Comparison of leys on conventional and organic farms
¹Department of Grassland Science and Botany, Estonian Agricultural University, Kreutzwaldi 56, 51014 Tartu, Estonia
²Department of Soil Science and Agrochemistry, Estonian Agricultural University, Viljandi Road, Tartu, Estonia
The objective of this research was to compare the potential production of conventional and organic leys depending on the nutritive status of the soil. Three pairs of dairy farms, located in different regions of Estonia, were selected: Lääne (west), Harju (north) and Võru (south-east) Counties. In this research work, the botanical composition of the sward, the dry matter (DM) and crude protein (CP) yield and concentration in grass were measured. The soil pHKCl and the content of organic matter were determined, including the content of soluble plant nutrients P, K, Ca and Mg in the soil. The soil profiles were described and the soils were classified.
As the organic farms, with legume-rich swards, were quite similar to the conventional farms, the preliminary results did not show large differences between the two farming types studied. The average DM yield of the ley at the first cut and the total DM yield were higher on the conventional farms.