Driebergen-Rijsenburg, Netherlands
Driebergen-Rijsenburg, Netherlands

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Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-TP | Phase: KBBE.2011.1.2-06 | Award Amount: 3.99M | Year: 2012

The proposed project aims to develop innovative methods, tools and concepts for the replacement of copper in European organic and low input fruit, grapevine, potato, and tomato production systems. Copper-free production systems will be achieved by (i) providing alternative compounds, (ii) smart application tools and (iii) by integrating these tools into traditional and novel copper-free crop production systems. The copper-free apple, grapevine, potato and tomato production systems will be (iv) evaluated in a multi-criteria assessment with respect to agronomic, ecologic and economic performance. CO-FREE will also develop strategies to develop (v) smart breeding goals by development of crop ideotypes and (vi) foster consumer acceptance of novel disease-resistant cultivars by consumers and retailers. By involving farmers, advisors, plant protection industry, policy makers and researchers as well as the stakeholders of the European organic and low input sector (food supply chain, retailers, producers associations), CO-FREE will ensure a rapid development, dissemination and adoption of the copper replacement strategies. The multidisciplinary consortium proposed for the project includes 11 academic and 9 industry (all SMEs) partners from 10 European countries. All partner institutions are leaders in their respective fields and/or are leading providers of advisory services to farmers, retailers, policy makers and other stakeholders in the organic and low input sector.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: KBBE.2013.1.2-01 | Award Amount: 8.01M | Year: 2014

Agroforestry is the practice of deliberately integrating woody vegetation (trees or shrubs) with crop and/or animal systems to benefit from the resulting ecological and economic interactions. AGFORWARD (AGroFORestry that Will Advance Rural Development) is a four-year project, developed by 23 organisations at the forefront of agroforestry research, practice and promotion in Europe, with the goal of promoting appropriate agroforestry practices that advance sustainable rural development. The project will i) increase our understanding of existing, and new extensive and intensive agroforestry systems in Europe; ii) identify, develop and demonstrate innovations to improve the ecosystem service benefits and viability of agroforestry systems in Europe using participatory research, iii) develop better adapted designs and practices for the different soil and climatic conditions of Europe, and iv) promote the wide adoption of sustainable agroforestry systems. Successful and sustainable agroforestry practices are best developed by farmers and land owners working in partnership with researchers, extension staff, and other rural businesses. AGFORWARD will facilitate 33 participative agroforestry research and development stakeholder groups to improve the resilience of i) existing agroforestry systems of high nature and cultural value such as the dehesa and montado; and ii) olive, traditional orchard, and other high value tree systems, and the sustainability of iii) arable and iv) livestock systems with the integration of trees. Using existing bio-economic models, AGFORWARD will evaluate and adapt the innovations to improve the delivery of positive ecosystem services and business profitability at farm- and landscape-scales across Europe. By using and developing existing European fora, such as the European Agroforestry Federation, AGFORWARD will implement an informative and effective promotion programme to benefit the European economy, environment and society.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-07a-2014 | Award Amount: 4.01M | Year: 2015

DIVERSIFOOD will evaluate and enrich the diversity of cultivated plants within diverse agroecosystems so as to increase their performance, resilience, quality and use through a multi-actor approach. By integrating existing experienced networks and using specific and relevant cases across Europe the project will strengthen food culture to improve economic viability of local chains resulting in a greater diversity of produce with a cultural identity. Thanks to the composition of its consortium, DIVERSIFOOD will cover the whole food chain from genetic resources to marketing, connecting and amplifying local existing actions. It will design specific concepts and methodologies for combining in situ experiments to ensure performance and quality. It will evaluate the genetic resources of a dozen underutilized and forgotten plant species for organic and low-input agriculture or marginal/specific conditions, including the association of various underutilized legumes with several cereals, and create new diversity by innovative breeding methods designed for more intra-crop variation. It will help to facilitate cooperation between participatory research networks and professional breeders as well as policy makers in connecting formal and informal seed systems in Europe in relation to international negotiations on Farmers rights with the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture. Key-lessons based on the diverse experiences in the project will be shared to support on-farm seed production networks to guarantee high quality seed. DIVERSIFOOD will demonstrate the socio-economic value of on-farm seed systems, help at local and wider policy levels to increase food and environmental awareness, and improve multi-actor approaches to embed healthy and tasty local products in regional food chains. Demonstration and dissemination will take place at all stages, in collaboration with network organizations for a greater impact.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: SFS-15-2014 | Award Amount: 8.82M | Year: 2015

PROTEIN2FOODs aim is to develop innovative, cost-effective and resource-efficient plant proteins rich food sources with positive impact on human health, the environment and biodiversity. The quality and quantity of protein from selected highly nutritious seed crops (quinoa, amaranth and buckwheat), and legumes with high protein quantity (lupin, faba beans, pea, chickpea, lentil) will be significantly enhanced by using a multi-disciplinary approach that will include genetic, agronomic, food process engineering, sensory, socio-economic, and environmental assessment. Research is expected to improve the quality of plant proteins, produced in Europe, and of the sustainability of their production and processing. Through a better understanding of the: i) genetic mechanisms driving the protein formation and accumulation in the seed, ii) plant performance towards biotic and abiotic stresses, and iii) protein interactions with other components in the food matrix and its sensory repercussions in the final food products, this research should lead to the development of adapted plant protein sources with positive impact on environment and biodiversity as well as human health. Expected results in the project are: i) enhance the protein production by 25% through new effective breeding techniques and optimised crop management with an increase by 10% of the EUs arable land destined to protein-crop production, using also marginal soils, ii) accelerate protein transition from animal-based protein to plant based protein in Europe with clear impact on reduction of carbon footprint, iii) increase EU agro-biodiversity by introducing promising high quality crops and legumes. Further, activities will support the prototypes of new protein-rich-protein food with exceptional market potential. Finally, we will improve the EUs visibility in the area of food processing and technology through high impact factors scientific publications.

The proposed integrating project LOWINPUTBREEDS aims to develop integrated LIVESTOCK BREEDING and MANAGEMENT strategies to improve ANIMAL HEALTH, product QUALITY and PERFORMANCE in European organic and low input milk, meat and egg production through research, dissemination and training activities. The consortium includes 11 academic centres of excellence and 6 genetics/breeding companies (4 SMEs) in 11 European, 2 ICPC and 2 industrialised third countries. The proposed project has 4 main Science and Technology OBJECTIVES: 1. To DEVELOP and evaluate INNOVATIVE BREEDING CONCEPTS, including (a) genome wide and (b) marker assisted selection, and (c) cross-, (d) flower- and (e) farmer participatory breeding strategies, which will deliver genotypes with robustness and quality traits required under low input conditions. The project will focus on 5 LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION SYSTEMS (dairy cows, dairy and meat sheep, pigs and laying hens) and design SPECIES-SPECIFIC BREEDING STRATEGIES for different macroclimatic regions in Europe. 2. To INTEGRATE the use of IMPROVED GENOTYPES with INNOVATIVE MANAGEMENT approaches including improved diets, feeding regimes and rearing systems. This will focus on issues (e.g. mastitis and parasite control, animal welfare problems) where breeding or management innovations alone are unlikely to provide satisfactory solutions. 3. To IDENTIFY potential ECONOMIC, ENVIRONMENTAL, GENETIC DIVERSITY and ETHICAL IMPACTS of project deliverables to ensure they conform to different societal priorities and consumer demands/expectations and are acceptable to producers. 4. To ESTABLISH an efficient TRAINING and DISSEMINATION programme aimed at rapid exploitation and application of project deliverables by the organic and low input livestock industry.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: BBI-RIA | Phase: BBI.VC3.R8-2015 | Award Amount: 4.92M | Year: 2016

The Andes Lupin (Lupinus mutabilis, tarwi) grows excellently in marginal lands due to its excellent foraging characteristics having the ability to fix nitrogen, mobilise soil phosphate and have low nutritional requirements for cultivation. For the increased biomass needed in Europe in coming years and decades we cannot rely on the most fertile lands, which is currently allocated to food production, we need to increase the yield from marginal lands. There the lupin varieties are preponderant, the one providing highest yield (up to 80 ton/ha) is Lupinus mutabilis. Varieties can be chosen for giving this high yield of green silage or high yield of seeds contain more than 20% oil, more than 40% protein and the remainder carbohydrates are mainly oligosaccharides characterized as prebiotics. Andes lupin can be grown as a summer crop in N-central Europe conditions and as winter crop in Mediterranean conditions. Breeding and cropping research is performed in the LIBBIO project for maximizing the yield and value of lupin agriculture in different European marginal lands conditions, with respect to both the farmers and biorefineries. Pre-industrial processing is developed and optimized for the lupin, properties of the different fractions analysed, their advantage for different industrial use evaluated, and a few products developed as an example. With respect to environmental impact the lupin is expected to be superior. It does not need much fertilizer, it enriches the soil with nitrogen and phosphate and is therefore expected to be excellent for crop rotation and soil regeneration. These properties will be evaluated further in the project along with techno-economic and agricultural viability and effect on farm and biorefinery income.

Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: KBBE-2008-1-2-08 | Award Amount: 1.47M | Year: 2009

The aim of this supporting action is to develop a toolbox of cost-effective technologies to be implemented at the farm level to protect water from nitrate pollution. The project will bring together four partners with expertise in farm level N management in their regions. The first component of the toolbox will be a catalogue of technologies for reducing N losses on the farm produced using previous research results and local experience. Technologies will be prioritized based on their cost-effectiveness and efficiency at reducing N losses. They will be listed according to region and production-system to enable easy identification of the best management option for specific local conditions. The second toolbox component will be an enhanced decision support tool (NDICEA) which can be used at the farm level to illustrate options for improved N management, and assist farmers in reaching their goals of compliance with the Nitrates Directive. NDICEA was developed by LBI, and will be enhanced using outputs from ongoing and previous projects at partners UAa and UNEW. The toolbox will be implemented on case study farms and the results documented in a blueprint for implementing water protection policy at the farm level across the EU. Project results will be widely available via the project website, and through links with the WFD-CIRCA Information Exchange Platform and the Water Information System for Europe (WISE)-RTD webportal. A stakeholder workshop will be conducted at the end of the project to transfer technology to key user groups (farmers, advisors, water protection policy makers). N-TOOLBOX will serve as a centralized resource that can be expanded as new measures and tools are developed. In this way N-TOOLBOX will lay the foundations for improved implementation of water protection policy at the farm level across the EU.

Doesburg P.,Louis Bolk Institute | Nierop A.F.M.,Muvara BV
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture | Year: 2013

Crystallization patterns emerge when an aqueous dihydrate Copper chloride (CuCl2{dot operator}2H2O) solution in the presence of organic additives (juices/extracts) is crystallized on a glass plate. The emerging patterns are additive-specific and reflect physiological processes like maturation and ageing, the effect of processing, feeding regime and production system in a broad range of agricultural products. The patterns and their underlying structures are evaluated visually by means of defined morphological criteria and by means of computerized image analysis, respectively. The currently applied texture analysis algorithm reflects the spatial linear relationships between grey-scale values of the scanned crystallization structures, rendering the zero point arbitrary and constraining data analysis to the ordinal scale. Furthermore the algorithm is non-consistent with the physically defined geometric properties of the crystallization structures. In this article the development of a structure analysis algorithm is described and discussed which allows a quantification of the crystallization structures by computing 15 width-, and length-parameters, introducing a non-arbitrary zero-point and an equidistant scale which permits all statistical measures. The algorithm is applied to crystallization structures produced from carrot samples which shows it reflects the monotonic relation between physically defined geometric properties of the crystallization structures and laboratory procedure parameters influencing the overall morphological features of the crystallization structures. For instance the nucleation time, which is the time elapsed prior to initial nucleation of the crystallization structure, and the circular region of interest (ROI) around the geometric center of the glass plate used in image analysis evaluation. It is concluded that this structure analysis algorithm is a valuable addition to the image evaluation tools applicable for crystallization investigations of agricultural products, augmenting the image analysis with a non-arbitrary zero point and an equidistant scale which permits all statistical measures. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Bredie S.J.H.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Jong M.C.,Louis Bolk Institute
Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology | Year: 2012

BACKGROUND: Medicinal treatment of vasospastic Raynaud phenomenon is limited to primarily vasodilator medicines. OBJECTIVE: To explore the possible beneficial effects and tolerability of 120 mg two times a day of Ginkgo Biloba special extract EGb 761 in patients suffering from Raynaud disease (RD) (primary Raynaud phenomenon). METHODS: In a placebo-controlled, double-blind, pilot study, 41 patients with RD were randomized to either the active treatment group (EGb 761, n = 21) or placebo group for 10 weeks, after an initial 2-week run-in phase. The primary efficacy variables were self-reported changes of the frequency, duration, and severity of vasospastic attacks between the placebo-controlled run-in phase and the end of the study. RESULTS: Most of the patients were female, and both groups were perfectly matched with respect to demographic characteristics. The frequency of daily attacks reduced from 3.6 ± 2.3 to 2.4 ± 2.6 (-33%) in the EGb 761 group and from 2.9 ± 2.0 to 2.0 ± 1.8 (-31%) in the placebo group with no significant difference according to the ordinary least squares test (P = 0.3564). Furthermore, no significant differences were found with respect to the duration and severity of vasospastic attacks between the EGb 761 and placebo groups (P = 0.4392 and P = 0.7187, respectively). In all, 17 adverse events (AEs) were reported, 6 AEs from 5 patients in the EGb 761 group and 11 AEs from 8 patients in the placebo group. Serious AEs did not occur. CONCLUSION: EGb 761 treatment showed an excellent safety profile in patients with RD but could not demonstrate a statistically significant reduction in clinically relevant symptoms compared with placebo. Copyright © 2012 by Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.

Erisman J.W.,Louis Bolk Institute
Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences | Year: 2013

The demand for more food is increasing fertilizer and land use, and the demand for more energy is increasing fossil fuel combustion, leading to enhanced losses of reactive nitrogen (Nr) to the environment. Many thresholds for human and ecosystem health have been exceeded owing to Nr pollution, including those for drinking water (nitrates), air quality (smog, particulate matter, ground-level ozone), freshwater eutrophication, biodiversity loss, stratospheric ozone depletion, climate change and coastal ecosystems (dead zones). Each of these environmental effects can be magnified by the 'nitrogen cascade': a single atom of Nr can trigger a cascade of negative environmental impacts in sequence. Here, we provide an overview of the impact of Nr on the environment and human health, including an assessment of the magnitude of different environmental problems, and the relative importance of Nr as a contributor to each problem. In some cases, Nr loss to the environment is the key driver of effects (e.g. terrestrial and coastal eutrophication, nitrous oxide emissions), whereas in some other situations nitrogen represents a key contributor exacerbating a wider problem (e.g. freshwater pollution, biodiversity loss). In this way, the central role of nitrogen can remain hidden, even though it actually underpins many trans-boundary pollution problems.

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