DOK-trial
Take me to the farm

DOK-trial

Switzerland, 1978

The DOK-trial (dynamic, organic, conventional) is a farming system comparison trial, jointly managed by the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL) and Agroscope. While the original research question focused on the feasibility of organic farming in general, scientific research has been expanded on e.g. crop health, soil nutrient fluxes, trace gas emissions and other topics. The comparison between a treatment receiving only mineral fertilizer and a treatment receiving farmyard manure serves as an example for farming systems with and without livestock.

SilvoarableSilvopastoralMixed farmingDOK trialSwitzerland1978Dehesa of MajadasSpain2014ArninoItaly2014Lamartine agroforestry siteFrance1989Restinclières AgroforestryPlatformFrance1995Tenuta di PaganicoItaly2014WakelynsUnited Kingdom1992Agroforestry Research PlatformAFBIUnited Kingdom19891DOK trial7Wakelyns8Restinclières2Dehesa of Majadas4Tenuta di Paganico5Lamartine3Arnino6AFBI

Farming system

Mixed farming

Size

1.3
ha

Farming system

10.5º
C
MAT*
840
mm
MAP**

Treatments

No fertilisation
Mineral fertilizer
Farmyard manure
Mineral fertilizer

Components

Crops

Design

Field trial
Latin rectangle
* MAT: Medium Average Temperature 
  ** MAP: Medium Average Precipitation
Aim
The original aim of the DOK trial was to study the effect of different farming systems (organic farming, mixed farming, conventional farming) on crop performance, soil properties and other ecosystem services. Today, the trial serves as an experimental platform for basic as well as applied research topics, including soil biodiversity, greenhouse gas emissions, nutrient dynamics and farming system sustainability.
In AGROMIX we compare mixed farming treatments that are fertilized with slurry to conventional farming, where mineral fertilizers are used.
Dok Trial - fields photo
Dok Trial - fields photo

The DOK-trial provides the unique opportunity to study different farming systems since more than 40 years.”
Jochen Mayer
AGROSCOPE
Key findings
Mixed and non-mixed farming systems have similar crop yield over 42 years.
Mixed farming systems keep a high soil quality, while it is reduced under non-mixed farming.
High soil quality and soil biota requires comparatively high livestock density which causes trade-offs to other goals such as food security and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.
trial-site-factsheet
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Discover our eight agroforestry and mixed farming trial sites
Contact
Partner
Publications
Hartmann, M., Frey, B., Mayer, J., Mäder, P., & Widmer, F. (2015). Distinct soil microbial diversity under long-term organic and conventional farming. The ISME journal, 9(5), 1177-1194.
Leifeld, J., Reiser, R., & Oberholzer, H. R. (2009). Consequences of conventional versus organic farming on soil carbon: Results from a 27‐year field experiment. Agronomy Journal, 101(5), 1204-1218.
Mäder P, Fliessbach A, Dubois D, Gunst L, Fried P, Niggli U. Soil fertility and biodiversity in organic farming. Science. 2002; 296:1694-7.
Mayer, J., Gunst, L., Mäder, P., Samson, M. F., Carcea, M., Narducci, V., & Dubois, D. (2015). Productivity, quality and sustainability of winter wheat under long-term conventional and organic management in Switzerland. European Journal of Agronomy, 65, 27-39.

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COORDINATOR
Dr. Sara Burbi - Centre for Agroecology, Water and Resilience - Coventry University, Ryton Gardens Campus, CV8 LG, UK
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