Book of Abstracts
11th IFOAM Scientific Conference
11-15 August 1996, Copenhagen, Denmark
Commissioned by Research Institute of Organic Agriculture CH-4104 Oberwil, Switzerland
The pesticides and artificial fertilizers, which are still widely used in the cultivation of ornamental plants, create a threat to mankind and the balance of nature. Therefore it is vital that a changeover should be made to ecologically safe growing methods for ornamental plants. The poster shows some aspects of biological cultivation in Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands in the light of experiences made by professional growers from different branches of ornamental plant production.
The use of organic methods for the cultivation of ornamental plants is difficult but possible and economically suitable. There are still many open questions in this field regarding the range of plants on offer, growth-regulation, liquid follow-up-fertilizers and disease control. In addition it must be considered which greenhouse heating systems can be justified.
For the professional growers the approach to the organic cultivation is difficult to realize. They are afraid of financial losses and therefore hesitate to convert to organic methods. A major problem is at the present time the marketing of organically-grown plants, as despite increasing environmental awareness average consumers are not jet sufficiently wiling to accept restrictions in the choice or appearance of the plants available. This is particularly the case as the plants have to be more expensive than those grown by conventional methods.
The further use of organic growing methods for ornamental plants is depending on a better exchange of ideas and experiences between individual growers on the one hand. On the other hand improved support from official sources in the form of advisory - is necessary. Additionally it is essential that customers become more conscious of the advantages of organic growing methods.
Billmann, B. (1995): Anbau und Absatz von Biozierpflanzen - Eine Bestandsaufnahme in der Schweiz, Deutschland und den Niederlanden. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Oberwil/Bl, Switzerland.
Sansone, P. & Vosburg, S. (1993): Sustainable Production of Cutflowers. Biodynamics No. 186, pp 17-23.