Organic Studies Centre

The Organic Studies Centre (OSC) is part of Duchy College's Rural Business School and is based at the Rosewarne Campus. The Rural Business School has been involved in organic research since 2001 when the OSC was formed.

The Centre was established to support farmer innovation and facilitate and encourage the participation of farmers in on-farm research activities, providing a facility for trials, demonstrations, training and research in organic agriculture. 


Farmer support

RBS research has formed part of national and international organic research programmes. Examples of a wide portfolio of projects include:

- Compendium of Animal Health and Welfare (Organic Vet)
Funded by Defra, the compendium of animal health and welfare information relevant to organic livestock production brings together material from a wide range of recent research and advisory sources, summarised into easily accessible parts for the benefit of farmers, veterinarians and organic advisors.

- Legume LINK project: LK09106: Using legume-based mixtures to enhance the nitrogen use efficiency and economic viability of cropping systems
Funded by Defra under the Sustainable Arable LINK scheme, the nationwide project aimed to improve fertility building in organic rotations through investigating combinations of different legume and grass species in mixtures and the provision of more efficient transfer of nitrogen to subsequent crops. Replicated field experiments were conducted over three years at multiple locations including Duchy College Rosewarne.

- The Aniplan Project: Minimising medicine use in organic dairy herds through animal health and welfare planning
A European project as part of the EU-funded CORE organic programme for which Duchy College was one of the UK partners. The project focussed on developing animal health and welfare planning principles for organic dairy farms under diverse conditions based on evaluating experiences and looked at developing guidelines for communication about animal health and welfare promotion in different settings.

- The Low Carbon Farming project
Originally a SWARM Hub sub-project (managed by the RBS), it is an initiative led by the Soil Association and was established to create farmer learning networks to help facilitate best practice in low carbon farming and provide information and tools to help farmers manage their carbon footprints, promoting the cost-benefit relationships.