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Dear readers,

Recently, we visited Italian farms participating in the SOLMACC project in order to discuss the implementation of climate-friendly practices with them. In the discussion with one farmer, a wine and olive grower in the Tuscany region, we realised how strong this year's climate irregularities affected farming. In springtime when the olive trees blossomed, it was too hot for proper fruit setting. During summertime, it was unusually wet and cool and the few olives hanging in the trees suffered from diseases and remained relatively small with very low fruit quality. Likewise, the grapes were affected by the abnormal weather conditions and finally needed to be harvested in an earlier stage due to a strong infestation with sour rot – not the best conditions for a great vintage. And even the surrounding cereal crops were unable to deliver a decent harvest due to bad weather conditions this year.

It is certainly debatable whether this year's strange weather is a direct consequence of the ongoing climate change or just a freak of nature. But in talks with the grower it became clear that for him, climate change with unusual weather has become commonplace, although not every year for the worse like this year.

For the grower, the experience of this bad harvest in 2014 shows once again that climate change with unusual weather conditions is not just an academic discussion but a reality with strong implications for farming even today. And this is one major reason for him to willingly participate in the SOLMACC project and to take action to prepare his farming practices to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

Klaus-Peter Wilbois & Andreas Gattinger
FiBL Germany
Scientific Coordinators SOLMACC



SOLMACC farmers start their climate-friendly practices

The 12 farms in Italy, Germany and Sweden are undergoing exciting transformation: following thorough farm assessment by FiBL and their national advisory teams, the farmers know how they can make their farms more climate friendly and are now starting out on the four-year endeavour: Soil has been sampled on all four farms and therefore the basis for comparison with 2018 has been secured. Each farmer will implement practices that are tailored to the practical context of his/her farm.

Photo: SOLMACC farmer Roberto Giulio Droandi at the Azienda Agricola Mannucci Droandi farm © Klaus-Peter Wilbois

The overview of the farms and their practices


Spotlight on farmer Kjell Sjelin

Kjell Sjelin is a visionary farmer living north of Uppsala in Sweden. Thinking and acting climate friendly is something that Kjell has done for many years. He has several interesting ideas and practices around how agriculture can act constructive instead of destructive on the planet. Some of Kjell's climate-friendly practices on the farm Hånsta Östergärde include mobile chicken houses and forest grazing pigs.

Photo: Free range pigs on the farm Hånsta Östergärde © Kjell Sjelin

Read more about Kjell Sjelin and Hånsta Östergärde farm


Video: SOLMACC in a nutshell

Everyone wishing to gain a quick and entertaining overview of SOLMACC can now make use of a new tool: the first SOLMACC video clip with a duration of 5 minutes summarises the project essentials and presents key members of the project consortium.

Watch the video


Recommended event: "Countering climate change with organic agriculture"

11 November - Brussels, Belgium

The event organised by IFOAM EU and the Roundtable on Organic Agriculture and Climate Change will bring together scientists, policy makers and civil society groups to discuss the latest state of science, developments in the UNFCCC negotiations and policy tools necessary to support the development of organic farming and uptake of agro-ecological approaches in the fight against climate change.

More information about the seminar


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SOLMACC is co-financed by LIFE, Directorate General of the Environment of the European Commission
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