Article. Superfood and Supergrain

(Catrin Hahn)






At the Haferforum Nord, about 130 farmers, trade and business representatives met. The forum offered a full program with many interesting lectures and lively discussions. Everyone present was united by the desire to promote oat cultivation. The first results of the CROPDIVA project were presented by Steffen Beuch, Nordsaat.


Poster. Mixed cropping: An alternative to monoculture in Switzerland

(Yannik Schlup, Filippo Carmenati, Johan Six, Susanne Vogelgsang, Agroscope, ETH Zurich)






Mixed cropping is the simultaneous cultivation of multiple species in the same field. Thera are up-and downsides to it, but when the species and varieties match, mixing increases the system's productivity while lowering its footprint. This experiment focuses on how mixtures ov oats and lentils perform compared to their monocultures. 


Article. Agrobiodiversity nurtures our future

(Jolien Deroost and Tom Dewanckele, Boerenbond, Belgium)






CROPDIVA aims to make six currently underused crops more attractive to farmers and processors. An ambitious goal, but why is it even necessary? The project coordinator UGent (Ghent University) answered that question during the first CROPDIVA symposium. From the 4th to the 6th of December, scientists from across the globe gathered in the unversity's hometown Ghent (Belgium) to learn about the importance of agrobiodiversity in all aspects of the value chain.

Article."We need to reacquaint people with old habits"

(Patrick Dieleman, Boer & Tuinder, Boerenbond, Belgium)






Growing underutilised crops is one thing, but making sure they end up on our plate is another. Wouter Braet is a fifth generation executive at Braet - De Vos, a supplier company that specializes in the cleaning and packaging of pulses. We asked him what he believes the challenges are we need to overcome, should we want to persuade him to work with our underutilised crops in the future.

Scientific article. Exploration and exploitation of the GxGxE space spanned by multi-environment intercropping experiments

(Reena Dubey, Steven Maenhout Progeno, Technologiepark-Zwijnaarde 82, 9052 Gent, Predictive breeding, Ghent University, Belgium)






Due to operational constraints, existing breeding strategies generally allow exploring a limited part of the GxGXE interaction space in an intercropping system. In this project, we try to develop specialized breeding methods for intercrops, harnessing ecophysiological crop modelling along with traditional monocrop breeding appraoches.

Scientific article. The Potential of Small Landscape Features to Increase Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in Arable Farmland

(Todd Jenkins, Dr. John Reade, Dr. Nicola Randall — Harper Adams University, Shropshire, TF10 8NB UK)






The findings in this study support the use of multifunctional, annual mixes as a potential option for farmers, as they offer a range of ecosystem services. The study also indicates that there is no trade-off when using mixes that target multiple ecosystem services, compared to those that focus on a single service.

Scientific article. Potential use of faba bean (vicia faba l.) in creation of plant based spreads.

(Dubravka ŠKROBOT, Milica POJIĆ, Jelena TOMIĆ, Predrag IKONIĆ, Miloš ŽUPANJAC, Vojislav BANJAC, Mladenka PESTORIĆ, University of Novi Sad, Institute of Food Technology, Bulevar cara Lazara 1, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia)






Despite the widespread use of faba bean in the past, it's currently a rather marginal and underutilized crop that represents a niche retail product. The current popularity of meat alternatives offers growth potential. The objective of this study was to formulate, produce and characterize the functional spreads processed out of faba bean seeds, as an alternative to classical meat/liver pâté.

Article. High-protein crops for human consumption.

(Nele Lauwers, Boerenbond, Belgium)






On November 21 2022, for a mixed audience of Belgian farmers and researchers, Kevin Dewitte shared the intermediate outcomes of CROPDIVA's research on legume crops at Ghent University. He addresses the crops expected resilience to climate change, and formulates specific recommendations for farmers on a crop to crop level.

Scientific article. Identification, High-Density Mapping and Characterization of New Major Powdery Mildew Resistance Loci From the Emmer Wheat Landrace

(Zuzana Korchanová, Miroslav Svec, Eva Janáková, Adam Lapar, Maciej Majka, Katerina Holusová, Georgi Bonchev, Jakub Juracka, Petr Cápal, Miroslav Valárik )






Powdery mildew is one of the most devastating diseases of wheat which significantly decreases yield and quality. Identification of new sources of resistance and their implementation in breeding programs is the most effective way of disease control. Two major powdery mildew resistance loci conferring resistance to all races in seedling and adult plant stages were identified in the emmer wheat landrace GZ1.

Scientific article. In vitro digestibility as screening tool for improved forage quality in triticale

(Anneleen De Zutter, Johan De Boever, Hilde Muylle, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz, Geert Haesaert)






Small grain forages are considered an alternative to maize.Triticale is one of the most promising small grains to be cultivated as a source of forage. The inclusion of triticale in the crop rotation system can widen a narrow maize rotation, increase biodiversity, and improve the humus balance.This study suggested the potential for improvement of triticale forage IVD, indicating total plant ADFom and stem KL might be relevant traits in triticale forage breeding. Promising genotypes with a good plant IVOMD and high forage yield are of relevance for future triticale forage breeding purposes.

Article. From Niche Crop to Mainstream Success

(Clémence S., Zorn A.)






Starting in 2023, the Swiss Confederation intends to promote the cultivation of grain legumes. This could have a positive impact on the cultivation of these niche crops. However, further measures are needed if we want to see these and other rarely grown crops on consumers’ dinner plates. For this reason, Agroscope experts looked at the entire value chains of oats, triticale, faba beans and lupin. Findings are based on interviews with the relevant stakeholders: breeders and researchers, growers, the processing industry and the retail market.

Scientific Article. Variation in potential feeding value of triticale forage among plant fraction, maturity stage, growing season and genotype

(Anneleen De Zutter, Sofie Landschoot, Pieter Vermeir, Chris Van Waes, Hilde Muylle, Isabel Roldán-Ruiz, Laid Douidah, Johan De Boever, Geert Haesaert)






Cereal forages, such as triticale forage, progressively gain interest as alternative crop for maize. The main study objective was to investigate the variation in potential feeding value of triticale forage among maturity stage, growing season and genotype, using total plant and stem fractions. Therefore, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) was evaluated as fast screening tool.

Article. Vergeten gewassen vergroten veerkracht voedselsysteem

(Katja Zweerus)






Een comeback van vergeten gewassen, ook wel weesgewassen, kan een flinke opsteker zijn voor de aarde en alles wat daarop leeft. Maar dan moet het onderzoek naar deze soorten wel de vaart erin krijgen. Katja Zweerus nam een kijkje in de wereld van vergeten gewassen en zag dat er nog de nodige uitdagingen zijn.

Scientific article. Exploration and exploitation of intercrop breeding strategies for Sustainable Agriculture

(Reena Dubey)






Intercrop breeders face the same challenges as their single-crop counterparts as they need to develop varieties that perform well under a range of environmental conditions. This quest generally implies a search in the so called Genotype-by-Environment (GxE) space for which numerous strategies have been described in literature. However, intercrop breeders are looking for pairs of genotypes belonging to different species which gives rise to a vast GxGxE search space for which no exploitation strategy is currently available. This PhD research project aims to develop dedicated data analysis methods that allow for an efficient exploitation of an intercrop GxGxE space.

Article. LupiLicious, delicious breakfast cereals with lupin and oats

(Nele Lauwers, Boerenbond, Belgium)






CROPDIVA wants to see underused crops back in the field. But for these crops to reappear and be grown by farmers, they have to be in demand with the general public. What products can be created using things like lupin and oats? We asked LupiLicious, a new startup company that sees potential in both.