Relevante projekter

SoilCare: Soilcare for profitable and sustainable crop production in Europe

European crop production is facing the challenge to remain competitive, while at the same time reducing negative environmental impacts. Currently, production levels in some cropping systems are maintained by increased input (e.g. nutrients and pesticides) and technology, which masks losses in productivity due to reduced soil quality (Reeves 1997; Jones et al. 2012). Such increased use of agricultural inputs may reduce profitability due to their costs, while also negatively affecting the environment, both due to unsustainable use of energy and resources in producing inputs (Rockström et al., 2009) and as a consequence of their application. The quality of agricultural land is also threatened by human action, leading to, often subtle and gradual, physical, chemical and biological degradation of the soil (Attard et al. 2011; Cassman 1999; Gasso et al 2013; Sapkota et al. 2012). This includes soil threats such as erosion, compaction, salinization, soil pollution, loss of organic matter and loss of soil biodiversity. Soil improvement is necessary to break the negative spiral of degradation, increased inputs, increased costs and damage to the environment (Sørensen et al. 2014). 

Period: 01/03/2016 - 28/02/2021

MACSUR2. A detailed climate change risk assessment for European agriculture and food security, in collaboration with international projects

FACCE MACSUR aggregates research groups specialized on modelling grasslands, livestock, crops, farms, and agricultural trade. Researchers explore jointly how climate change will affect regional farming systems and food production in Europe and what adaptation and mitigation options exist. In the first phase of FACCE MACSUR (June 2012-May 2015), we put emphasis on activities supporting the networking of scientists across and within the crop, grassland, dairy/livestock, farm, and socio-economic modelling communities. We achieved a greater understanding of the requirements of different existing approaches used in the modelling communities. At Theme level inventories and descriptions of available models served as basis for an agreement on core scenario assumptions for modelling activities across all three Themes in MACSUR, and on the definition of research priorities, e.g. crop rotations, uncertainty, stochastic economic models, grassland quality, representative agricultural pathways, farm-scale GHG emissions. These activities resulted in joint scientific publications, training workshops, and new collaborations within MACSUR and with scientists outside MACSUR. In the remaining time until May 2015 we will summarise our results for presentations to policymakers and farmers as a base for soliciting further inputs from them. Concrete steps for engagement with stakeholders are planned at European level and in several countries. In MACSUR2 we intend to build upon the strong links established by networking in MACSUR1 and strive for even greater precision in the scientific work of Theme activities. We will use models, techniques and methodologies already improved during MACSUR1, to carry out a new state-ofthe-art Europe-wide climate change risk assessment for farming and food security. The methodology of upscaling of integrated models to European scale builds on the results of MACSUR1. This level of integration is therefore the pinnacle of the work of MACSUR2. Given the scientific excellence of the Knowledge Hub we will address to a greater extent the interests of policymakers and the agro-food chain, especially farmers. For the implementation of MACSUR2 we will solicit and use input from our dialogue with stakeholders already gained in the 1st phase of MACSUR and continued along with the progress of the 2nd phase of MACSUR. 

Period: 01/07/2015 - 30/06/2017

Sustainable finance for sustainable agriculture and fisheries (SUFISA)

A good functioning of the European food system is key to deliver food and nutrition security for all Europeans. However, that system faces many economic, environmental and social challenges as well as opportunities following socio-economic and technological developments, that are not equally distributed throughout the EU. Future policymaking aiming at healthy and resilient systems needs to take into account this differentiation and diversity of approaches, which necessitate foresight activities that take into account both the development of important driving forces as well as the social and spatial diversity. Primary production—that is agriculture, fisheries and aquaculture—forms the foundation of the food system. Its structure and performance is influenced by various conditions shaped by both the public and the private sector. As economic agents, primary producers aim at generating a sufficient amount of income, but their financial conditions are highly dependent on public and private actors, such as government regulators (including the EU’s agricultural and fisheries policies), the financial sector, suppliers, the food industry, retailers, etc. In other words, the web of policy requirements as well as input and output market imperfections greatly shape farmers’ and fishermen’s livelihoods. Knowledge on the conditions of primary producers and the driving forces influencing these conditions exists, but in a fragmented way: not all primary producers and regions are covered, not all driving forces have been investigated, cross-linkages between them have been insufficiently analysed, future opportunities are not well integrated, etc. The purpose of SUFISA is to identify sustainable practices and policies in the agricultural, fish and food sectors that support the sustainability of primary producers in a context of multi-dimensionsal policy requirements, market uncertainties and globalisation. 

Period: 01/05/2015 - 30/04/2019

Fertility building management measures in organic cropping systems (FertilCrop)

The project FertilCrop will address sustainable crop management techniques that will make efficient use of the interface to other plants, to the structured and stratified soil matrix, to beneficial microorganisms, and to the carbon and nitrogen cycle. The project targets organic farmers and will work in close connection with them in developing tools and decision support systems tailored to their needs. Participants of the project come from 12 European countries from research fields of agronomy, biology, crop sciences, soil sciences, microbiology, modelling and social sciences and experience in direct interchange with farmers and their organisations. The project builds on the network and findings of the previous TILMAN-ORG project, in which half of the project partners were participating. The previous project built on numerous field trials and farm networks on reduced tillage and green manures, which will be used again in FertilCrop, enriched with other field studies from new partners. Focus of FertilCrop are farming systems using reduced soil tillage, cover crops, adapted crop rotations and mixed cropping as well as orchards. Thematic work-packages address the competition weeds in crop stands, the physical properties of stratified soils that accumulate organic matter in top soil layers but often show compaction in the deeper horizons, the distribution of soil organisms along the soil profile and their influence on soil functions, review on the knowledge about nutrient losses to the aquatic environment and the atmosphere, and modelling the reduction of emissions and soil carbon sequestration. FertilCrop will develop tools with and for farmers to recognize good soil fertility and will develop in an iterative way decision support systems to optimize management strategies. The results will directly find their way into farming practice as farmers will be included in the project. 

Period: 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2017

Engineering of oat proteins: Consumer driven sustainable food development process (OATPRO)

There is a global need to change consumer habits for increased plant protein intake. Availability of OATPRO 5 of 32 sustainable plant protein sources could be increased by finding novel protein sources or by efficient valorisation of the existing ones. Side streams from cereal processing are under-exploited or even wasted despite their high content of health promoting valuable components such as dietary fibre, protein and bioactive compounds.

Oats are an important crop with a superior amino acid composition as compared to other cereal proteins. Oats are mainly consumed in the form of flakes and porridge or used as a source of soluble dietary fibre (β-glucan). In production of oat bran ingredients rich in β-glucan, a protein enriched fraction can also be recovered, but its use in food applications has been very little studied. Development of new plant protein enriched foods requests for understanding of consumers’ willingness to accept such products. Consumer acceptance of any food product is a complex phenomenon, and can be expected to be even more complex in the case of highly new product concepts. The sensory aspect is especially important, as protein ingredients often have disadvantageous off-flavours, bitter or astringent taste. Thus, turning promising technology into successful oat-protein food applications is dependent on integrating the consumer view into the product development process from the beginning till the end.

The aim of the project is to use oat protein side stream from β-glucan processing as an ingredient in protein-enriched cereal foods or for replacement of animal based proteins, and develop food applications where oat protein would best be accepted by consumers. Re-thinking the current food ingredient processing chain and efficient valorisation of oat as a protein ingredient will assist in increasing protein self-sufficiency in Europe, and benefit environment by providing alternatives for animal based protein ingredients.

period: 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2017

Organic Cotton for Employment, Growth and Environment

In this research project, we develop and apply an interdisciplinary framework for assessing and comparing environmental, economic, and social sustainability of cotton production in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our analysis includes several currently practiced organic and conventional ways of cotton production as well as some innovative—potentially more sustainable—ways of cotton production. Sustainability is assessed by several indicators, e.g. pesticide residues, soil fertility, greenhouse gas emissions, competitiveness, income and employment generation, and social conditions along the value chains. The empirical studies are conducted in Benin and Tanzania, representing West and East Africa, respectively.  

Period: 01/01/2015 - 31/12/2019

AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development - AGFORWARD

Agroforestry is the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions. AGFORWARD (AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development) is a four-year project, developed by 23 organisations at the forefront of agroforestry research, practice and promotion in Europe, with the goal of promoting appropriate agroforestry practices that advance sustainable rural development. The project will i) increase our understanding of existing, and new extensive and intensive agroforestry systems in Europe; ii) identify, develop and demonstrate innovations to improve the ecosystem service benefits and viability of agroforestry systems in Europe using participatory research, iii) develop better adapted designs and practices for the different soil and climatic conditions of Europe, and iv) promote the wide adoption of sustainable agroforestry systems.

Successful and sustainable agroforestry practices are best developed by farmers and land owners working in partnership with researchers, extension staff, and other rural businesses. AGFORWARD will facilitate 33 participative agroforestry research and development stakeholder groups to improve the resilience of i) existing agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value such as the dehesa and montado; and ii) olive, traditional orchard, and other high value tree systems, and the sustainability of iii) arable and iv) livestock systems with the integration of trees. Using existing bio-economic models, AGFORWARD will evaluate and adapt the innovations to improve the delivery of positive ecosystem services and business profitability at farm- and landscape-scales across Europe. By using and developing existing European fora, such as the European Agroforestry Federation, AGFORWARD will implement an informative and effective promotion programme to benefit the European economy, environment and society. 

Period: 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Pig production in eco-efficient organic systems (pECOSYSTEM)

Projektet vil gennem nytænkning af det eksisterende produktionssystem understøtte udbredelsen af en mere konkurrencedygtig, troværdig og ressourceeffektiv økologisk svineproduktion. I de nuværende økologiske systemer er klima- og miljøbelastningen ikke væsentlig forskellig fra konventionel produktion. Samtidig fungerer de nuværende stalde med befæstede udearealer ofte uhensigtsmæssigt i forhold til hygiejnestyring og er karakteriseret ved en stor ammoniakfordampning. Velfærdsmæssigt er fravænningsdiarré hos smågrise et stort problem i nogle besætninger.

Vi foreslår et nyt produktionskoncept baseret på integreret produktion af træbiomasse og frilandssvin, hvor smågrisene går på friland sammen med soen i en længere periode og slutfedes i et nyt staldkoncept uden befæstet udeareal. Træer i svinefoldene forventes at reducere udvaskning af næringsstoffer, at opsamle noget af ammoniakfordampningen samt forbedre grisenes velfærd. Den producerede træbiomasse forventes delvist at kompensere for produktionens udledning af drivhusgasser. Længere tid på friland sammen med soen forventes at give mere robuste og sunde grise med forbedret dyrevelfærd og reduceret antibiotikaforbrug til følge. Projektets tværfaglige og innovative tilgang forventes på afgørende måde at bidrage til forbedret effektivitet samt reduceret miljø- og klimabelastning ved produktion af økologisk svinekød, og herved skabe grundlag for betydelig vækst i primærproduktionen. 

Period: 01/01/2014 - 30/06/2018

Row cropping in organic arable farming for increased producitvity and sustainability (RowCrop)

Den største udfordring for at opnå højere og mere stabile udbytter i økologisk planteavl er knyttet til tilstrækkelig N forsyning og bekæmpelse af aggressivt ukrudt. RowCrop vil udvikle, evaluere og demonstrere et nyt rækkedyrkningssystem der udnytter den seneste udvikling inden for vision og GPS styrede rækkedyrkningsudstyr ved effektivt at integrere traditionelle landbrugsafgrøder med rækkedyrkning af efterafgrøder og målrettet ukrudtsbekæmpelse. RowCrop vil udvikle det videnskabelige grundlag for forbedret kontrol af aggressive en- og flerårige ukrudtsarter i et rækkedyrkningssystem og for dyrkning af mere produktive N-fikserende efterafgrøder til øget N forsyning af afgrøderne. Projektet vil dokumentere effekter af dyrkningssystemet på produktivitet, ukrudtsbestand, N forsyning, N udvaskning og kulstoflagring i et langvarigt sædskifteforsøg ved forskellige inputniveauer i økologisk planteavl. Projektet vil desuden demonstrere og formidle resultaterne til rådgivere og landmænd gemme markforsøg, åbent hus arrangementer, workshops m.v.

De forventede årlige effekter er: Økonomi: Øgede udbytter i økologisk kornavl på 1,2 ton/ha (100 mio. DKK). Miljø: Reduceret nitratudvaskning på 10 kg N/ha (500 ton N). Klima: Øget kul-stoflagring i jorden på 200 kg C/ha (37,000 ton CO2). Desuden forventes resultaterne at bane vej for udfasning af import af konventionel husdyrgødning i økologisk jordbrug og for en øget omlægning fra konventionel til økologisk jordbrug. 

Periode: 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Reducing nutrient loadings from agricultural soils to the Baltic Sea via groundwater and streams (Soils2Sea)

Policies and measures for reducing nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea and coastal waters have previously been studied extensively, and a variety of tools have been developed for assessing nutrient loadings from agricultural areas and urban sewage/wastewater discharge. The studies typically assess and include transport and retention of nutrients at large spatial scales (e.g. hydrological catchments above 1000 km2). The applied tools have been used to support decisions in terms of nationwide uniform agricultural regulations and national standards for sewage treatment, resulting in substantial reductions in pollution from both non-point and point sources. Assessments show, however, that the obtained abatements are insufficient, and the Baltic Sea Action Plan (HELCOM, 2007) requires substantial further reductions of N and P loads. The needed abatements vary significantly between the different parts of the Baltic Sea, and some parts require reductions in N but not in P and vice versa (HELCOM, 2007). Furthermore, specific estuaries and coastal waters may require even higher specific abatements for both N and P in order to protect coastal and transitional water ecosystems and comply with the good status objectives of the EU Water Framework Directive (e.g. Hinsby et al., 2012). Climate change is expected to lead to increased nutrient load from agriculture and to increased vulnerability of aquatic ecosystems (Refsgaard et al., 2013). 

Period: 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2017

Green Cohesive Agricultural Resource Management (WEBSOC)

The present project proposal wants to promote growth and employment through research on green, cohesive Water, Energy-from-Biomass, Soil, Organics, and Crop (WEBSOC) agricultural management strategies in Ghana, as present agricultural development depends on deforestation and show little or no increase in productivity per unit of land. WEBSOC is intended to intensify agriculture to create jobs in poor rural areas. The project will investigate the use of crop residues to produce biochar and wood gas for household-use to lessen the pressure on forests for firewood and charcoal as an intelligent way of recycling organics and reducing CO2 emission. The application of biochar to agricultural fields increases carbon sequestration into the soil and thereby represents a CO2-negative approach to sustainable increase soil fertility, crop yields, and carbon storage. Further intensification will be achieved by small-scale solar drip fertigation systems allowing one to two more growing seasons per year to produce high-value horticultural crops. This is a triple-win situation where farmers get sustained higher yields (from irrigation and improved soil fertility), CC gas emissions are reduced (from increased carbon sequestration), and households get energy (from pyrolysis of straw). Finally, agricultural value chains, both on the supply and processing side, will be developed in cooperation between local SMEs and universities. The research into these options will be pursued within a framework designed to educate PhD students and young scientists. 

Period: 01/01/2014 - 31/12/2018

Challenging one last frontier: Understanding and improving deep rooting

While current agricultural cropping systems have a limited exploitation of water and nutrients from below 1m soil depth, some plant species can grow much deeper root systems. Crops with deeper roots can allow us to exploit unused nutrients and water from deep soil layers hereby increasing the sustainability of cropping systems. We want to develop such systems, and to study their resource use, biological effects and carbon sequestration in soil layers down to 5m depth. 

Period: 21/3/2014 - 21/03/2019

Securing yield stability of Brassica crops in changing climate conditions (SYBRACLIM)

European agriculture will require crop varieties adapted to changes in temperature and water availability. Yield stability is highly dependent on the adaptability of key stages of plant development as root architecture, flowering date and pod shattering. SYBRACLIM intends to evaluate and improve the genetic and physiological basis of control of these traits under stress conditions. 

Period: 01/09/2014 - 01/09/2017 

Miljømæssige og samfundsøkonomiske konsekvenser af innovationer til øget biomasseproduktion og -udnyttelse i Danmark (ØKO-ØKO)

Projektet vil etablere et grundlag for at belyse de miljømæssige og samfundsøkonomiske konsekvenser af at øge biomasseproduktion/-udnyttelse i Danmark til fremstilling af en lang række produkter baseret på bioraffinering – det være sig højværdige industrielle produkter, der ellers ville være fremstillet på basis af fossil energi og/eller foder, der erstatter importerede fodermidler. Endvidere vil projektet for de mest lovende teknologier, der udvikles af andre projekter indenfor dette forskningsprogram, gennemføre en detaljeret miljømæssig og samfundsøkonomisk analyse af konsekvenserne ved deres evt. implementering. Det sker bl.a. ved at pege på hot-spots ved den nye teknologi og for at informere beslutningstagerne i Danmark om muligheder og begrænsninger. 

Period: 15/11/2013 - 31/12/2017

Climate-Smart Agriculture on Organic Soils (CAOS)

Controlled drainage and active water management are climate smart options for agricultural production on organic soils under current and future climatic conditions. We propose that wet organic soils can be used as risk insurance in dry periods while active water and soil management will improve trafficability. Peat degradation can be reduced and water availability in dry summers increased. Alternative, wetness-adapted crops with stable yield quantity and quality are needed to meet requirements for food, feed and bioenergy. The CAOS project aims to generate the knowledge to design climate smart agricultural systems for organic soils adapted to the diverse regional conditions of Northern and Central Europe. CAOS will provide and distribute evidence that active management aiming at a better control of groundwater levels, improved trafficability and alternative high productivity crops improves yield stability and quality as well as resilience to climate change while providing GHG mitigation and improved soil and water quality. 

Period: 01/12/2014 - 30/11/2017

Value-added products from biomass (BIO-VALUE) SPIR

A central pillar in the future Biobased Society is biorefining, which involves processing of biomass into a spectrum of value-added products such as chemicals, fuels, feed and food products. The present proposal addresses the scientific and technological challenges associated with development of sustainable biorefinery solutions. The idea behind the BIO-VALUE SPIR is to establish a strong strategic platform for innovation and research on value-added products from biomass. This will be achieved by assembly of a consortium of major universities, companies and technology organisations (GTS and Innovation Networks).

The research and innovation activities will deliver the science and technologies required for exploration and upgrading of all components in biomass, turning these into products that are commercially and sustainably viable. The main objectives are to: (a) develop a strong research base delivering fundamental knowledge on processes pertinent for conversion of plant biomass into value-added products, (b) develop a direct innovation flow and an innovation pipeline structure targeting biorefining technologies, (c) develop novel core technologies, (d) demonstrate sustainable, competitive large-scale upgrading of biomass into intermediates and specific products, (e) educate qualified manpower, and (f) disseminate knowledge.

The consortium has all the competences required to address the entire value chain from biomass production, separation, purification and conversion to final products, thus providing the basis for development of sustainable and competitive solutions for large-scale implementation. The concerted effort will lead to novel methods, tools and strategies to separate and convert carbohydrate, lignin, protein and nutrient streams into value-added products. Specific targets are carbohydrate mixtures of specified purity, lignin and lignin-derived components, chemicals and biobased products such as carboxylic acids, amino acids, and protein rich feed to substitute soy in animal feed for milk production.

The activities in the BIO-VALUE SPIR are at all levels based on a tight link between research and innovation. All projects are organized as innovation-driven pipelines that span from competence-building research to innovation. The innovation components are to a large extent defined by the involved companies, and the specific activities pursued target strategic goals for rapid establishment of business opportunities. The governance structure which will be implemented ensures dynamic interaction between research and innovation, and allows new projects to be accommodated via a pool of unmarked financial resources or new grants.

Period: 01/01/2013 - 30/06/2018