Austria - Marchfeld: Crop farming system
The case study area 'Marchfeld' is situated in the Pannonian lowlands of Austria. The landscape is characterized by intensively managed arable farming systems. Irrigation is routinely applied in vegetable production, but also in certain arable crops such as sugar beet, potatoes and maize. In 2007, 8 % of the cash crop farms were certified organic.
Number of farms surveyed
A total of 16 farms have been surveyed, 8 organic farms and 8 conventional farms.
Field crops and horticulture
Farmland is mainly composed of cereal crops, oil crops, grain legumes, sugar beet and potatoes (80% of the UAA in organic farms versus 90% in conventional farms). Other surfaces include fallow land, alfalfa and other fodder legumes (in organic farms), flowering area and miscanthus (2 farms). The biomass production of these temporary grasslands is generally not exported and contributes to nitrogen fixation in organic farms.
The average size of farms included in the BioBio project is 68 ha (72 ha in organic farms versus 64 ha in conventional farms). The average size of the parcels is similar in organic and conventional farms : 3 ha in OF versus 2.9 ha in CF.