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Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: LCE-14-2014 | Award Amount: 1.83M | Year: 2015

The aim of greenGain is to strengthen the energy use of regional and local biomass from the maintenance of areas and landscape elements, which is performed in the public interest. The scope of the biomass used, will be any material predominantly produced from nature conservation and landscape management, but not from energy-crops. The main target groups are regional and local players, who are responsible for maintenance and conservation work and for the biomass residue management in their regions. Moreover, the focus will be on service providers - including farmers and forest owners, their associations, NGOs and energy providers and consumers. The project will show strategies to build up reliable knowledge on local availability of these feedstocks and know-how on issues from logistics to storage and sustainable conversion pathways for the transformation of these feedstocks to renewable energy (heat and energy products). Furthermore political, legal and environmental aspects will be addressed in model regions. Awareness raising, governance and public acceptance actions will be focussed on. General guidelines will be prepared to guarantee a wide dissemination to other regions in the EU. The regional partners will be actively supported by Technical Partners for the project measures development and implementation. As a CSA, the project focal point will be the exchange between the model regions and other similar relevant players in the EU, by good practice exchange, a topic-specific website, several workshops and educational site visits in different regions as well as other standard public relations activities. The project team is carefully balanced between technical and scientific organisations and local demand side oriented players. Regions in northern Europe with a wide knowledge in this field are cooperating with European (south-west, middle, east) regions, having an untapped potential, that can be accessed through efficient knowledge transfer.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ENV.2013.WATER INNO&DEMO-1 | Award Amount: 7.61M | Year: 2013

Agriculture sector is accountable for 30% of the total water consumption in Europe, but reaches up to 70% of total water consumption in several European southern countries. In recent years, most of the efforts have been focused on water efficiency, without taking care of energy aspects, resulting in some cases on a significant increase in energy consumption, both per irrigated surface and per volume unit of water. The WEAM4i project will mainly address 2 of the priorities of the EIP on Water: Water-Energy nexus and Decision support systems (DSS) and monitoring. The WEAM4i proposal is based on two innovative management concepts: 1. A water&energy smart grid for irrigation: allowing interactive energy use decisions, by introducing demand-side management and matching the consumption to the available energy offer, due to existing water storage capability (in reservoirs or in the soil) that enables an near-almost elastic demand. 2. An innovative, cloud based, integration approach: an ICT platform based on a Service Oriented Architecture, for hosting the DSS applications, while, at field level, the existing local irrigation systems will remain. Techniques for resource efficiency at local level will be demonstrated on the irrigation systems aforementioned: for saving water, for improving the m3/kwh ratio and for the minimisation of the operational cost of water supply infrastructures. Full-scale demonstration activities will be performed in 3 EU countries (PT, ES and DE), covering a wide range of landscapes and crop types, from southern to central EU. Companies and SMEs will benefit from the future commercialization of the outcomes while the users will reduce the operational costs of their irrigation systems. To Sum up: once important water savings have been achieved, the new challenge for the irrigation sector is to minimise the energy costs. The WEAM4i project aims to provide innovative solutions for this challenge.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISIB-02-2015 | Award Amount: 1.84M | Year: 2016

The European Fruit Network (EUFRUIT) includes 12 countries focussed on 4 thematic areas of critical for the competiveness and innovation potential of the European Fruit sector: i) new cultivar development and evaluation; ii) minimise residues on fruit and the environment; iii) optimising storage and fruit quality; iv) sustainable production systems. EUFRUIT will coordinate and support innovation through developing a framework for relevant stakeholders and it will establish a systematic approach for knowledge gathering and dissemination. The systematic approach includes: i) scanning & synthesis via 4 expert groups who scan state-of-art knowledge, practises and technologies and synthesise the material to identify key areas of learning and best practise approaches at a European level. ii) showing & sharing will deliver outreach/dialogue at a national level through establishment of local operational groups. An online Knowledge Platform will hold all outreach material, outreach activities include; 100 industry publications, 90 technical bulletins, 25 flyers/newsletters, 60 seminars, 160 field based meetings, 25 conference plus 12 events aimed at the general public. iii) sustaining the network will occur through long-term integration of the assembled EUFRUIT network in future actions. The overall outcome of EUFRUIT will be establishment of a framework and a systematic approach that together builds a bridge across the valley of death. This bridge will secure a direct path for new knowledge in the future and reduce the likelihood of repetition of research at a national level. The European fruit sector will have ready access to up-to-date information to implement and value will be created both for the industry with respect to competitiveness, sustainability and efficiency and society through ensuring the security and safety of fruit; underpinning human health and wellbeing.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: RUR-10-2016-2017 | Award Amount: 2.00M | Year: 2017

Grasslands are vitally important for European agriculture. The 20 partners of Inno4Grass gather farmers organisations, extension services, education and research in eight countries (Germany, Belgium, France, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland & Sweden) where grasslands contribute a major share of the agricultural area. The overall objective of the project is to bridge the gap between practice and science to ensure the implementation of innovative systems on productive grasslands to achieve profitability while providing environmental services. The associated animal productions are dairy and beef cattle and sheep. Inno4Grass will set up a Facilitator Agents network, capture novelties from innovative farms scrutinized via 85 case studies, discuss and synthesize them in electronic farm networks and through cognitive mapping. It will upgrade this capital via multi-actor approaches and science dialogue, transfer innovation capital and boost collaboration and exchanges beyond the borders of regions and among Member States (MS). Dedicated dissemination approaches and events like national and European Wikimedia, decision support systems and grassland awards are designed and applied to convey innovations to practice with highest acceptance by practitioners and beyond the project term. Inno4Grass will ensure delivery and training of grassland knowledge at operational, tactical and strategic levels for farmers, advisors, and students (specific syllabus, materials for existing MOOCs) and for the value chain mobilizing key actors within the collaborating MS. At least 100 practice abstracts and 104 video clips describing innovative practices will be provided. The project strongly contributes to the implementation of the EIP and many consortium members are involved in their national contact points. This supports the establishment and cross linkage of Operational Groups on grasslands.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-04-2014 | Award Amount: 5.31M | Year: 2015

LANDMARK is a pan-European multi-actor consortium of leading academic and applied research institutes, chambers of agriculture and policy makers that will develop a coherent framework for soil management aimed at sustainable food production across Europe. The LANDMARK proposal builds on the concept that soils are a finite resource that provides a range of ecosystem services known as soil functions. Functions relating to agriculture include: primary productivity, water regulation & purification, carbon-sequestration & regulation, habitat for biodiversity and nutrient provision & cycling. Trade-offs between these functions may occur: for example, management aimed at maximising primary production may inadvertently affect the water purification or habitat functions. This has led to conflicting management recommendations and policy initiatives. There is now an urgent need to develop a coherent scientific and practical framework for the sustainable management of soils. LANDMARK will uniquely respond to the breadth of this challenge by delivering (through multi-actor development): 1. LOCAL SCALE: A toolkit for farmers with cost-effective, practical measures for sustainable (and context specific) soil management. 2. REGIONAL SCALE - A blueprint for a soil monitoring scheme, using harmonised indicators: this will facilitate the assessment of soil functions for different soil types and land-uses for all major EU climatic zones. 3. EU SCALE An assessment of EU policy instruments for incentivising sustainable land management. There have been many individual research initiatives that either address the management & assessment of individual soil functions, or address multiple soil functions, but only at local scales. LANDMARK will build on these existing R&D initiatives: the consortium partners bring together a wide range of significant national and EU datasets, with the ambition of developing an interdisciplinary scientific framework for sustainable soil management.

Schneeberg A.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Neubauer H.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Schmoock G.,Institute of Bacterial Infections and Zoonoses | Baier S.,Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen | And 5 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Microbiology | Year: 2013

Clostridium difficile was isolated from 147 of 201 (73%) rectal swabs of piglets from 15 farms of Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia. In 14 farms, 14 to 100% (mean, 78%) of the animals tested were culture positive. The rate of isolation was 68% postpartum, increased to 94% in animals 2 to 14 days of age, and declined to0%for animals 49 days of age and older. There was no link between isolation and antibiotic treatment or diarrhea of piglets. Strains were assigned to 10 PCR ribotypes, and up to 4 PCR ribotypes were found to be present at the same time on a farm. The closely related PCR ribotypes 078 (55%) and 126 (20%) were most frequently recovered and were present in 13 of the 14 positive farms. The comparison of multilocusVNTR(variable number of tandem repeats) analysis (MLVA) data from this study and previously published data on human, porcine, and bovine PCR ribotype 078 isolates from 5 European countries revealed genetic differences between strains of different geographic origin and confirmed the relatedness of human and porcine C. difficile isolates. This study demonstrated that the human-pathogenic PCR ribotypes 078 and 126 are predominant in piglets in Germany. The results suggest that presence of C. difficile is correlated with animal age but not with antibiotic treatment or clinical disease.MLVAindicated that strains of the same geographical origin are often genetically related and corroborated the hypothesis of a close epidemiological connection between human and porcine C. difficile isolates. Copyright © 2013, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

In spring 2014 a needle disease on young trees of Cedrus atlantica, C. deodara as well as C. libani was observed in a tree nursery in Lower Saxony, Germany. The disease is characterized by yellow-brown needle discolorization, followed by needle cast. The hypodermataceous ascomycete Lophodermium cedrinum Maire was revealed as causal pathogen. Disease symptoms and morphological criteria of the fungus are described, supplemented with illustrations. The needle parasite was reported for Northern Africa and Asia until now. Therefore this is the first report on this fungus in Germany or rather Europe. Aspects of phytosanitary measures are discussed. © 2014 Verlag Eugen Ulmer. All rights received.

Mohr K.,Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen
Gefahrstoffe Reinhaltung der Luft | Year: 2014

Biomonitoring with epigaecic mosses provide detailed information about the extent and spatial distribution of air pollution brought by reactive nitrogen species, e.g., NOx and NHy, which have become a significant air pollutant in Europe. The biomonitoring of nitrogen requires enhanced methodical demands regarding sampling and choice of suitable moss species. Particularly in polluted regions, the effect of canopy drip from higher trees could strongly affect mosses in the adjacent open land. Implementing an optimized method, the planned European wide moos campaign in 2015/2016 will disclose the transboundary distribution of the nitrogen deposition and its development in many parts of Europe, especially since West and Central European countries, including Germany, additionally will participate.

Reactive atmospheric nitrogen affects sensitive ecosystems such as forests in many respects. Forests in a region of intensive agriculture (where critical loads have been exceeded significantly) that have been exposed to ammonia in the vicinity of animal houses for a long time were selected for an investigation of potential dose response relationships. In all, 60 locations were investigated experimentally with respect to effects on Nmin pools, C/N ratios in the humus layer, nutrient element concentrations in leaves and nutrition indicator values in the ground vegetation. These entities correlated well with the additional load. For other entities (total N pool of the humus layer, soil and humus layer pH, base saturation, tree vitality) no or less significant statistical relations could be identified. Additional loads exceeding 5 kg ha-1 a-1 resulted in a significant increase of N concentrations in pine needles. The composition of the ground vegetation may be affected by even smaller additional loads. On the other hand, damage to trees caused by N occurred with additional inputs above 50 kg ha-1 a -1. The thresholds for effects of additional N inputs of 5 kg ha -1 a-1 to 50 kg ha-1 a-1 agree with those mentioned in the LAI guidelines for minor damage and the highest criterion load for forests.

Intensive animal production implies NH3 emissions that result in unwanted effects on soils and vegetation. Hence, any authorization of erection or extension of animal houses presupposes an assessment of existing N loads and an estimate of potential future loads. Due to the costs involved, this is achieved by application of models. This work compares measured and modelled nitrogen loads in a region with high animal densities. In parts, the results differ considerably. • NH3 concentrations measured in the proximity of sources and the additional loads derived deviate from those obtained from model calculations using the German standard procedure (TA Luft). • The additional N depositions derived from the modelled concentrations using TA Luft agree quite well with the measured additional N throughfall fluxes. Additional depositions modelled using the LAI procedure are apparently far too large. • The German Federal Environment Agency (UBA) provides data for background N depositions (MAPESI). These data exceed measured throughfall N by far. The differences cannot be explained, even if one considers the uncertainties involved. • Modelled depositions are based on assumed deposition velocities. The comparison between measured additional throughfall N and modelled additional depositions suggests that the deposition velocity proposed in TA Luft (1.0 cm s') slightly underestimates the N input in the region considered, whereas the values assumed by LAI (2.0 cm s1) definitely overestimates those inputs.

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