USDA pays a visit to INRAE's Estrées-Mons agri-environmental facility
Regional press release - On Wednesday, 7 December, the European Commission arranged for agricultural sector representatives from both sides of the Atlantic to tour INRAE's Estrées-Mons site. This visit was part of a collaboration agreement with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). Nearly 80 people from the USDA and the Commission's Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development toured field trials highlighting European agriculture and innovation.
Published on 07 December 2022
Scientists from INRAE's Crop Innovation and Environment Experimental Unit and BioEcoAgro Joint Cross-Border Research Unit presented their work on mixed cereal-protein crop systems and long-term monitoring of soil carbon based on the crop management sequences used.
This site includes a facility for conducting trials in beet crop fields that showcases innovations and alternatives to plant protection products (glyphosate, rotation diversification incorporating pulses) and a biobased economy (biomass energy or biobased materials using miscanthus).
BioEcoAgro researchers are studying possible genetic improvements to protein crops (winter peas) such as cold tolerance, climate-change-induced changes in seasonality (phenology), and adaptation to intercropping with cereals. All this in a view to crop diversification, so as to enhance environmental services (reduced use of pesticides, improved greenhouse gas balances) while maintaining farms' economic and production performances. The field trial visited is a joint venture with Agri-Obtentions focusing on techniques for mixed cereal-protein crop systems.
Innovation is also being showcased through the ACBB (agro-ecosystems, biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity) environmental research observatory with the study on the effects that field-crop-system farming practices have on soil-carbon and nitrogen dynamics, water and air quality, and biodiversity. This measurement and observation system has been specially equipped to monitor biogeochemical processes. Different farming practices are used (tilling/no tilling, straw restoration/export, type, low-level nitrogen fertilisation) in order to take into account their impact on biogeochemical cycles dynamics and their consequences.
INRAE and its partners, in particular Agro-Transfert Ressources et Territoires, presented their research and highlighted the various aspects of innovation transfer to farmers. The research conducted at INRAE, and in particular in Estrées-Mons, aims at producing knowledge and innovation for the agroecological transition of farms.