The purpose of cultivating plant teams could be to optimise a growing system in one way or another…Improve yields, weed suppression, exploitation of nutrients and improving soil structure could be examples of a starting point for farmers to consider using mixed crops. The overall framework of our work is to be able to develop a decision aid with these starting points included.
L&F SEGES are, together with AgroKnow, co-leading the work package developing a decision aid to help farmers to choose the right plant team. Our task is to collect existing data on intercropping and to structure that into a useful format targeted at farmers and agricultural advisors. Our job is to ensure that we have the best basis of knowledge to make recommendations for farmers. Such recommendations need a large amount of data, which will be collected from other partners in the project and produced in DIVERSify in the following years. SEGES has previously been working with intercropping at approximately 150 trials carried out across Denmark and the largest input to the decision aid will come from these studies. The challenge is to secure that species relevant for cultivation in the Northern parts of Europe not necessarily is recommended for cultivation in the Southern parts.
We will be working closely together with AgroKnow to complement our agricultural knowledge with their technical knowledge. Alongside other partners on the project because the experimental work of designing plant teams and field demonstrations will feed into the dataset which is supporting the decision aid.
We aim to develop a decision aid that fits the right plant team to farmers specific needs in their country or region. Involving end-users in the development of this will ensure the applicability for the practitioners who are going to use the tool eventually. We want to make sure the tool can meet the needs of the farmer and is workable in the field. To do that it should be possible to use the tool with different approaches and get an output with the plant team suited to a farm.
We are excited to co-lead this work that develops a tool focused on practical use for farmers, as it fits in perfectly with our work at SEGES. We aim to build the bridge between research and practical agriculture, and make sure that the latest knowledge comes into use in the field. With this decision aid, that includes the up-to-date knowledge from DIVERSify, we hope to meet our wishes.