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.