Helping EU agriculture manage water and nutrient limitations

European farmers need to meet increasing crop demand while reducing fertiliser use and adapting to changing rainfall patterns. The EU-funded SOLACE project will provide new crop varieties and innovations in management to help them use water and nutrients more efficiently.

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia

Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 7 February 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Agriculture & foodAgriculture
EnvironmentBiodiversity  |  Climate & global change  |  Ecosystems, incl. land, inland waters, marine  |  Land management  |  Sustainable development
International cooperation
Research policyHorizon 2020
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Austria  |  Belgium  |  Denmark  |  France  |  Germany  |  Hungary  |  Italy  |  Netherlands  |  Portugal  |  Spain  |  Sweden  |  Switzerland  |  Turkey  |  United Kingdom
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Helping EU agriculture manage water and nutrient limitations

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© candy1812 #196362043, 2019 source:stock.adobe.com

SOLACE is assessing current and future scenarios of combined water and nutrient limitations in European agriculture. Rainfall is predicted to be more variable in the coming decades, due to global warming, increasing the risk of water shortage during growing seasons. These water limitations will also affect nutrient availability and uptake by plants. At the same time, environmental and economic pressures mean that farmers must reduce their use of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisers.

The team of researchers and non-academic partners, including farmers, will test different innovations in breeding and crop management that make better use of ‘below-ground’ traits (root/rhizospere) and soil biodiversity. They will develop and test more resistant and efficient crop varieties, products that use microbes to benefit plant growth, and organic/organo-mineral fertilisers.

The project is focusing on three important crops for both the European economy and global food security. Wheat (bread and durum varieties) represents almost 50% of Europe’s cereal area and production. It is increasingly being exposed to water and nitrogen deficits, especially durum in Mediterranean regions. Potato is the largest non-cereal crop produced in Europe, and its production is being affected by reduced inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus, possibly combined with drought.

SOLACE is looking at various European regions soils and climates, as well as different farming systems – conventional, organic and conservation agriculture. The project will focus on agroecosystem management and breeding strategies in addition to various complementary approaches ranging from data mining and modelling to experiments in field trials and phenotyping platforms in research stations, as well as on-farm experiments to identify local solutions.

Many stakeholders who will potentially benefit from the project are involved through a stakeholder forum and events, including farmers, farm advisors, agri-business actors and policymakers. The innovative solutions developed in SOLACE will serve as models for developing similar approaches for other important crops.

Project details

  • Project acronym: SOLACE
  • Participants: France (Coordinator), Austria, Italy, Switzerland, UK, Denmark, Turkey, Sweden, Belgium, Portugal, Germany, Spain, Hungary, Netherlands
  • Project N°: 727247
  • Total costs: € 7 192 149
  • EU contribution: € 6 000 000
  • Duration: May 2017 to April 2022

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