Contributing to the transition towards robust, multi-performance systems

The volatility of prices, the vagaries of the climate and the resistance of pests… Current systems and the optimization of practices for each crop, individually, are showing their limitations in the face of these challenges. The solution? A move towards robust, multi-performance cropping systems. Terres Inovia is helping farmers to make this transition, by providing useful operational resources for the design and implementation of cropping systems adapted to their needs, the local context and valorizing soil fertility and the natural regulation of pests.

Contact : Stéphane Cadoux

s.cadoux@terresinovia.fr

systemes de culture

Our goals

To analyze, at the local scale, by production area, the strengths and weaknesses of the cropping systems in place, the expectations of farmers, and to identify on-farm innovations.

To generate operational knowledge, to co-design and evaluate innovations contributing to the robustness and multi-performance of cropping systems.

To contribute to the transition on farms, by developing tools to support farmers and agricultural advisers, who are trained in strategic support at the scale of the cropping system.

Our main actions

Phyto-Sol: sustainable reduced tillage cropping systems

The Phyto-Sol project, coordinated by Terres Inovia since 2012, has recently ended. The experiments performed validated the various strategies (such as the insertion of legumes into the rotation as main crops, intercrops and cover crops) for reducing the use of mineral nitrogen and greenhouse gas emissions by 20 to 30%. Another innovation developed with farmers: the association of frost-sensitive legumes with rapeseed to maintain, or even increase, yields whilst reducing the use of nitrogen, herbicides and, in some cases, insecticides. This technique has been recognized as a standardized action for reducing the use of phytosanitary products in the framework of CEPP[1]. A technical update has been written and training is proposed to promote this development, which could, eventually, concern 40% of area under rapeseed.

 

[1] Certificats d’Économie de Produits Phytosanitaires (certificates of economization of plant phytosanitary products); decree of May 2017, one of the measures in the French Ecophyto2 plan.

 

 

 

Innovative cropping systems in the Syppre project

The Syppre project (“Building together the systems of tomorrow”), jointly run by Arvalis – Institut du végétal, ITB and Terres Inovia, was launched in 2013. It has three arms:

- A dynamic observatory for production systems

- Five experimental platforms for acquiring and refining knowledge relating to innovative cropping systems

- Networks of farmers, provided with assistance to help modify and improve their farming systems.

2017 saw the first harvest in the trials on cropping systems, and the official inauguration of the five experimental platforms. These first results were already very positive: the Berry platform reported an improvement in semi-net margin of almost 20% and a 35 to 50% decrease in inputs for an innovative system relative to a control system (optimized regional practices).

Support tools to favor on-farm innovation

Given the changing and uncertain context and the considerable variability of the effect of agroecological strategies between situations, it is preferable to help farmers to innovate by themselves and to adapt to the contexts in which they find themselves, rather than providing them with generic solutions. To this end, Terres Inovia is coordinating the “Outillage” (Tools) project, which aims to develop support tools enabling farmers to test and evaluate by themselves and to improve innovations continually in accordance with their expectations and needs.