CORDIS - EU research results

PlotLab - Plot combines with integrated lab equipment for lean breading

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - PlotLab (PlotLab - Plot combines with integrated lab equipment for lean breading)

Reporting period: 2015-04-01 to 2015-09-30

In order to feed this larger, more urban and richer population, food production must increase by 70%, and annual cereal
production will need to rise to about 3 billion tonnes from 2.1 billion today. However, there are limited opportunities to expand
the area of agricultural land without huge detrimental impact on the natural environment. As a consequence, sustainable
increase of food supply must be based on productivity improvements. Plant breeding has significantly contributed to and will
continue to be a major contributor to increased food security.
The breeding and seed production process comprises many different stages. An important part is the process where
varieties are selected for field tests and planted in small 10-15 m2 plots, often 10-thousind of such plots. The following step,
where crop is harvested and the quality of the crops in individual plots are determined, is a resource and time consuming
process. The process involves both specialised field equipment – the so-called plot combines for harvesting of the plots -
and subsequent lab testing of the yield and quality parameters of crop to determine the 5%-20% candidates for further field
This project will bring new machinery to market which by integrating the field equipment (the plot combine) with lab
equipment can shorten the time span of the breeding and seed production process, and has the potential to shorten the
variety testing and selection process by a whole season. Moreover, by determining the quality parameters (water content,
oil, protein, digestibility, sugar, etc.) at the time of the harvest, only the crop from fewer candidates plots needs to be
packaged and handled for further processing, saving both significant labour efforts and reducing the risk of handling-related
errors in the process
The feasibility study was carried out as planned and the study confirms our hopes and expectation to the concept, the product and the market.
Our aim is to bring the new plot combines to market and the phase 2 project will be an important part of this. This will lead to significant growth to our business, effectiveness to the breeding process in the seed industry and productivity improvement in the global food production.
Plot Combine