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Soil preparation at the Karl Bauer Organic Farm (Germany)

Updated: Jan 21, 2022

After looking at an early medieval context in relation to soil preparation last week, today's coverage is about jumping into the 21st century and to our grower Karl Bauer from Germany.

Karl Bauer farms a total of 75 hectares (185 acres) at two farm sites. Twenty hectares of this are farmed as arable land. Karl Bauer has been farming organically since 1988 and is a member of "Naturland". The management is oriented towards a circular economy and all the farm's own fodder is produced on site. The same applies to the fertilisation of the land, which is only done with the farm's own solid manure (from 40 mother cows) or through appropriate cover crops (green manure). The use of plant protection products and pesticides is not permitted according to Naturland standards.

One of Karl Bauer's two farm locations in the picturesque odenwald forest

The field selected for the project is a total of two hectares of loamy sand. The topographical position of the field is between 280 and 300 metres above sea level - with a slope towards the south. The average rainfall in this region is 900 mm per square metre. A mixture of lucerne and red clover was grown on the field for two years as a cover crop. On 20 September, the area was first loosened using a cultivator with a tractor pull and the clover grass was turned over.

Snapshot of the cultivator which was used during field preparation

Ploughing was carried out on October 9th using a four-share plough with tractor pull at a furrow depth of about 22-23cm.

Areal of the ploughing process on Oct 9th

Further seedbed preparation was finally done with a seed combination at sowing and will therefore be covered again in a later article.

An edited version of the complete ploughing proccess with a lot of details you can find in this video:


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