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Methods to improve quality in organic wheat

The overall objective of AGTEC-Org has been to identify agronomical and technological ways to improve the performance of organic wheat and flour. And in this way to contribute to enhancing the baking quality and nutritional value of organic flour, and preventing mycotoxin contamination to fulfil consumers expectations of providing safe and healthy products. Below you find the most impoartant research results.

Conclusions and recommendations

Soil management

– Adoption of minimum tillage should be considered on organic systems where weed competition had been controlled by mechanical weeding or diverse crop rotation.
– Positive effect of minimum tillage on soil fertility could directly affect crop nutrient nutrition through good rooting when initial soil structure was good. No direct effect of minimum tillage on wheat quality was generally observed while others ecological benefits as improvement of soil biological fertility could be observed.
– The impact of reduced tillage on grain quality has no incidence when economic condition (e.g. policy aid support or selling price) and yield obtained are significant on wheat economic performance.

Nitrogen organic fertilization and green manure

– Organic grain systems are frequently characterized by temporary N deficiency with consequences on wheat yield and grain protein content. The incidence of N fertilization based on farmyard manure was moderate on wheat grain yield and grain protein content. On the contrary, adequate use of fertilizer with readily available nitrogen could significantly improve grain yield without impairing grain quality.
– On high fertility soil, regular use of green manure and forage legumes could balance the lack of on-farm manure.
– On less fertile soils, benefits of green manure on wheat performance were directly linked to water availability and quality of initial emergence. Grain quality parameters were affected by N fertilization while no or minimum incidence of green manure was observed.

(Source – http://www.coreorganic.org/research/projects/agtec-org/)

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