The ReMIX project (Species mixtures for redesigning European cropping systems) was designed to encourage the use of crop diversity and to employ diversity in order to achieve resilient, agroecological European plant-based production systems.
ReMIX focuses on the development of resilient plant-based production systems through the creation of successful mixed crops. Mixed crops from “plant teams” can contribute to soil fertility, productivity of the “main” crop and suppression of weeds, diseases, and infestations. Mixed crops also offer opportunities for increasing biodiversity both above and below ground by providing food and hiding areas through more diverse and increased amounts of biomass above and below ground.
ReMIX focuses on three types of mixed crops:
- Grain - legume combinations: harvested at the same time and intended for both human consumption and livestock feed.
- Grain - green manure combinations: here the green manure can serve as an alternative to chemical inputs (artificial fertilizer, herbicides, etc.)
- Undersowing of single or multi-year crops onto ground bearing grain crops: this makes maximum use of both time and space.
The project will start with the identification of practical knowledge and experience with mixed crops. The obstacles that hinder the use of mixed crops will be analysed and mapped out. Next, 11 “multi-actor platforms” will be set up in 10 EU countries. These platforms contain a variety of partners from the agri-food chain and represent the various climate zones and agricultural styles in Europe. Together with researchers and policy-makers, the various parties will design mixed-crop experiments. Interested farmers can apply successful results in practice. Seed breeders are involved in various areas of the project. The breeding and selection of cultivars that perform well in mixed cultivation are an integral component of ReMIX.
As WUR Field Crops, we are involved in the following project components: research into the impact of mixed crops on infestation, diseases, and weed density and the breeding and selection of successful cultivars that deliver optimum performance in a mixed cultivation system.
The project has a duration of 4 years and has been awarded a budget of 5 million euros. Progress can be followed by using (English-language) interim reports, which can be found on the ReMIX website.