Species mixtures - also known as intercrops, crop associations or 'plant teams'- can enhance and improve the control of pests, diseases and weeds, while increasing crop productivity and resilience to biotic and abiotic stresses, including those triggered by climate change. In addition, species mixtures can lead to reduced use of fossil energy and chemical inputs and enhance production of ecosystem services.
ReMIX will study three types of species mixtures:
- Cereal-grain vegetable bi-specific cash crops (eg wheat-pea), harvested at the same time, and producing grains of high nutritional quality for both human consumption and animal feed.
- Cereal cash crops associated with non-harvested "companion" species (eg, mixture of clover, fenugreek and vetch), which can substitute for chemical inputs (nitrogen release, weed control, etc.).
- Relay intercrops, involving the under-sowing of annual or perennial vegetables (eg clover) into a cereal crop (eg wheat) to create / win growing time for the legume without cereal competition.