The ConnectFarms project will develop approaches to increase in a sustainable way integrated crop-livestock production while benefiting soil resilience to stress and climate change. This will include an extensive toolbox for farmers and stakeholders addressing crop-livestock integration, precise farming, organic amendments, reuse of residues in circular economy and sustainability improvements of farming practices. A set of recommendations for sustainable strategies leading to environmentally sound production in compliance with the Farm to Fork strategy will be given. Emphasis will be given to new approaches based on science and nature-based solutions to manipulate crops, livestock, soil and plant microbial communities to maximize positive ecological interactions and enhance ecosystem services.
The ConnectFarms concept is highly interdisciplinary and joins together expertise from many research fields, to achieve an integration of crop, livestock and ICT to obtain ecosystem services in agreement with the needs of sustainable agriculture. Partners will work in experimental sites in all countries – Bulgaria, Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Turkey. Focused aspects of the project will concern agriculture and soil fertility–crop and livestock–amendments and biochar for soil health–welfare and sustainability for animals–precision farming–life cycle and ecosystem services assessment - stakeholder involvement.
Production of biochar and amendments from residues, characterization and distribution to partners
Availability of pale green barley lines with low beta glucan content, achieved by crossing and backcrossing mutants and accessions
Greenhouse trials with pale green barley mutants on soil from Estonia, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Turkey
Identification of barley accessions with high and low beta glucan content, and development of a method based on Near-Infrared Reflectance Spectroscopy
Identification of crops and crop rotations for different agroclimatic conditions in Estonia, Poland, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Spain and Turkey and set up of first season experiments
Experimental rearing of poultry with biochar in litter, first trial: a significant reduction in ammonia evolution was observed when adding biochar to the poultry litter
First investigation of machine learning techniques to predict soil organic carbon and evapotranspiration
Definition of indicators for Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.