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Intercropping for Sustainability




A Two-day conference
at The University of Reading, UK

19 - 20 January 2021

(Basis points will be applied for)


Increasing diversity within agricultural systems by intercropping offers a realistic and practical opportunity to enhance and stabilise crop yields and produce food, feed and fuel with fewer inputs. As environmental conditions become more variable, diversifying cropping systems can also reduce production risks. The Horizon 2020-funded projects DIVERSify and ReMIX, alongside other projects, are conducting research trials as well as working with farmers and other agricultural stakeholders across Europe and internationally to design, test and provide practical solutions for multi-species intercropping. It is timely to bring together the intercropping community to showcase the latest findings on intercropping research from the lab and the field and encourage debate on uptake and best practice. DIVERSify and ReMIX are working with other Horizon 2020-funded projects in the Crop Diversification Cluster to transfer project findings to scientists, farmers, advisers, industry and policy makers (see for information about other joint events). The Congress will cover topics that range from basic research to practical application of intercrops.

Potential sessions include:

  • Species combinations, crop varieties and sowing arrangements that optimise agronomic efficiency
  • New approaches to investigate the mechanisms that underpin the benefits of crop species mixtures
  • Environmental benefits of intercropping (e.g. for soil, water, biodiversity) and delivery of ecosystem services
  • Crop diversity for resilience under a changing climate Nutrient and weed/pest/disease management with intercropping
  • Intercropping as part of a sustainable farming system, including agroforestry
  • Timings of management operations and mechanical innovations
  • Novel practical tools, including modelling and decision-aids, for scientists, agronomists, farmers and breeders for optimising multi-species cropping

The Congress aims to attract scientists and agricultural stakeholders from diverse farming systems and regions to obtain feedback on research findings and industry-relevant tools, discuss intercropping uptake and practical application, and guide future developments in intercropping research. The meeting will include scientific sessions, workshops and panel debates co-organised with agricultural stakeholders to discuss the practical adoption of intercropping, applying research findings, and new and emerging tools and kit.

Invited speakers include:

  • Dr Caroline Drummond MBE (Linking Environment and Farming, UK) will chair a science farmer forum/Q&A on intercropping practices
  • Prof. Maria Finckh  (University of Kassel, Germany)
  • Prof. Bernhard Schmid  (University Of Zürich, Switzerland)
  • Prof. John Vandermeer  (Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, USA)

Committee Members

  • Ali Karley                            James Hutton Institute, UK
  • Maria Carlota Vaz Patto    Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier, Portugal
  • Charlotte Bickler  Organic Research Centre, UK
  • Adrian Newton  James Hutton Institute, UK
  • Christoph Scherber  University of Münster
  • Inger Bertelsen  Landbrug & Fødevarer SEGES, Denmark
  • Christine Watson  Scotlands Rural College, UK
  • Jean-Noel Aubertot Institut national de la recherche agronomique, France
  • Beatrix Keillor James Hutton Institute, UK



Accepted papers/posters will be published in the Aspects of Applied Biology series and available as part of the conference pack. Primary authors of accepted papers will be notified by session organisers by 7 September 2020 and sent instructions for the papers (6–8 pages for platform and 2–6 pages for poster presentations). Please visit the "Call for Paper" page - visible in the navigation window on the right-hand side - for more details about call for papers and abstract submission.

Deadline for submission of offers is 7th September 2020

Should you have any queries regarding abstracts/papers submission, or poster and platform presentations, please contact Dr John Andrews:

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