Title : Intercropping of grain legumes, spring cereals and oil crops for increasing land-use efficacy, biodiversity and resilience of agroecosystems
Intercropping is increasing biodiversity, resilience and sustainability of agricultural ecosystems. There are traditional crop mixtures like maize, beans and squash. On small surfaces of grain crops farmers that performs agroecological and organic practices are tending to increase the cultivation of different crops in the same time. On large scale field crops, monoculture is dominant. Industrial agriculture shaped the agricultural equipment, cultivars and inputs to obtain performance from a single crop. In order to overcome the intercropping challenges and offer practical data, in a multi-actor project (DIVERSILIENCE which aims to improve the performance by increasing inter and intra-specific diversity of crops in organic agriculture conditions, across the Europe) farmers and researchers designed and assessed a field experiment of multispecies grains intercrops for Southern Europe from mixtures of two or three crops of: 5 cultivars of field peas, 4 spring wheat breeding lines, one variety of naked oat (Avena nuda) camelina (Camelina sativa) and flax. All possible combinations of this mixed crops are analysed for their functional diversity during two years (2022 and 2023). We need to update our current farming equipment and orientate the breeding objectives for crop mixtures, in order to face the future challenges of climate change and the demands for a more friendly environmental agriculture.