performance of a range of organic farm types and an analysis of the key factors that affect profitability, including variable costs, particularly focusing on feed and forage, and fixed costs. It provides an introduction to benchmarking and improvement of farm profitability by comparing performance with other similar farms and focusing on underperforming areas to make improvements.

Technical leaflet 3: Organic beef and sheep nutrition – Download the leaflet here (PDF 326KB).
Reviews relevant research on beef and sheep nutrition, takes account of the experience of producers and provides practical recommendations on making better use of forage and guidance on ration formulation.

Technical leaflet 4: Soil analysis and management – Download the leaflet here (PDF 237KB).
Provides a summary of how soil analysis can be useful in the management of individual nutrients, provides information on sampling and different analytical techniques and considers the role of soil analysis in the context of other soil monitoring tools.

Technical leaflet 5: Compost – the effect on nutrients, soil health and crop quantity and quality – Download the leaflet here (PDF 256KB).
Provides a short practical guide to different composting techniques and the role and use of compost and fresh manure for different purposes and conditions.

Technical leaflet 6: A guide to nutrient budgeting on organic farms – Download the leaflet here (PDF 274KB).
Provides an introduction to Nutrient Budgeting to aid nutrient and crop planning on organic farms. It includes information on the principles of nutrient management and details of nutrient contents of crops, stock, manure and fertilizer for use in calculating nutrient budgets.

Technical leaflet 7: Composting with rock phosphate – Download the leaflet here (PDF 237KB).
Published as part of the Defra funded P-Link project led by the Scottish Agricultural College.

Technical leaflet 8: Managing phosphorus dynamics in organic rotations – Download the leaflet here (PDF 193KB).
Published as part of the Defra funded P-Link project led by the Scottish Agricultural College.

Technical leaflet 9: Fertility Building Leys – Download the leaflet here (PDF 130KB).
Conclusions from the Leg Link project Using legume-based mixtures to enhance the nitrogen use efficiency and economic viability of cropping systems. (LegLINK)

Technical leaflet 10:Sowing and Management of Multi-species Leys to Encourage Pollinators – Download the leaflet here (PDF 482KB).
This technical Leaflet provides farmers and advisers with guidance on the selection and manage- ment of multispecies leys as a means of supporting pollinators. It draws on the research findings of the LegLink project (see IOTA Technical Leaflet 9) and combines the benefits of multi-species leys for soil fertility building, forage production and pollinator foraging.

Technical leaflets provided by other institutions can be foundĀ here.

For research reviews, click here.

IOTA Research into Practice: A review of organic research and what it means for practical organic farming. The series of IOTA technical leaflets provides a summary of the key practical farming recommendations arising from organic research.

The Leaflets draw on the extensive organic research programme in the UK and elsewhere, the results of which are collated and analysed in the topic-focused IOTA Research Reviews (see here) and which provide further information if required.

The leaflets are intended to be used by farmers, advisers and others involved in organic and more sustainable agriculture systems. Hard copies can be printed from the PDF files provided; please circulate widely to anyone who may be interested.

We are grateful to Defra for funding the development of the Research Reviews, Technical Leaflets and associated Workshops under the PACA Res project OF0 347 and OF0 387.

The leaflets are available as hard copies free of charge to IOTA Members.


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