What benefits does legume-cereal intercropping offer? And what are potential barriers to its adoption?
To explore these questions, the Institute of Agrophysics at the Polish Academy of Sciences (IAPAS) hosted a workshop on intercropping last month. Among the interested participants were farmers, advisors, researchers, as well as representatives of seeds and agricultural companies.
We kicked-off the workshop with a series of expert talks :
- Magdalena Frąc (IAPAS), member of the LEGUMINOSE team, gave an overview of the LEGUMINOSE project and its goals.
- Beata Feledyn-Szewczyk (IUNG-PIB) provided insights into the relevance of biodiversity in agricultural crops cultivation.
- Mariusz Świca (STAMPOL) gave an overview of cereal and legume plants.
Then, participants engaged in productive brainstorming sessions to explore opportunities and challenges of intercropping in the context of Polish agriculture. This was facilitated by a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats). This analysis helped to then identify the most important criteria for switching to an intercropping system in Poland.
The workshop concluded with a visit to the long-term research field trials at the Experimental Station of the Institute of Soil Science and Plant Cultivation–State Research Institute in Osiny. There, participants gained real-world insights into intercropping of spring wheat with clover, highlighting the potential of intercropping for the region.