|A new knowledge exchange platform has been launched for farmers who are part of the Nitrogen Climate Smart (NCS) project, hoping to bring together a like-minded community to grow more pulses and cut carbon emissions.
The £5.9 million NCS project, funded Defra alongside Innovate UK, is a four year programme utilising over 200 UK farms and 17 industry partners to increase pulse and legume cropping in arable rotations to 20%, replacing 50% of imported soya meal.
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The project’s overall aim is to create a reduction of 1.5Mt CO₂e per annum.
Launched earlier this week, trial results, data and information will come together on the Performance Enhancement Platform (PulsePEP), part of the larger FarmPEP scheme, created by independent agriculture agency ADAS.
ADAS senior research consultant in crop physiology Dr Thomas Wilkinson said: “The PulsePEP has been designed with farmers in mind – by sharing knowledge the PulsePEP will ensure we can produce pulse crops that are profitable and resilient, so that farmers will want to grow them.
“Those farmers who are doing on-farm trials for the NCS project will share data that will hopefully demonstrate the benefits of growing pulses in rotations. These trials will implement and build on the latest scientific understanding from research platforms and small-plot trials.”
Some farms called “pulse pioneers” will be paid to carry out trials, trying out novel concepts, ideas, products, rations and sensors administered by British On-farm Innovation Network (BOFIN). to help farmers reduce GHG emissions.
“The PulsePEP is free to use and anyone can log on to view the content,” Mr Wilkinson continued. “Those hoping to engage more can set up an account and then post content themselves or follow specific topics.
“Research from, and identified by, the NCS project partners will also be accessible, fulfilling the project’s aim to connect and link to a range of useful content associated with pulse growth. We highlight content to ensure it can be trusted and to help bring the most authoritative response to any queries raised”
Information about the NCS scheme can be found on their website, and the PulsePEP platform can be found here.