What are the benefits of intercropping for the soil and the rhizosphere (the area surrounding the plant roots)? To answer this question, we embarked on a soil and plant root sampling journey across Europe.
Last month, our exhilarating sampling campaign took us through the scenic landscapes of four different countries. Our team, led by Shamina, Norman, and Magdalena, worked diligently to collect soil and plant root samples at four research field site. Let’s recap our thrilling journey across Europe, exploring the fascinating world of intercropping.
Viborg, Denmark 🇩🇰
With sampling tools in hand, our sampling journey began immediately after our productive general assembly meeting in Viborg, Denmark.
The Danish research field is a long-term experiment initiated in 1997 on a sandy loam soil. The LEGUMINOSE plots contain pea and spring barley intercrops.
Assendorf, Germany 🇩🇪
On the German research field, we focus on winter wheat, intercropped with either white lupin, soy bean or field bean.
Šumperk, Czech Republic 🇨🇿
The Czech research field is close to the town Šumperk in the northeastern part of the country. Field pea and barley are intercropped here. The field is further divided into several subplots differing in field pea variety and the way the field pea seeds were treated before sowing. This will allow to not only assess the effects of intercropping, but also of other factors such as pea variety or seed treatment.
Osiny, Poland 🇵🇱
The main crops on the Polish research field trial are spring wheat intercropped with clover grasses. Here, we are testing the effect of intercropping under organic, conventional and integrated (i.e. organic + conventional) farming conditions.
Enjoying the flowers and starting the laboratory analyses
As we conclude this first sampling campaign of our project, we are brimming with excitement about the invaluable data we have collected.
We hope for our findings to shed light on the multifaceted benefits of intercropping.
Our aim is to equip farmers across Europe with practical insights and strategies for successful intercropping, merging scientific knowledge with the wisdom of those working the land through our on-farm living labs.