Farma Blatnička

Diversified agriculture

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Farma Blatnička

Case Study Contents

About Farm

Farm Name

Farma Blatnička

Year of foundation

2010

Location

Hodonín, South Moravian

Farm area/size of the organisation:

11 ha. However, the measure is implemented in a total of 65 ha.

Number of workers:

Maximum 10 workers, even though the number varies during the season.

Farm main activity:

General field crops, Fruit trees.

Climate and soil characteristics

Warm and slightly humid climatic region, beet production area with intensive agricultural use, fertile soil.

Measure Information

Description of the measure

The uniform monocultural landscape was divided into land blocks smaller than 10 hectares. The area is now characterised by a varied mix of farming methods – arable land, undemanding landscape orchards, pear tree alleys with shrubs, grassed strips with various plant species, meadows and fallow fields. There are also organic production orchards in part of the area.

Objective of the measure

The aim of the restoration of the natural landscape structure was to increase the overall ecological stability and biodiversity. The division into smaller land blocks should improve the permeability of the landscape, reduce water and wind erosion and improve adaptation to drought and torrential rains.

Justification of the choice

The municipality has not planned any measures with a similar objective within the land consolidation plan in the area of interest. Therefore, the precaution appropriately complements a network of similar activities undertaken by the municipality in other parts of the cadastre or by municipalities in adjacent cadastral areas.

Where did You get information of the measure from?

The author graduated from Masaryk University in Brno with a degree in botany, zoology and ecology. He got further information from the internet and scientific literature.

Description of the situation before the measure implementation

Before the planting of the alleys and the creation of the grassed strips, the area was used for intensive field cropping with all the consequent negative effects such as soil compaction, destruction of soil fauna or loss of natural nutrients. The area suffered from water and wind erosion, also caused by strong drying winds.

Stakeholders

Stakeholders involved

Neighbouring farmers and subsidies providers.

Description of stakeholders’ role

Co-financed through agricultural subsidies (SAPS, Greening, conservation programme for Northern lapwing (Vanellus Vanellus)), subsidies from the Ministry of the Environment (Landscape management programme, The Landscape Natural Function Restoration Programme).

Implementation phase

Costs for the implementation

The total costs were not calculated but included the farmer’s resources, donations, volunteer work and partly subsidies.

Utilization of subsidies

The above-mentioned funding from the subsidy programme for the restoration of natural functions of the landscape is administrated by the Ministry of the Environment.

Required maintenance operations

The planted trees should be pruned and adequately fenced until there is no risk of damage from wildlife. In addition, gradual mowing of grassed areas is required.

Recommended knowledge / skills / training / courses / education desired before starting the measure implementation:

The farmer obtained the information especially from his professional education and practical experience; additionally, he also recommends freely available information sources.

Impacts

After measures implementation, erosion has disappeared completely, and therefore there is no deterioration in the yield potential and financial value of the land.
The grassed strips infiltrates rainwater, which increases soil moisture and groundwater reserves and slows down rapid runoff. Deep-rooted trees uptake underground water resources and improve the microclimate for the surrounding agricultural landscape. After only three years, the diversity of the local fauna has increased.
For the general public, the farmer organizes guided tours through the pear orchards. During the spring, walks around the property take place within the Weekend of Open Gardens. The symbolic planting of trees by children is of educational significance.

Innovation

Innovation elements

So far, no local landowner has attempted to apply similar measures in the area.

Key element for success

The measure is an excellent example of agricultural monoculture transformation into a diverse and resilient landscape.

Constraints

Physical constraints

The area had to undergo a comprehensive land consolidation because the original plots were too narrow and scattered throughout the cadastre.

Technological constraints

The following phases of the development are complicated by new lease agreements, which need to terminate first. In most cases, there is 1-5 years notice period.

Lesson learned

Farmers’ experiences

After the first grassed strips establishment, the erosion problem was extinguished, and biodiversity increased significantly. The populations of field birds increased, for whose protection initial temporary fallow fields and purposefully maintained fields were established. After five years of increased use of leguminous plants, there was a significant improvement in soil structure and increased appearance of earthworms, which were rarely present in the topsoil before.

Testimonies

“It was a pleasant surprise when a neighbouring farmer came with his equipment to prepare the land for planting without asking for the payment, just because he liked the project. Gradually, other farmers started with grassing (especially around watercourses).”

Measure sustainability

Environmental sustainability

The planted trees are multi-generational (200-500 years), so there is no need to think about their renewal.

Economical sustainability

Investment is only necessary at the beginning.

Transfer of the measure

Replicability conditions required

  • A prerequisite for introducing such measures on the farm is a good land structure (if the plots are very narrow or have an inappropriate shape, comprehensive land consolidation is necessary).
  • The land must be owned by the farmer so that he can plant trees with multi-generational overlap.

Conclusion remarks

The farmer has succeeded in introducing long-term sustainable measures to restore the natural functions of the landscape, to inspire other farmers to sustainable farming practices and to arouse interest in this topic among the general public.

Future plans

Plans include grazing animals and sell of extensively-grown fruit.
CZ06_05

AGRIWATER project has been funded with the support from the European Commission, with the reference number 2020-1-CZ01-KA204-078212. The content of this website reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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