We investigate a range of innovative ways of using legumes to build soil fertility in glasshouses and polytunnels like using fast growing species of green manures that can be sown directly in the soil. We will evaluate the potential of a number of legume species.
In this case study we will set up field trials of Fava beans and French beans to assess the agronomic performance of heritage varieties in comparison to modern ones. The nutritional quality of the crops will be analysed. During the flowering period we will quantify visitation of the different varieties by pollinating insects and relate this to the production of floral volatile chemicals that may be responsible for attracting them and the quality of the resources that are provided in return.
The STC Case Study within TRUE will be looking at ways in which in-crop clover living mulches can be managed during crop growing seasons, with a particular attention to overcoming weed risks, enhancing soil organic matter / nitrogen content and generally improving the sustainability of cropping systems.
In this case study we are looking at the options for producing biomass suitable for animal feed or anaerobic digestion and how legumes in particular can help. We are focussing on winter crops to make best use of the full growing season.
Recent research has shown that the carbon footprint of milk produced on Irish dairy farms is approximately 1.23 kg CO2eq. per litre of fat and protein corrected milk. The objective is evaluate the feasibility of a Low Carbon System of milk production where emissions per litre of FPCM are substantially lowered, while maintaining current levels of milk output per ha and profitability.