CIEMAT, partner of BECOOL project, has recently published a scientific article on the viability of the introduction of new non-food crops in marginal areas of real farms.
Nowadays, agriculture has multiple challenges to address, due to the continuous rise of the demand for food and fiber with more efficient and sustainable production methods. Another challenge of the modern farming is the depopulation of rural areas derived from
the constant job losses in the primary sector due to the economy modernization and the progress of the automation. In this context, the cultivation of dedicated energy crops on utilized arable productive lands increasingly creates a conflict with food production and poses important issues on the sustainability of this option
In order to face the expected increasing demand of energy crops without creating conflicts of land occupation sustainability, farmers need to find reliable alternatives in marginal agricultural areas where the production of food hardly ever is economically and environmentally sustainable. The study compares the profit margin and the energy and environmental performance of growing tall wheatgrass, in the marginal area of a rainfed farm versus rye, the annual crop sowed traditionally in the marginal area of the farm.
Learn more: https://arxiv.org/abs/2003.13395