OWAB - Field trials 2018 - 2020


Winter faba bean (Vicia faba L.) can be used as protein-rich fodder for domestic animals and as substrate for biogas plants. The goal of the project is to develop agronomic practices that minimize the risk of nitrate pollution of ground water by winter faba bean cultivation during the winter months. Therefore, spring oat (Avena sativa L.) will be used as a catch crop grown after the harvest of the preceding crop and previously of winter faba bean. In addition, intercropping of winter faba bean/triticale as well as spring faba bean will be tested.
The replicated field experiment was established in 2018 and will be repeated in 2019 at the experimental station of the University of Goettingen, Reinshof. The previous crop was winter barley. Two winter faba bean lines (Augusta, Malibo) are tested. Spring oat was autumn-sown. Winter faba bean lines are sown directly into the growing spring oat in October. In addition to the pure stands, intercrops with winter faba bean/triticale and pure stands of triticale are tested. All variants will be established without spring oat. Bare fallow is a control. Spring faba beans in pure stand and intercropped with triticale are sown in spring to compare yields of winter and spring faba beans. The following hypotheses will be tested:

  1. Oat, as catch crop, significantly lowers the Nmin value in the soil and significantly reduces the risk of nitrate leaching.
  2. Intercropping of winter faba bean and cereals significantly lowers the Nmin value in the soil and thus reduces the risk of nitrate leaching.
  3. Biomass of the catch crop oat buffers low temperatures in winter faba bean and therefore reduces mortality of winter faba bean due to low temperatures in winter.
  4. Yields are higher in winter faba bean than in spring faba bean.

Person in charge

M.Sc. Katharina Hey
Prof. Dr. Stefan Siebert

Project duration

1st of August 2018 to 31st of October 2020


Federal Office for Agriculture and Food
Funding code: 2815EPS007


Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Link
(University of Goettingen, Division of Plant Breeding, Working Group "Breeding Research Faba Bean")