Changing the future of food and farming

Research projects

Designing innovative plant teams for ecosystem resilience and agricultural sustainability

Designing innovative plant teams for ecosystem resilience and agricultural sustainability

Acronym : DIVERSify

Contract Period : 01/04/2017 - 31/03/2021

Project Webpage : https://www.plant-teams.eu/

Main Funder : EU Horizon 2020

ORC Staff Contact : Bruce Pearce

The Horizon 2020-funded DIVERSify project aims to optimise the performance of crop species mixtures (‘plant teams’) as a means to improve yield stability, reduce pest and disease damage, and enhance stress resilience in agricultural systems. ​

Project Aims:

  • To optimise the performance of crop species mixtures (‘plant teams’) as a means to improve yield stability, reduce pest and disease damage, and enhance stress resilience in agricultural systems.
  • The multi-actor consortium of European and international scientists, stakeholders and industry partners will work together to gain an understanding of the benefits associated with cropping plant teams, and to identify the crop traits and agronomic practices promoting these benefits. Innovative tools, knowledge and scientific evidence will be developed to support the adoption of plant teams in agriculture across Europe and globally.

ORC's Role:

  • ORC will work with stakeholders to identify tacit knowledge, bottom up innovations and best practice strategies, and develop knowledge exchange to promote the adoption of successful plant teams.
  • Coordinate national stakeholder meetings
  • Coordinate and deliver website and social media:
    Facebook, Twitter (@PlantTeams), Instagram (diversifyplantteams)and www.plant-teams.tv
  • Coordinate and deliver farm days
  • Coordinate and deliver practice abstracts and policy briefings
  • Identify useful traits and data summary/decision support aid
  • Participatory research/field labs

Current progress highlights:

DIVERSify Kick Off Meeting from Taskscape Associates Ltd on Vimeo.

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Read article in ORC Bulletin No.125 (Summer 2018) by Charlotte Bickler and Katie BlissDiversity from field to fork

Project leader and partners:

The project is coordinated by the James Hutton Institute (Alison Karley and Adrian Newton). The consortium comprises 23 EU and international beneficiary partners, including research institutes, Universities, commercial and not-for-profit organisations who contribute expertise in science, stakeholder liaison and applied research and technology transfer. The beneficiaries are located across European pedo-climatic zones and growing conditions, extended by a team of international research institute partners.

Publications:

Karley A, Banfield-Zadin J, Bickler C, Bliss K, Brooker R, Iannetta P, Midmer A, Mitchell C, Newton A, Pakeman R, Pearce B, Tippin L, George D (2019) Knowledge Exchange in ‘Plant Team’ Cropping with On-Farm Participatory Research. In First European Conference on Crop Diversification. September 18-21, 2019 Budapest. Book of abstracts. 56-57.

Tippin L, Banfield-Zanin J, Midmer A, Bickler C, Manfield A, Karley A, George D, Pearce B (2019) The perceived or realised practical restrictions imposed by Plant Teams. In First European Conference on Crop Diversification. September 18-21, 2019 Budapest. Book of abstracts. 284-286.

All sources of funding:

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under agreement No. 727284.