Legume Futures is an international research project financed by the EU Framework Programme 7. The full title of the project is ‘Legume-supported cropping systems for Europe’. The aim is to develop the use of legumes in cropping systems to improve the economic and environmental performance of European agriculture. The project has developed new cropping sequences for European agricultural regions and with conducted economic assessments of these. It also assessed the environmental impact of relevant farming system changes. This is focused on greenhouse gas emissions, nitrogen budgets, biodiversity and soil function.
Legumes play a very special role in crop rotations, livestock feeding, and in our diets. They include important protein-rich crops such as peas and beans, and forage crops such as clover and alfalfa. Legume plants host nitrogen fixing bacteria. Legume crops improve soil fertility. Legumes are therefore very relevant to the challenges and opportunities facing agriculture, particularly reducing greenhouse gas emissions, enhancing farmland biodiversity and protecting soil and water resources.
The research in Legume Futures formally ended on 28 February 2014 and results are presented here as they emerge.
Legume-supported cropping systems for Europe (Legume Futures) is a collaborative research project funded from the European Union’s Seventh Programmefor research, technological development and demonstration under grant number 245216
Legume Futures was coordinated by Prof. Bob Rees at Scotland's Rural College