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Final report for the CORE Organic Cofund funded project “Strip-cropping and recycling of waste for biodiverse and resoURce-Efficient intensive VEGetable production” SUREVEG

Kristensen, Hanne Lakkenborg (2022) Final report for the CORE Organic Cofund funded project “Strip-cropping and recycling of waste for biodiverse and resoURce-Efficient intensive VEGetable production” SUREVEG. Aarhus University , Food Science.

[thumbnail of SureVeg_Final_report_approved_without annexes_HanneLKristensen_AUFOOD.pdf] PDF - English
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The objective of the SureVeg project was to develop and implement new diversified, intensive organic vegetable cropping systems. This included the use of inter- and strip-cropping and fertility strategies based on soil improvers and fertilizers from either plant or animal origin, compared to monocropping systems and commonly used animal based fertilizers in organically managed cropping systems.
We found that
• Intercropping and strip-cropping appear to farmers as promising systems for replacement of monocultures, but they ask for better comprehension of the systems in practice, e.g. on good companion crops and step-by-step guidelines.
• A method has been developed for mining the scientific literature on good companion crops that will enable uncovering crop-crop effects as well as crops that have remained under-investigated compared to their on-farm use.
• The succes of intercropping for crop yields and nitrogen use efficiency depends on crop species’ characteristics (complementary instead of competing) and control by management (e.g. displacement of sowing/planting time). Therefore the choices of species and management, when designing intercropping systems, are crucial and should be knowledge-based.
• Intercropping and strip-cropping can influence general and functional biodiversity of organisms and the agro ecosystem services they provide (natural biological control, pollination, soil health and fertility; above and belowground) in a complex way that interplays with factors, such as annual differences in agronomic conditions and crop choices. E.g. intercropping may increase mycorrhization and decrease soil pathogenic bacteria and fungi compared to mono-cropping. While diversity of ground dwelling carabids has been found to go up, some species decrease in abundance compared to monocultures.
• Alternative fertility strategies based on the combination of a fast and slow releasing source of organic amendments can sustain crop growth, increase short-term soil fertility and might promote soil carbon storage in the long-term. The combination of organic amendments (the quality) is crucial, and 100% plant-based sources can replace animal-based ones without jeopadizing yields.
• The combination of intercropping and alternative fertility strategies did not show synergistic effects.
• The creation of smart automated machinery was completed to solve challenges of mechanization in inter- and strip-cropping systems including a proof-of-concept robotic tool, sensing and actuation, to apply single-plant fertilizer strategies. The robot including sensors etc. was built and algorithms developed e.g. to calculate single plant volume and vegetation indexes, and the robot was successfully demonstrated.
Overall a successful implementation of intercropping/strip-cropping systems and fertility strategies with beneficial impact on crop production, soil and environment of intercropping/strip-cropping systems and fertility strategies relays on detailed insight into the agronomic conditions and agroecological functioning in the production of organic vegetables. The SureVeg provides such new insight across Eurpean conditions from transnational research; insight that has been disseminated to stakeholders at many levels during the project.

EPrint Type:Report
Agrovoc keywords:
fertilizer combinations
nitrogen balance
Subjects: Crop husbandry > Crop combinations and interactions
Soil > Soil quality > Soil biology
Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
Soil > Nutrient turnover
Environmental aspects > Air and water emissions
Crop husbandry > Production systems > Vegetables
Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Farming Systems > Buildings and machinery
Research affiliation: Denmark > AU - Aarhus University
European Union > CORE Organic > CORE Organic Cofund > SUREVEG
Denmark > AU - Aarhus University > Faculty of Science and Technology > Department of Food Science
Denmark > Innovation Fund Denmark
Deposited By: Kristensen, Ph.D. Hanne Lakkenborg
ID Code:44060
Deposited On:11 May 2022 08:43
Last Modified:11 May 2022 08:43
Document Language:English
Refereed:Not peer-reviewed

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