In this seminar, we will hear Dr. Timothy Crews from The Land Institute, Kansas, and Prof. Lennart Olsson from Lund University on the prospects for developing and cultivating perennial grain crops.
The Crop Production Ecology Seminar series is a free and online platform for scientific debate about agricultural production and sustainability between academics, stakeholders, and the general public.
Grain production is currently relying heavily on annual cropping that leads to adverse impacts on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, and water quality. Perennial grain crops have been suggested as a more sustainable alternative to annual crops as they have the potential to provide various benefits such as reduced soil erosion, low requirement of management inputs, reduced nutrient leaching, and increased carbon sequestration, owing to their deeper and more extensive root systems, and greater aboveground biomass.
Dr. Timothy Crews, Chief Scientist,
The Land Institute, Kansas
In its relatively brief existence, the idea of Ecological Intensification (EI) has had two dominant definitions: 1) improvement of resource use efficiency through technological intensification, and 2) the deployment of crop and wild diversity to regulate pests and improve on resource use efficiency through niche differentiation. Crews will propose that the development of perennial crops may make possible a new array of important ecosystem functions that will expand on the benefits achieved through the diversification of annual cropping systems. Beyond the ecosystem scale, the efficacy of EI will increase further if applied at the population/species and landscape scales of agricultural ecosystems. To conclude the talk, Crews will provide highlights of progress in the development of perennial grain crops and cropping systems at The Land Institute and collaborating institutions.
Prof. Lennart Olsson,
LUCSUS (Lund University Centre for Sustainability Studies)