Pilot Farms Europe
Location: France (Champagne-Ardenne, Picardie, Nord-Pas-de-Calais) & Belgium
Commodities: All growers cultivate minimum 4 types of crops, including potato (minimum 1 out of 4 years potato). Other crops include beetroot, wheat, onion…
Scale: 9 potato growers (7 in France and 2 in Belgium)
Start & end date: Pilots in 9 farms start in 2016 and end in 2020. These farms are part of a rotating network of pilot farms that tested Good Agricultural practices in 2010-2015
Project phase: Proof of concept
Farming Model: Established large farms
Type of sourcing: Direct sourcing from farmers
Partners: 3 / 9 pilot farms have tested predictive modeling technology in coalition with Arvalis (method and model) / Airbus (satellite imagery) & Uneal (farmer cooperative)
Description: Pilot on farmers land different smart, sustainable & regenerative agricultural practices to demonstrate benefits and formulate recommendations to scale-up in an economically viable manner the adoption of these practices by the broader farmer community.
- Support farmer livelihood
- Keep carbon in the soil
- Increase capacity of soils to hold water
- Enhance farm biodiversity
- Reduce excessive use of synthetic agro-chemical inputs
Practices: Provide farmers technical and financial support (increased yield, reduced energy & pesticides cost); increase soil organic carbon (multi-species cover crops, organic fertilizers, organic matter addition, straw on the land); promote biodiversity on the farm (crop rotation minimum 4 years, hedged/flowerstrips at field boundaries, autumn ridging…), reduce the use of synthetic agro-chemical inputs (lower toxicity agro-chemicals, predictive modeling technology via satellite, precision nitrogen application, optimized spraying against Late Blight..), increase capacity of soils to hold water (production techniques decision support systems/assessment tool, tree/shrub hedges…)
Regenerating natural ecosystems to restore biodiversity and develop large scale carbon sinks. Application of an innovative drone-seeding approach
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