Vision of a pollution-free future
Alex Mehlen had various reasons for converting his farm from conventional to organic farming. On the one hand, the natural fauna and flora should be respected as much as possible, and on the other hand, future generations should be able to live in a pollution-free environment. Pesticides and chemical fertilizers are no longer an option for the organic farmer. Organic farming methods mean more work and do not forgive mistakes on the field that easily. Weed control must be tackled as soon as possible. With mechanical tillage, every day counts, otherwise there will be a loss of yield. Nevertheless, one thing is certain for the farmer: organic farming is the only true agricultural economy.
"I work with nature for nature."
The right decision despite difficulties
After a two-year conversion phase, the dairy farmer has been producing 100% organic since December 2017. Due to the very low milk price after the abolition of the milk quota in 2015, the conversion was particularly difficult. Furthermore, he struggles with the drought due to the location of his farm in the east of the country. However, the support of the BIOG association and his own motivation helped him a lot. He feels more and more satisfied with his work and is sure that he made the right decision despite the difficulties. He does not regret the change and would do it again any time.
The dairy farmer produces fresh organic milk with his 60 dairy cows (mainly Fleckvieh). He cultivates 70 hectares of pasture land and 70 hectares of arable land where bread wheat, corn, peas and lucerne are grown. Everything that is produced on site is used to feed the animals. Other inhabitants of the farm are a breeding bull, some chickens and ducks.
During cultivation, the farmer naturally pays attention to the right crop rotation. He uses clover and alfalfa to promote life in the soil and to avoid diseases. The weeds in the fields, such as corn, are removed mechanically, first with a harrow and then with a hoe.
Alex is a member of the BIOG cooperative and a shareholder of the BIOG dairy, which collects processes and markets his milk.