Agriculture and machinery
The overall aim is to support the development of financially and environmentally sustainable agriculture. The focus area includes crop and livestock production, both conventional and organic. The Foundation’s specific priorities for autumn 2020 are described below. As a general rule for all areas, we are looking for knowledge and innovations that are effective, profitable and usable in practice.
Read more about how we can work together for sustainable crop production via research, innovation and practical cultivation measures in the report Farming of the Future: https://www.lantmannen.se/framtidens-jordbruk/
Sustainable intensification of Swedish crop production
We are particularly interested in projects that can contribute to the development of robust cultivation systems with high productivity during changing weather and climate conditions. The aim of such production is to be able to increase yields while at the same time minimising negative environment effects. We would welcome applications within the areas of precision agriculture and digitalisation, where we see a big potential to improve both yield, quality and sustainability. We also need to learn how to quantify nitrogen losses as nitrous oxide from arable land and then as the next step, develop strategies to minimise these. Another interesting area is to find new application areas for forage crops to enable us to gain a perennial rotational crop in grain dominated crop rotations. Within the area of crop protection, there are several research challenges as there is a general trend towards banning important chemical pesticides that must be replaced by other products or methods. Within the areas of plant breeding and seed production, there are good opportunities to develop new technologies with genetic markers, advanced image analysis and quick methods for e.g. germination, health and purity.
Right quality of grains and other plant based commodities
If the production and further processing of grains and other plant based commodities is to be profitable, they must meet the quality requirements demanded. Different customers and different application areas impose different demands on these commodities. Grains should have the right protein content and protein quality, starch content, falling number, kernel size etc. In the case of malting barley, vitality should be high and the husk damages minimal. For oats, a pale colour is an important quality parameter. We also see a need for new knowledge concerning what specific factors in grain that influence yield in different industrial processes. One example is fractionation of gluten where similar analysis values of the grain can result in different yields and profitability. We need to find out what measures can be used to eliminate that. This can concern variety properties, growing location, fertilising strategies etc. It is generally important to minimise the content of undesired substances such as cadmium and mycotoxins and that subsequent processing steps do not generate acrylamide or other toxic substances. To meet these requirements, we are prioritising projects within the areas of cultivation techniques and grain handling. We also see big potential in new, precise and cost-effective analysis methods.
Profitable and sustainable livestock production
Our goal is for Swedish livestock production to be able to grow and become more profitable. Right now, we are seeing a growing interest in Swedish reared meat and dairy products and a big focus on the climate impact of livestock production. We also see a growing interest in the production and use of domestic feed commodities. Ahead of this year’s call for proposals, we are particularly interested in projects that deliver new knowledge about the nutrition of recruitment livestock and health in dairy herds. We would also like to see practical feed trials for pigs. We also see a clear need to gain more knowledge about feed appraisal, especially for grain and roughage. For example, there is a lack of more in-depth knowledge about protein quality parameters in different grain varieties. Problems with toxins and anti-nutritional substances in different feed commodities also have high priority. Here for instance, there are opportunities with new process technology and effective additives. Within organic poultry production, we are looking for new and effective methionine sources that enable us to reduce the total amount of protein in feed without interfering with production. One prioritised sustainability challenge is to reduce methane emissions from dairy and meat production.
Texts are continuously updated until the next call round opens on September 1st, 2020.