Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA)
Ecological Recycling Agriculture (ERA) is organic agriculture based on local and renewable resources with an integration of animal and crop production (on each farm or farms in close proximity). This way a large part of the nutrient uptake in the fodder production (in Europe about 80 % of the arable land is used for producing fodder) is effectively recycled. This in effect means that each farm strives to be self-sufficient in fodder production which in turn limits animal density and ensures a more even distribution of animals to most farms.
As with organic farming no pesticides or artificial fertilisers are employed in ecological recycling agriculture. In addition the following principles are required in ERA:
- crop rotation
including leys with legumes etc
- balanced animal stock
0.5 – 1.0 animal livestock units/hectare. 1 livestock unit is approximately equivalent to the energy need of a cow who weighs 550 kg and milks 6000 kg milk/year
- self sufficiency in resources
more than 80% self-sufficiency with fodder and manure
As a farmer you will need a good plan and good support and you may need to make serious investments. The good news is that this support is available and that the result is awarding - both to you as a farmer and to a cleaner Baltic Sea.
To support conversion to ecological recycling agriculture BERAS Implementation applies several measures. We offer advisory services to farmers in the Baltic Sea drainage area that wish to go through the conversion process. Experts in the ERA principles of farming are also compiling Guidelines for farms oriented toward different types of production; including sections on agro practical aspects, economic aspects, and market aspects. Stories from farms going through conversion to ERA are going to be presented in a book with examples from each partner country. Market strategies for ecological market development, local food processing etc are also being developed.
For questions and more information please contact one of our national coordinators:
International Public Association
of Animal Breeders “East-West”
The Danish Ecological Council
Leif Bach Jørgensen
Estonian Organic Farming Foundation (EOFF)
MTT Agrifood Research Finland
Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research
Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre
Baltic Foundation HPI
Mobile Information Center
Polish Ecological Club in Krakow, City of Gliwice Chapter
Did you know?
An average Swede uses 4000 m2 of arable land for their food production.
Half of that area, 2000 m2 per person, would be enough if we reduce the amount of meat to about 20% of the food consumed.
2000 m2 per person corresponds to the average of Earth’s total cultivated area, divided equally among all people.