Organic farmer for the sake of future generations
Organic farming means future opportunities
Roland Scharll runs his organic farm in Lellingen in the north of Luxembourg with the help of his wife and father. He represents a way of life that is all about maintaining and protecting the resources made available to him. A key experience before the transition was when he went home to his children after work with his hands full of pickling agents. It became clear that he didn't want to use toxic chemicals anymore as he felt repulsive towards them. His exchange with other organic farmers was then the decisive trigger. Since 2010, the farm has been managed organically and designed as simple as possible - following to the motto: less is more.
We practice organic farming because conventional agriculture is a dead end, which makes us dependent on others.
Farming in a closed loop system
Since the farmer focuses on only keeping as many animals as can be fed with his own acre land, he has reduced his livestock due to the drought of recent years. There are now 90 cattle of the Fleckvieh breed living and grazing on the farm and the 55h grassland, 50 of which are dairy cows. The farm is also the home of about 220 chickens.
The farmer also cultivates 45h of arable land on which legumes, grains and corn are grown, which serve as a source of fodder. Potatoes are cultivated for direct marketing. Due to the special location of the farm, some soils are well suited for arable farming, others are not. Flexibility and adaptability are essential here. As a result, the crop rotation varies: in some parcels, grazing is resumed after 2 years and in other places, crops are cultivated for 6 to 7 years resulting in high yields.
As an organic farmer, he works with the cycle of nature and thus provides all the services that are expected from society. He tries to be fodder self-sufficient, i.e. to produce all the fodder on the farm. If this is not possible due to the drought, concentrated feed is exceptionally purchased from a certified organic farm in Germany.
Good soil management despite difficult conditions
Roland Scharll works with a combination of clover grass, field peas and summer vetches with a grass underseed, which is the basis of the fodder. He ensures the consistently high quality of the forage despite the special soil conditions by shredding the grain and harvesting the legumes with a turner and then storing them in the silos.
The dairy farmer belongs to the younger conversion generation, but is already represented on the board of Bio-Lëtzebuerg. He is always interested in new things and can imagine further operational developments.
Roland is a member of the BIOG cooperative and a shareholder of the BIOG dairy, which collects, processes and markets his milk.