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Birte Boelt

Organic herbage seed production

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearch

Organic farmers are supposed to use organically produced seed. For more than 20 years, organic cool­ season grass and clover seed has been produced in Denmark. For the past 10 years, the average total production area has been approximately 3,000 ha, with the major species in production being perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.). Organic seed crops are undersown in a spring barley cover crop using different establishment techniques. Perennial ryegrass seed is sometimes mixed with and sown with the spring barley and can also be established after a mechanical weeding of the spring barley. Obtaining a solid and uniform establishment of the seed crop is considered a very important weed control strategy, which in organic grass seed production also consists of a relatively high nitrogen application. In the seed production year, various new techniques for mechanical weeding are being tested in experiments at Aarhus University and in grower fields. One of the major challenges in organic white clover seed production is insect pests (Apion spp. and Hypera spp.). Earlier experiments have shown seed yield decreases of 40% in untreated control plots. In years with high incidence of insect pests, the seed grower might choose a late defoliation of the white clover seed crop to reduce the damaging effects of the insects. However, a recent study has shown that biological control using a parasitoid might be promising as a long­term pest management strategy. Over the past two decades, organic seed production practices have been established and, interestingly, are now being tested and adapted in conventional herbage seed production.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Herbage Seed Conference
EditorsNicole P. Anderson
Number of pages3
Publication year2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Event10th International Herbage Seed Group Conference - Oregon State University, Corvallis, United States
Duration: 12 May 201919 May 2019


Conference10th International Herbage Seed Group Conference
LocationOregon State University
LandUnited States

    Research areas

  • perennial ryegrass, white clover, organic, establishment, pest management

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