New EU Project, LegumeLegacy, to Lead the Way in Transforming Productive Agricultural Crop Rotation Systems

03 February 2023

Researchers and industry partners from across Europe and Canada have commenced a research project that aims to improve the sustainability of farm-scale crop rotations.  LegumeLegacy, a new Marie Skłodowska-Curie Doctoral Network, is led Professor Caroline Brophy of the School of Computer Science and Statistics at Trinity College Dublin and the SFI ADAPT Research Centre. During the course of the project the role of multi-species grassland mixtures within crop rotations will be investigated in the search for solutions to develop lower nitrogen farming systems that will promote sustainable farming practices. In a collaborative approach, the research will include a combination of coordinated experimental sites and the use of cutting-edge statistical methodologies to address issues of critical importance to today’s sustainability challenges. To conduct the research LegumeLegacy will hire and train 11 PhD Researchers

LegumeLegacy is a highly interdisciplinary collaboration bringing together experts in statistics, ecology, agronomy, plant breeding and animal nutrition. The LegumeLegacy PhD Researchers will carry out their own individual research projects and collaborate on a multi-site experiment conducted across the network. The PhD Researchers will undertake an expert-led training programme developed and implemented by the LegumeLegacy collaborating academic and industry partners. Each Doctoral Researcher will undertake two mobility secondments during their PhD providing them with opportunities to develop deep collaborative networks during their PhD.

Three of the PhD Researchers will be based in Ireland and registered for their PhDs at Trinity College Dublin. The remaining PhD Researchers will be located across Europe at partner institutions. The partners on the project are Trinity College Dublin (lead coordinator; Ireland), Teagasc (Ireland), Devenish Research and Innovation Development Ltd. (Ireland), Goldcrop Ltd. (Ireland), University of Reading (United Kingdom), Cotswold Seeds (United Kingdom), the Louis Bolk Institute (the Netherlands), University of Aarhus (Denmark), University of Hohenheim (Germany), ETH Zurich (Switzerland), Agroscope (Switzerland) and Poznan University of Life Sciences (Poland), Wageningen University (the Netherlands), Danko (Poland) and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (Canada). The recruitment process for hiring the PhD Researchers will commence in February 2023, with anticipated start dates of 1stSeptember 2023.

The title of the Doctoral Network is ‘LegumeLegacy – Optimising multiple benefits of grass, legume and herb mixtures in crop rotations: modelling mechanisms and legacy effects’ and funding was awarded for the project under the Horizon-MSCA-DN-2021 programme.

LegumeLegacy aims to lead the way in transforming productive agricultural crop rotation systems and the 11 PhD Researchers will be trained to emerge as part of the next generation of leading researchers in this field.