The research results show that biodynamic agriculture has an influence on many fields of life – it contributes for example towards improving food quality, advancing animal well being and stabilising the climate.
Biodynamic agriculture is counted among the pioneers of organic production. New vegetable and cereal varieties are being developed (Sativa Rheinau, Bingenheimer Saatgut), procedures for evaluating food quality are practised (copper chloride crystallisation) and through the application of compost and biodynamic preparations, soil fertility is improved. New models for land ownership are also being developed. Biodynamic agriculture combined research and practice from the very beginning. One of the current research projects is focused on improving animal well being. The separation of the calf from its mother is one of the most difficult moments to bear. Mechthild Knösel from Rengoldshausen farm (D), Anet Spengler from FiBl the Swiss Organic Research Centre and Silvia Ivemeyer from Kassel University (D), have been looking for solutions and have developed an approach which has even received enquiries from conventional farmers. Daniel Kusche from Kassel University (D) has demonstrated that milk produced under biodynamic management is more digestible than that originating from other systems. A field trial in India showed that biodynamic practices sequester more carbon dioxide in the soil than other approaches thereby contributing towards climate stabilisation.
A hundred contributions about the work being undertaken on farms and at universities were shared with the 180 participants who attended the International Conference on Biodynamic Research which took place at the Goetheanum from 5th - 8th September. Jean-Michel Florin co-director of the Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum said: “Biodynamic research employs scientific methods and is always open to new approaches. We need research that not only offers proof but also furthers development and addresses the concrete questions that farmers have”.
The Goetheanum is at the centre of a globally active network of spiritually engaged people. As the headquarters of the School of Spiritual Science and the General Anthroposophical Society, it provides a platform for discussing spiritual questions and for further training in the arts and sciences.
(Sebastian Jüngel, tranlsation by Bernard Jarman)