Medved Farm – Investing in soil conservation practices
A family farm invested in soil conservation practices to increase its capacity to store water and its microbial biomass activity.
The Medved farm is a family farm located in north-eastern Slovenia. The family started farming 40 years ago on 4 hectares of arable land; today the farm has 55 ha of cultivated land. The farm grows in rotation corn, wheat or barley and a grass-clover mix (TDM), although its main activity is milk production with 75 cows.
The farm has gradually switched from conventional agriculture to agri-environmentally friendly practices. Some of the commitments the family has undertaken under the agri-environment-climate measure in the Slovenian Rural Development Programme (RDP) include field greening, through sowing of green manure crop and no tillage. They have also undertaken the application of liquid organic fertilisers directly into the soil or on the surface, immediately before sowing, leading to its immediate incorporation into the soil. An earlier RDP investment project, funded under the measure for investments in physical assets (M4), enabled the family to acquire the necessary machinery for implementing conservation agriculture.
Organic matter has been increasing in various proportions relative to the soil type. The average increase of the share of organic matter ranges from 1% to 1.5%.
Conservation practices result in simple and effective farming. Fuel consumption was reduced by approximately 20%.
For now, the farm’s productivity is the same as when conventional agriculture was carried out. However, the owners expect that by improving the soil’s condition, the productivity will increase each year.