Crop management

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The aim of LogistEC regarding crop management was to design and assess cropping systems (in terms of crop sequences and management practices) of lignocellulosic crops in order to reduce their environmental impacts while increasing their economic gains for farmers.

More specifically, the project partners delivered:

  • a summary of existing data on productivity, biomass quality and environmental impacts of lignocellulosic crops via meta-analyses,
  • new insights into knowledge gaps regarding early harvest of grasses, the effects of perennial species on soil organic carbon dynamics, or the impacts of the destruction of biomass stands,
  • the test and assessment of two innovative crop management systems: the intercropping of biomass crops with legumes, and the use of process residues as fertilizers,
  • a framework to design and assess cropping systems including biomass crops whilst delivering a list of sustainable candidate systems with optimal properties for high-performance supply chains.

A large range of energy crops were investigated: perennials (perennial grasses including Miscanthus and giant reed; short rotation coppice (SRC) including eucalyptus, poplar and willow), multi-annual crops (alfalfa and tall fescue) and annual crops (fibre sorghum and triticale).

Deliverables

  1. Databank including benchmarks of energy crop productions
  2. A meta-analysis of agronomic performance and environmental impacts of biomass crops
  3. SOC models and agro-ecosystem models parameterized and validated for perennial energy crops
  4. A scientific paper on the impact on C-N dynamics when reverting from perennial crops
  5. Recommendations for the management of biomass crops-legume intercropping for biomass production
  6. Recommendations for the valorisation of process residues by biomass crops
  7. A scientific paper on the agronomic and environmental performances of biomass crops-legume intercropping for biomass production
  8. A scientific paper on the valorisation of process residues by biomass crops
  9. Proposal of several cropping systems including biomass crops, and their multicriteria assessment