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Integration of valuable arable wild herbs in intensive cash crop cultivation

Stable yield levels, healthy crops and maximum contribution margins were the focal points of the trial, in which five different crop rotations were compared - from the grain maize-winter wheat rotation to the extensive crop rotation with sugar beet - summer durum - oilseed rape - winter wheat - peas - winter wheat.


Contents and goals

The long-term trial was organised in large plots to ensure easier applicability in practice. Using technology common in practice, four replicates and an individual plot size of 1,200 m² were used, taking into account the suitability for statistical analysis.

The trial was designed to clarify the following questions:

Which crop rotation achieves the highest contribution margin at the location with an even humus balance?

Can stable wheat yields and qualities be produced in all crop rotations?

Which crop rotation achieves the most stable yield level at the location with the lowest possible fluctuations and risk?

Comparison of sugar beet and winter oilseed rape: Together in a 6-field rotation or separately in two 3-field rotations?

The five crop rotations were also analysed with regard to economic and ecological aspects.

In addition, secondary trial questions were investigated as part of the crop rotation trial: Among other things, a comparison of winter wheat varieties was integrated in 2016-2018 and ecologically heterogeneous material in 2022. 


Task of the DLG

The DLG is responsible for the entire test facility - from tillage to harvest, including all relevant assessments and the economic evaluation. Numerous project, bachelor's and master's theses were supervised by the DLG throughout the entire trial period.



An initial conclusion: It is not only the yield achieved from the individual crops that should be decisive when considering crop rotation. Factors that are difficult to quantify in monetary terms, such as the effect on the soil structure or the conscious use of active ingredients, are additional important aspects for sustainable farm management.

Interim report 2013-2017     Evaluation of variety comparison 2016-2018    Harvest results 2021

Project duration

from 2013 to 2023