Innovative Landwirtschaft Reber

Regenerative Farming


Innovative Landwirtschaft Reber

Case Study Contents

About Farm

Farm Name

Innovative Landwirtschaft Reber

Year of foundation



Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg

Farm area/size of the organisation:

200 ha

Number of workers:

1-2 workers

Farm main activity:

General field crops, biogas production

Climate and soil characteristics

Oceanic climate

Measure Information

Description of the measure

Keeping soils covered with vegetation all year round, reducing tillage to a minimum, growing mixed crops instead of pure crops with as few chemical pesticides and mineral fertilizers as possible.

Objective of the measure

Build soil fertility by increasing or activating soil biology. The aim is to significantly improve the water storage capacity of soils in order to be able to absorb or release more water in stress situations.

Justification of the choice

Increasing weather extremes in the form of heavy rainfall, dry spells, and strongly increased temperatures force faster adaptation measures, especially on marginal sites. Irrigation is seldom worthwhile for the cultivation of classic arable crops, which is why we must focus even more strongly on our soil and in particular on its fertility.

Where did You get information of the measure from?

Participation in a soil course over 10 days in 2014/15, but also on the Internet and building a network of practitioners.

Description of the situation before the measure implementation

Not only just stagnant, but declining yields from 2010 forced us to think about what measures we can take to counteract.

In addition, there is the social discussion in Germany about chemical plant protection as well as the political decisions in the field of fertilization, which force us to tackle changes in the same way.

Implementation phase

Costs for the implementation

Annual additional costs of approx. 200€/ha in the investment phase (approx. 5-7 years).

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

Courses to impart knowledge about soil fertility. Bioland soil practitioner courses are the basis.


For the farmer, medium-term saving of costs after the investment phase (mineral fertilization, chemical plant protection, ..).
Less erosion, cleaner groundwater, cooling effects of vegetated areas in summer, storage of already emitted CO2 amounts in the soil,
Increase of social acceptance of plant production.
Farms put themselves in a worse economic position than other farms during the time they invest in their soils.


Innovation elements

Keeping soils vegetated, establishing a green-in-green cultivation system without glyphosate.

Key element for success

Knowledge exchange in a large network, avoiding to make all the same mistakes again – there is the need for procedures to work safely.


Acceptance constraints

The system is still poorly understood due to lack of knowledge among many conventional farmers.

Proposed solutions to above constraints

Transfer of knowledge from practice and science to the general public.

Lesson learned

Farmers’ experiences

Increasingly better water holding capacity, Increasing humus content by an average of 0.1%.

Measure sustainability

Environmental sustainability

Storage of CO2 from the atmosphere in the form of stable and permanent humus in the soils.

More humus means also better erosion control and better groundwater protection.

Economical sustainability

After 5-7 years of conversion, reduction of chemical plant protection and mineral fertilizers, but higher investments and thus economic disadvantage compared to classic arable farming.

Transfer of the measure

Replicability conditions required

  • Knowledge transfer!
  • Define measures that work safely for certain crops, in certain regions (climatic, source rock, etc.)
  • Science must finally also look at the best practice examples on the farms!

Conclusion remarks

Regenerative arable farming can solve many currently discussed problems of conventional farming. The question to be clarified is the financing of the transformation phase. This would be predestined to be included in the new CAP. Unfortunately, only individual measures are considered and discussed instead of systemic approaches.

Future plans

Further expansion of seminars on soil fertility and regenerative agriculture at our farm to reduce the knowledge deficit.

Open problems

Politicians talk about restructuring agriculture, but in trainings they still teach the same things as 40 years ago.

Outside, the policy acts with bans and subsidies, which, however, do not bring to the farms any further due to a lack of knowledge.


Real focus on sustainable, regenerative farming. Even if it is challenging following long-term approaches within a world focused on short term outcomes.

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