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Joint Technology Units (UMT) involving INRA in 2019

Joint Technology Units (UMT) involving INRA in 2019

UMT PACTOLE: valorising oilseeds and grain legumes

UMT PACTOLE: for diversified agriculture valorising oilseeds and grain legumes (Pour une AgriCulTure diversifiée valorisant les Oléagineux et les LEgumineuses à graines), aims to address the challenge of the agroecological and nutritional transition of cropping systems. Soybean, sunflower and chickpea are the crops that are central to these more diversified cropping systems.

Updated on 04/01/2019
Published on 01/17/2019

Paysage du Lauragais © Terres Inovia
© Terres Inovia

Soybean, sunflower and chickpea: crops that should be developed in France

In the context of reducing input use and conserving resources, these oilseed and grain legume crops are of agronomic, economic and environmental value that should be increasingly exploited: they require few resources (water and nitrogen) and applications of plant heath products; they have a spring-summer cycle and are utilised by the protein market. Pursuing a partnership experiment that involved a technical institute and research and higher education institutions, UMT PACTOLE will benefit from the results obtained by UMT Tournesol between 2006 and 2016 (gains in productivity, design of a decision-support tool for varietal breeding, agronomic strategies and markets, etc.). As well as acquiring ecophysiological and epidemiological knowledge, three principal groups of digital methods will be employed: satellite remote sensing, crop modelling and phenotyping. The scales addressed will range from the plant to the region.

The four areas structuring the research

Questions raised by the diversification of cropping systems through the introduction of soybean, sunflower and chickpea will focus on four areas:

  • Identifying sectors and markets so as to better respond to demand (oils and proteins) in terms of organoleptic and technological qualities;
  • Defining the degree to which different varieties of these crops could be deployed in northern regions, taking account of how climate change will affect current and potential growing areas (mapping of growing areas and pest risks, proposal of varietal ideotypes, etc.);
  • Evaluating the potential and usefulness of these summer crops with respect to current crops and regions or under more innovative systems;
  • Optimising the management of these crops through agroecological protection and taking account of genotype x environment x management interactions (for example by reducing the damage caused to sunflower by broomrape, exploring the early sowing of soybean to reduce water requirements or developing technical guidelines for chickpea crops).

Using modelling tools, the scientists will address the impact of climate change on potential growing areas and on the agronomic and/or genetic solutions that need to be deployed to guarantee markets, satisfy needs and ensure the competitiveness of these sectors. This research, oriented towards innovation in crop diversification, will support the growing demand for vegetable proteins or oils with a well-balanced fatty acid content, while contributing to enhancing cultivated biodiversity.
The questions guiding this work will therefore be: “what should we produce?”, “where should be produce it?” and “how should be produce it?”.

The actors

The project has been accredited for 5 years (2019-2023).

It is being managed by the Agricultural Technical Institute Terres Inovia.

The public sector research institutions concerned are: CNES, CNRS, National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse (ENSAT and EI Purpan), INRA, IRD and Université Toulouse III Paul Sabatier. They are the supervisory bodies for the Joint Research Units involved:

  • Agroecology, Innovations and Territories, UMR AGIR
  • Centre for the Study of the Biosphere from Space, UMR CESBIO
  • Joint Research Unit for Plant-Microbe Interactions, UMR LIPM