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Funding: Horizon 2020 Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, European Union

Coordinator: French International Institution for Agricultural Research, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, INRA, France

Time period: May 2017 - April 2022

Consortium partners: The SolACE project brings together 25 partners form 14 European countries

A new approach to overcoming difficulties in plant cultivation caused by a lack of water and nutrients

The aim of European agriculture is to maintain and further improve agricultural productivity. At the same time, the amount of available nutrients, particularly of nitrogen and phosphorous is limited. As the amount of precipitation decreases and it often becomes unpredictable, and a lack of water is an increasingly common occurrence on the continent. The SolACE project investigate new methods to ensure adequate productivity in case of stress caused by a combination of a lack of water and nutrients.

SolACE utilizes a wide range of research methods, including on-farm research, tests performed on experimental sites, and small-scale field experiments. It also uses the results of phenotype analyzing platforms.

What are the aims of the project?

To develop solutions that increase the efficiency of water and nutrient use across Europe by using new plant varieties and innovative agricultural technologies.

To achieve this, the project focuses on three important European cultivated plants: Potato, bread wheat and durum wheat

It explores the optimal combinations of soil characteristics (above and under the surface) that can improve the efficiency of resource utilization.

It selects potato, bread wheat and durum wheat genotypes with the highest performance, particularly focusing on reactions to stress resulting from a lack of nitrogen, phosphorous and water.

ÖMKi is the joint leader of the working group responsible for on-farm research (WP5), and it also ensures the harmonization of measurement protocols and methods throughout the projects. We also carry out small-scale field and on-farm research on potato test plants for the innovative management of low nitrogen and phosphorus supply combined with a lack of water. Together with the organic educational farm of the Szent István University at Soroksár, we have been testing stress-resistant potato genotypes, microbial inoculation materials and crop rotation systems incorporating legumes since 2017.

We are investigating methods to increase the resistance of potatoes to stress in an on-farm setting. We work together with farmers on four organic farms to test simple technological solutions that allow better management of water and nutrients. We are also investigating a heterogeneous French durum wheat population on organic arable land, which is expected to respond with better resilience against various land conditions and a changing climate.

The SolACE project is funded by the Horizon 2020 program of the European Union under project number GA 633571.

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