Initial list of innovations to test in on-farm trials

In close collaboration with stakeholders, SolACE has developed an initial list of novel crop genotypes and agroecosystem management innovations. The initial list of novel crop genotypes and agroecosystem innovations will be tested within SolACE farmer networks throughout Europe.

Farmers preparing the soil in preparation for sowing potatoes on one the UK SolACE farmer network farms, which is participating in on-farm testing of new innovations, Elveden Estates, Suffolk, England. Photo: Sara Iversen, 2018.

These innovations include crop genotype mixtures, legume-based crop rotations and cover crops, microbial inoculants, as well as improved decision-support systems, and hybrids or products from genomic selection and participatory evolutionary breeding schemes. All of these innovations are carried out in European target regions and cropping systems.

Specifically, the agroecosystem management innovations under consideration for experimental evaluation for each of the three test crops, are as follows:

Bread wheat:

  1. Reduced tillage and/or conservation agriculture based on no-till.
  2. Application of organic or organo-mineral fertilizer additives.
  3. Microbial inoculants.
  4. Grain legumes as beneficial pre-crops in the crop rotation.
  5. Decision support tools for efficient adaptation of fertilization, irrigation or other inputs.

Durum wheat:

  1. Genotype mixtures.
  2. Decision support tools for efficient adaptation of fertilization.

Potato:

  1. Microbial inoculants.
  2. Grain legumes as beneficial pre-crops in the crop rotation.

This initial "long-list" of innovations is being discussed at the local level among farmer network participants this winter. By the end of this growing season, they will have selected which subset they want to test on their own farms along with some improved and traditional genotypes. On-farm evaluations will start in the 2018-19 growing season.

More information on the topic.