Peter Bloching



Peter Bloching

Case Study Contents

About Farm

Farm Name

Peter Bloching

Year of foundation

Family owned farm for generations


Tubinga, Baden-Württemberg

Farm area/size of the organisation:

125 ha (80 ha arable land, 45 ha grassland)

Number of workers:

The farmer, his father, his son, his nephew and if necessary seasonal workers for harvest

Farm main activity:

Livestock, Mixed farming, Arable farming, Cattle

Climate and soil characteristics

The Alpine foothills, which include Upper Swabia and the Württemberg Allgäu, are a flat hilly landscape. The strong imprint of glacial processes is reflected in numerous typical landscape forms such as moraines, lakes and moors.

Baden-Württemberg lies in a transitional area between the maritime climate in the west and the continental climate in the east. This means that oceanic and continental climate influences alternate. Due to the prevailing westerly winds, the oceanic climate influences predominate, decreasing in the eastern parts of the state. The diversity of surface forms, i.e. the juxtaposition of high mountain areas and shielded basin areas, leads to considerable climatic differences even at short distances.
The farm is mainly located in the area of moraine landscape. Furthermore partly in the Jura and tertiary hill country.

Measure Information

Description of the measure

Agroforestry elements relevant to nature conservation can play an important role. In addition to potential timber and fruit production, they provide environmental services in terms of biodiversity and soil and water protection. This has had and continues to have profound effects on the landscape, but also on biodiversity in the respective regions. And above all on the soil’s ability to store moisture.

The solution implemented on Peter Bloching’s farm resulted in remarkable additional health and resilience of the crops in the field, as they are better protected from erosion and better able to retain water in the soil. Furthermore, in winter when snow drifts, up to 1m of snow is captured by agroforestry landscape elements, making additional water available.

In addition to agroforestry structures, grazing is very important. The uneven distribution of cow dung and urine creates very different nutrient situations and environments over a short distance. A natural water balance between the environments is created. This also allows the soil to react very well to various stress situations.

Long-straw varieties are used, which ensure a high dew formation throughout the summer, thus promoting the soil life in the upper area and protecting it from drying out.

An evergreen ground cover also makes a major contribution to this. The evergreen soil dormancy ensures a higher presence of soil microorganisms.

Researchers have found that fungal spores rain clouds to rain.

Objective of the measure

  • To achieve optimum yields with the best sustainable health by reducing or eliminating stress situations for plant life.
  • To increase biodiversity.
  • To create a pleasant landscape.
  • To strengthen the self-regulating power of the soil.

The overarching objectives are to promote a healthy diet and to strengthen the defenses of man.

Justification of the choice

Water management concerns: improving the water storage of the. Preservation and strengthening of humus through reduced erosion.

Working more with nature than seeking technical solution. This is where causal sustainability is seen.

Where did You get information of the measure from?

The work in networks of organic farming as well as the own motivation for innovative measures, guided by the goal of highest standards for animal welfare, plant health and holistic cycles on the farm and in the region.

Description of the situation before the measure implementation

In 1987 severe erosion and washing away of soil on the farm areas. Since 1989 continuous improvements towards the present situation. Concentration on direct and vending machine marketing.

In 2009 conversion to organic.

The fields were already cultivated according to ecological standards before the measures described above. The additional agroforestry led to further impacts in relation to the aspects described above.

Implementation phase

Description of the survey done for the implementation

The farmer has established measures to continuously improve the standards on his farm. He developed the following mission statement:

“It is good not to work against nature. It is better to work with nature. It is best to let nature work for you.” The mission statement is : “The Mesch is orderly. Nature is in order.”

Materials used

Plant material for agroforestry

Costs for the implementation

€ 3.000-5.000 + 150-200 working hours

Implementation / building

No special buildings are required.

Required maintenance operations

Maintenance/pruning of fruit trees as soon as the arable land or grassland is affected by excessive amounts of trees and shrubs.

The remaining component decks of the hedgerows are maintained and pushed back by grazing.

The cattle also absorb minerals at the same time.

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

Collaboration with a landscape biologist, natural gardener with regional connection and knowledge.

Farmer-to-farmer exchange and the adaptation to local needs. Important role of the farmer himself in terms of knowledge about regional autochthonous seeds, plants and soil qualities.


  • Reliable yields in terms of quantity and genuine quality and health-related ingredients.
  • Added value for the ecosystem, which can be marketed in Germany within the framework of existing compensatory measures at Länder level.
  • Efficient use in the water cycle, evaporation and dew formation.
  • Less stress for the plants.
  • Additional benefits for flora and fauna.
  • Appealing elements of the landscape.
  • Well-being of landscape visitors reflected in many field edge conversations with passersby.
  • Shade of agroforestry elements on arable land or grassland when the volume exceeds certain optimal values.
  • Due to the increased water in the soil, soil cultivation is only possible with a delay (approx. 2 days delay compared to neighbouring areas).
  • In the harvest, it is necessary to take into account the increased dew. This problem can be solved by starting later and end earlier end in the day.


Innovation elements

First farmer to implement such measures at the local level. Not only because of some compensation for the structure itself, but also for agronomic reasons.

Mobile pasture milking parlour on the field. Grazing of the arable land.

Diversity of products.

Key element for success

Innovative entrepreneurship.

Willingness to trial and error with the clear goal of being one of the best nature-based farmers each year by working with nature, or better yet, nature working for him.

Practical and scientific exchange.

Standard doctrine as much as possible and always question everything learned.


Physical constraints

  • Reduced area for the main crop, but this does not affect the yield/grass per hectare
  • Necessary maintenance of agroforestry elements from time to time

Technological constraints

  • Working widths must be taken into account for optimum spacing between structures
  • Obstacles when driving over the area

Acceptance constraints

  • None in society. Possibly, at the beginning, some fellow farmers wonder what is happening.
  • Today only feasible on owned land because landlords would see a reduction in the value of the land

Proposed solutions to above constraints

Keep in touch with the local and regional community. Keep a record of the positive and negative aspects of each action within the holistic approach to organic farming.

Awareness, field guides, explanation

Lesson learned

Farmers’ experiences

Initial main reasons were soil erosion. Today’s insight: versatile reservoir of soil life. Overall, the system proved to be very good and even more efficient than expected. It has stabilised yields and for the structures there was even possible financial income under compensation.

Of course, getting to know the system and how to use it is the key to success in the beginning.

Diversity, enrichment by marginal areas.


“It is good not to work against nature. It is better to work with nature. The best is to let nature work for you“

Measure sustainability

Environmental sustainability

Improved water retention capacity of the soil.

Soil protection and promotion of humus build-up.

In the end, sustainability can be measured by the health of the animal population.

Economical sustainability

Due to the stable quality and quantity of yields per year, a good position on the market and for food on the farm.

Transfer of the measure

Replicability conditions required

  • Knowledge transfer and sharing
  • Scientific support for farmers
  • Farmer support for science

Additional Required Conditions for spreading the measure

Upscaling possible with open-minded farmers

Conclusion remarks

The introduced agroforestry supports sustainable agriculture taking into account ecological, social and economic aspects.

Future plans

Continue to improve resource use (water, soil, solar, energy) on the farm. Specifically:

  • Even more labour-efficient/ efficient pasture management
  • Reduction of internal transports
  • Increase crop yields
  • Energy supply of the farm based mainly on solar power.
  • Further energy savings

As an entrepreneur, there is always something to learn. The key is to remain ambitious.

Open problems

Dealing with experimental measures on farms in the context of agricultural management and regulation.

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