Farm “Kostiv R.P.” was founded in 1992 by Bogdan Kostiv’s father Roman in the picturesque Opillya region of Ukraine. The farm is located within the Western Bug catchment that starts in Verkhobuzh Village in the Zolochiv District. And through the Zarvanytskyi ditch, Zolochivka, Western Bug and Vistula rivers, this watershed connects with the Baltic Sea.
Over the years of successfully growing crops on their land, the Kostiv family has earned a reputation in the region for their proficiency and knowledge in crop production and agricultural machinery. So it was no surprise when the eldest son, Bogdan, chose agronomy as his profession and, after graduating from the University, began working actively on the farm. In fact, academia would prove to have a profound impact on the future of the farm.
In 2006, Bogdan participated in an International Conference at Lviv Agricultural University, where a presentation by Mr. Zach Rainer, a famous agricultural expert in biodynamic farming was given. The presentation left such a deep impression, it inspired Bogdan to begin the application process to have the farm certified according to organic production standards.
Today, the farm has successfully received its organic certification, and employs practices and methods that are in harmony with nature. Special attention is paid to the preservation of soil fertility. That’s why so-called green fertilizers (siderates), such as mustard, peasoat mixes, oil radish, phacelia, amaranth, malva and white lupine are actively grown.
The farm also practices crop rotation, which helps to reduce soil erosion and runoff, increase organic matter and generally improve the physical properties of the soil. Quality and safety of output is also of utmost importance on the Kostiv R.P. Farm, and all factors that can negatively influence production are thoroughly explored.
The Kostiv family has enjoyed such great benefits since adopting organic farming methods, that they have become more active in the farming community — hosting activities and sharing what they have learned with other farmers.
In 2018, Bogdan Kostiv received the national Baltic Sea Farmer of the Year Award in recognition of his efforts to reduce nutrient runoff on his farm.
Location: Polyany village in western Ukraine
Type of farm: Organic farm (5 ha)
Main production: Cereals, oilseeds and legumes
Key practices: Organic crop production, composting, green manuring, crop rotation
National jury motivation: “The farm uses organic methods in plant protection, and special attention is paid to the preservation of soil fertility. Methods used also include the improvement of soil, crop rotation, and plant choices. Additionally, the farm actively develops its activities and promotes information about organic production, sharing with other farmers and interested people.”