Operational Group (OG) ARGE Kreisläufe - Recycling through return, transfer, or use of organic byproducts on the farm.

Developing and testing practical solutions to close material cycles in farms through better use of agricultural residues.

Project summary: 

The farming sector in Austria is changing fast. Farmers are abandoning many traditional practices, such as extensive livestock farming, especially in eastern Austria. As they become more specialised, farms increasingly rely on external inputs and very few of them still have closed nutrient cycles. 
This OG worked on the development and testing of practical ways to improve nutrient and humus efficiency through better use of agricultural residues. The project organised experimental actions focused on straw-manure cooperation between farms (e.g. between arable farms and livestock farms); biomass transfer within a farm; composting of unused residues and subsequent utilisation; and innovative methods of using clay and biomass from nature conservation areas as digestate.

Project results: 

The -now tried and tested practices- will enable Austrian farmers to develop their own nutrient cycles and reduce their production costs through the circular use of waste and byproducts. 
Thanks to the experimental actions, the OG has calculated their first nutrient balances of farm cooperation, digestate exchange, cut and carry, and composting actions, including an evaluation of their economic performance and CO2 emissions.