The general objective of the present proposal is to study the environmental impacts of sweet and fiber sorghum inside real cropping systems with particular reference to nitrogen balance. Indeed, in order to introduce these crops in crop rotations, information on the environmental impact on the real field conditions in the existing cropping systems are lacking. Specific objectives of the proposed project are:
1. Evaluation of the agronomic response of sweet and fiber sorghum on different cropping systems and in different soil and climatic conditions in the Europe Union;
2. Response of sweet and fiber sorghum to low-input cultivations;
3. The role of sweet and fiber sorghum within the different cropping systems against soil erosion in slope soils, especially in mediterranean environment
4. The role of sweet and fiber sorghum within the different cropping systems on the nitrogen and water balance and on nitrogen leaching;
5. The role of sweet and fiber sorghum within the different cropping systems on carbon and soil organic matter cycles;
6. Definition, calibration and validation of simulation mathematical models at micro and macrolevel of the nitrogen, water, carbon and organic matter in cropping systems including sweet and fiber sorghum;
7. Develop rapid screens for identifying Sorghum genotypes with improved nitrog use efficiency, in relation to biomass production.
The proposed objectives will be fulfilled carrying out experimental research focused on: Productivity trials, where the productivity of crop rotations and low-input cropping Including sweet and fiber sorghum will be evaluated (subtasks 1.1 1.2); novel Physiological screens to identify genotypes with lower N requirements will be developed (subtask 1.3); Agroecosystems studies, regarding research on nitrogen balance water balance, analysis of carbone cycle and soil organic matter balance in order to assess the restoration of chemical and physical soil fertility (subtask 2.3); Environmental studies, in order to assess nitrate leaching in different cropping systems (subtask 3.1) and the effectiveness of the crops in controlling soil erosion processes, especially in mediterranean area (subtask 3.2); Modelling activity in order to develop mechanistic models to optimise N use and water use (subtask 4.1) and to develop cropping systems models useful at regional scale (subtask 4.2).
The Partners participating to this proposal are ten and they were inluded according o their geographical position in European Union; scientific background and equipment facilities to participate to this project; research experience in previous European Union networks, especially in the field of biomass.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts
190 09 Pikermi - Attiki
2825 Monte De Caparica