Organic Rules and Certification

Crop rotation - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005

Padel, Susanne and Lowman, Steve (2005) Crop rotation - UK Soil Association Organic Standards 2005. [Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91]

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Summary

Soil Association standards require that, where a crop rotation is possible, it must use a sequence where the fertility building and fertility depleting crops maintain a balance, it must include crops with various root systems, it must include a legume crop, and it must leave enough time between crops with similar pest and disease risks. Where the rotation is not to this standard and relies on inputs, the farmer must show that the rotation is improving, is reducing the inputs, and is making maximum use of legumes and green manures. At least 3 seasons must be allowed between outdoor crops of alliums, brassicas or potatoes, but successional crops in the same year are allowed. With permission, two crops of the same family may be grown in successional years followed by a 6-year break. (Soil Association Organic Standards. Paragraphs 5.1.10-5.1.13.)

Difference

Soil Association require: where a crop rotation is possible, it must follow a number of specified rules regarding the types of crop and their sequence in the rotation. EU Regulations 2092/91 requires that the soil fertility and biological activity must be maintained by a multi-annual rotation including legumes, green manures or deep-rooting plants, but the requirements for the rotation are no more detailed than that.

Justification

The Soil Association standards on crop rotations are intended to ensure that the rotation will be an effective means of maintaining soil fertility and of controlling pests and diseases without the need for recourse to excessive or restricted inputs. The crop rotation specifications are intended to achieve maximum environmental benefits and minimum risks of environmental pollution or harm to biodiversity. The standards anticipate some of the most likely ways that rotations may be compromised by poor practice, and they include requirements and restrictions that aim to prevent these problems.

EU Regulation

Annex I. Principles of organic production and processing > A.Plant and plant products > Fertilizing - Annex I A2

Item type:Organic rules - Differences between other regulations/standards and EEC No 2092/91
Subjects:Crop production > Crop rotation
Crop production
Environmental care/environmental impact
Country/Standard: Europe > UK > Soil Association Organic Standards
Principles:Ecological principle
Principle of health
ID Code:226
Deposited By:INVALID USER
Deposited On:18 Dec 2005
Last Modified:16 Apr 2010 13:00

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