Join the SNS-NKJ network symposium about biocontrol

The NKJ-SNS network Dialogue Biocontrol wants to bring together researchers, commercial actors and end users with interest in biocontrol solutions for North European conditions and to strengthen the dialogue between these groups. Therefore they invite you to a one-day symposium with the titel “Biocontrol in Agriculture and Forestry – research, innovations and markets”.

The venue is Alnarp, Sweden, and the date November 13th. Ramesh Vetukuri, Johanna Witzell, Jarkko Hantula, Lars Moelbak and Birgit Jensen will talk and there will be a lot of discussions to find a way forwards.

Register by e-mail to network coordinator: ramesh.vetukuri@slu.se. Deadline for registration: October 25th.

Find the program here!

The Nordics cooperate to meet extreme weather

The extremely hot and dry summer prompted the Swedish minister for Rural Affairs Sven Erik Bucht to gather the Nordic ministers in the agriculture and forestry sector to discuss how to cope with future weather related crises. NKJ can have an important role in the future work.

From the left: Dagfinn Høybråten, Anna Tofften, Mads Frederik Fischer Møller, Åsa Danell, Sven-Erik Bucht.

 

The reason for the meeting September 19th was the extreme weather, with heat and drought, during the summer that hit many of the Nordic countries hard.

The impact on agriculture and forestry reported

The countries reported about their situation and how agriculture and forestry have been affected. Several different policy initiatives have been taken to remedy the crisis. For example, the countries in the European agricultural policy have opened for harvesting of fallows and other areas that would otherwise have been left until later in the year. Norway has opened for imports of feed from Iceland.

The extensive forest fires were also discussed. There is a need for continued discussion of increased cooperation. This applies not least to the technical side, for example, by avoiding limitations on the movement of technical equipment between countries and cooperation on helicopters with heavy lifting capacity.

Discussion must go on

The General Secretary of the Nordic Council of Ministers recommended the countries to continue the discussion of potential cooperation opportunities to deal with future crises. Already today there are cooperative bodies in Nordic Council of Ministers that can play an important role in that work, including NordGen, the Nordic Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) and Nordic Forest research (SNS).

The Nordic countries are already collaborating on several fronts about the primary sector and the climate. This applies, for example, to road maps for Nordic forest issues, Nordic Forest Solutions and the project Kol i Mark, which deals with the possibilities for increasing carbon dioxide storage in agricultural and forest land. The summer of 2018 has shown that in addition to these measures, it is necessary to start work on adaptation in the short and long term.

Working group

The Council of Ministers decided to set up a Nordic working group to meet the challenges of agriculture and forestry in a future with more extreme weather. Discussions will be followed up in the continued work of the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Text: Per Hansson, per.m.hansson@slu.se

Save the date: Matchmaking Day in Ås, Norway, November 8

Welcome to Matchmaking Day in Ås, Norway, November 8! This is a great opportunity to make new contacts and get information about funding opportunities.

Welcome to our new Matchmaking day, get inspired, let the creativity flow! You will meet representatives from NKJSNS, EFINORD and NordGen Forest and we will tell you about how to successfully apply for funding from us. Lukasz Andrzej Derdowski from University of Stavanger (research area: work-related creativity, innovation, conflicts and intra-group dynamics) will give us insight in how to make our research networks creative and effective and there will be some workshops for you to enhance and improve your networking.

But most importantly, you will meet a lot of new colleagues and get in contact with people that can be important for your research and career!

Our Matchmaking Day is free of charge and young researchers/PhDs can apply travel grant for up to 3 000 SEK per person – more information below!

Date: November 8th, 2018
Time: 0930-1530
Place: Ås, Norway

Program
The day is free of charge, please REGISTER HERE before 25/10!
Join the facebook group!

 

Travel grant: Are you a PhD student or young researcher?

SNS cover the travel and accomodation costs for PhD students/ young researchers with up to approx. 3 000 SEK/person. Hurry up and register – there is a limited number of grants that will be distributed evenly between countries! October 18th is the latest day for registration if you want us to cover your expenses. Keep your eyes open shortly after – this is when we announce the successful travel grant applicants.

 

About the organisers:

Nordic Forest Research (SNS) is a co-operating body under the Nordic Council of Ministers that strives to enhance benefits for the Nordic region and to contribute to a sustainable society. We provide funding to interlink researchers and to facilitate exchange of brilliant ideas within sustainable forest research in the Nordic countries.

North European Regional Office of European Forest Institute (EFINORD) promotes and facilitate research collaboration and interactions between science and policy in forestry issues that arises in the northern region. A particular focus is given to the bioeconomy research field in combination with natural- and social sciences for a world where forests significantly contribute to sustainable well-being across disciplines.

The primary objective of the Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) is to contribute to promote and coordinate a knowledge-based agriculture and food sector in the Nordic countries. To meet this end, NKJ encourages and provides support to joint Nordic cooperation within agriculture and food research, including forestry and fishery.

NordGen Forest is a Nordic body dedicated to forest regeneration, plants, seed and genetic resources. NordGen Forest addresses conservation and sustainable use of forest genetic resources, by being a forum for researchers, practitioners and managers working on forest genetics, seeds, planting stock and regeneration, and by facilitating the flow of scientific information and knowhow between these groups.

Upcoming conference: Agriculture in civil defence

What mutual dependence does the society, total defense and agriculture have in a crisis situation? A conference is arranged on the subject in November, sponsored by NKJ.

Agriculture produces food, but can also add a lot of force in total defence. The machines, vehicles and knowledge in the sector can be of good use to for example extinguish fires or remove trees fallen over roads.

To do that, the agricultural sector needs fuel, water for the animals, electricity and so on in exchange.

The conference will discuss the needs on both sides to make cooperation possible and efficient.

NJF, Nordiska Jordbruksforskares förening, arranges the conference November 26-27 in Uppsala, Sweden. Here are some of the speakers:

Aud Sjökvist, the Swedish investigator of the efforts during the fire in Västmanland (Salabranden) in 2014. Former General Director of the Health services board of appeal.

Ivar Pettersen, Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Norway.

Jyrki Hakola, director of the Dept of basic Supply and Industry, National Emergency Supply Agency, Finland

Björn Kjörlof, Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademin and former general director of Styrelsen för Psykologiskt Försvar och Pliktverket

 

There is a possibility to participate with a presentation or poster.

Contact:

Fredrik Fogelberg

+46 10 516 69 08

fredrik.fogelberg@ri.se

Website for registration and information:

http://www.njf.nu/seminars/ny-calendar-event-15/?date=2018-11-26

NKJ researchers help stopping devastating tree disease

Researchers revealed the genome sequence of a devastating tree pathogen. The disease threatens the Scandinavian broadleaf forests and this new knowledge can help stop it!

 

The new genome resource can be used in future population genomic studies for identification of haplotypes and alleles, and in identifying which effectors may function in infection of woody host plants.

The genome sequence presented provides a resource that can underpin further investigation into the mechanisms of disease caused by P. plurivora, a prevalent but little researched pathogen of important tree species. Our genome sequence of P. plurivora is consistent with the genome architecture of other sequenced Phytophthora species, and we found evidence for elevated ploidy, as can occur in Phytophthora species.

Causes huge economic loss

Plant pathogens belonging to the genus Phytophthora cause disastrous diseases and are responsible for multi-billion dollar losses in agriculture and forestry. Several Phytophthoras such as P. plurivoraP. alniP. cambivoraand P. cactorum are now endemic problems in Scandinavian forests.

Despite causing diseases of different tree species in forest ecosystems, little is known about the mechanisms by which Phytophthoras invade and colonise trees, or the molecular interactions that take place between tree infecting Phytophthoras and host trees. Significant investment has been targeted to develop solutions for Phytophthora crop diseases, most notably for P. infestans and P. sojae.

Limited knowledge

By contrast, there has been divestment in tree biology, particularly the genomic and molecular skills. Consequently, we have limited knowledge about the infection biology of endemic and recently discovered pathogenic Phytophthoras that are an increasing threat to trees in Sweden and worldwide, and the tree resistance mechanisms that may control them. The overarching objective of our research is to investigate mechanisms of host-pathogen interactions and to identify ways to control diseases caused by tree infecting Phytophthoras.

Here we present a draft genome sequence of P. plurivora, originally isolated from diseased European beech (Fagus sylvatica) in Malmö, Sweden. Compared to other sequenced Phytophthora species, the P. plurivora genome assembly is relatively compact, spanning 41 Mb.

Read the article here!

Text: Ramesh Vetukuri, Kaia Ekegren

 

Ramesh Vetukuri is the coordinator of a SNS-NKJ network:

NKJ-SNS 06

NKJ board meeting

The NKJ board in June 2018.
The board meeting was held in the most southern part of Sweden, at Alnarps castle outside of Lund. Alnarp is the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Here Siri Anzjøn, Ann-Margaret Grøndahl and Torfi Jóhannesson are listening to and taking part in discussions.
Suvi Ryynänen.
Dinner and an occasion to talk through all the impressions of the day. From the left: Siri Anzjøn, Niels Gøtke, chairman Nina Solheim Flæte, Sveinn Margeirsson and Suvi Ryynänen
Niels Gøtke having a nice cup of coffee outdoors, the summer evening is warm.
Beautiful evening after a day full of fruitful discussions, decisions and contacts.
Morning at Bjärsjölagårds castle and time for excursion.
Hans Ramel (in the middle) owns Öveds Kloster, which is the first stop for the day. We got to know a lot about the terms for a big Swedish farm and gets an inside perspective from practitioners.
One of the coworkers at Öveds Kloster.
Next stop is KC Ranch.
NKJ board found a lot of interesting things visiting KC Ranch.
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence… Carl Axel Dahlgren (next picture), owner of KC Ranch has a system for the grazing of the areas.
Carl Axel Dahlgren, owner of KC Ranch.
NKJ general secretary having a moment with a cow. Wonder if he got a nice picture?
Very dry spring has burnt the pastures at KC Ranch. Now leaving for Hällåkra wineyard.
Håkan Hansson (sunglasses in the middle) owns the wineyard together with his wife.
“This is where it all started”. The wine grows in rows down the hills.
NKJ board inspecting the cultures.
A glass of nice wine. At least a promising start!
The Hällåkra wineyard gave lots to talk about.
Lunch under the trees in the garden, tasting the wine that grew about 100 metres away.
Ebbe Persson, owner of a farm close to the city Trelleborg. We have a look at the multifunctional protection zones.
Ebbe Persson, in yellow t-shirt, shows the sunflowers at the end of the huge sugar beet field.

SNS network BioWiseTrans meets to enable bioeconomy

Enabling Sustainable Transition to a Biobased Economy – The BioWiseTrans Network meets for the 2nd time in Hamar.

18-20 June, BioWiseTrans partners Nordregio, NIBIO, LUKE, Oslo University and Karlstad University came together in Hamar and sorroundings for its second workshop. Like last time and importantly, different stakeholders from Norway, Sweden and Finland joined us.

Study the bumps in the road

The excellent program set up by Norwegian partners focused on the need to address and study conflicts and synergies in the ongoing transition towards a fully biobased economy. Foremost focusing on forests, the group of 15 researchers and practitioners jointly experienced and discussed balancing goals of economic uses (e.g. production), social uses (e.g. recreation and tourism) and environmental concerns (e.g. conservation, restrictions and regulations). Discussions were also fuelled through the bioeconomy strategy in Hedmark, county and municipal planning, usages of common land for forestry and grazing, outdoor life and forestry, second home developments, and a visit to the gene bank of the forest seed centre.

Both new and old

It is clear that the biobased economy consist of both new and old land uses within forests, agriculture and fisheries. To adopt governance and management practices to the current land, water and resource uses, it is important to use sustainable development as a basis. The governance structures in place together with local participatory processes have been more or less functioning for decades (not without conflicts and dialogues however). In the current transition process it is therefore important to ask the following questions: What to sustain? What to develop?

In addition to thought provoking discussions, the group also enjoyed a tour to the tallest wood building in the world, the beautifully and innovatively restored dome in Hamar, and dinner with a Napoleon touch and some farm produced beer.

Don’t change what is functioning

One of the most vivid memories remain from visiting the Åstdalens forest associations by the book example of management of the common land (with reference to Elinor Ostroms theories on common resourse use). The head of the board told the group about the ongoing negotiations between the land owners about how many cattle heads are going to be allowed per farm unit. A research project in the area also indicates the synergies between clear cuts in forestry and agriculture, as the cattle tend to prefer to graze on the clear cuts. This shows that there is no need to transform anything that is functioning.

The BioWiseTrans network also discussed its final conference to take place in Karlstad 27-28 March. Stay tuned for any updates in this regard.

 

Text: Elin Slätmo, Karen Refsgaard

Photo: Michael Kull

Fifteen ways to improve the Nordic bioeconomy

Nordic bioeconomy is heading towards a future with refreshed energy! Since Wednesday there is a strategy to lift and support every Nordic step for a sustainable society.

The new action plan gives the Nordic Region a still leading role in the work to create a sustainable society. It is meant to facilitate the transition from traditional agriculture and forestry to technologically advanced industries that optimize the use of biomass to access its full potential and create added value.

“We are facing a new era of bioeconomy where new industries can arise and jobs are created. If we do it in a good way, agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture industries can benefit greatly from upgrading biomass to more valuable products”, said Sven-Erik Bucht, Swedish minister for rural development, to norden.org.

The Nordic Bioeconomic Panel has elaborated the strategy. The vision is to accelerate the development of Nordic bioeconomy through strong political support at both national and Nordic levels. The strategy has four legs:
∙ Competitive biobased industries
∙ Sustainable resource management
∙ Resilient and varied ecosystems
∙ Including economic development

The program identifies fifteen ways to work for bioeconomy. Download the strategy and read about all of them!

Read more about the strategy here!

Film: Nordic bioeconomy

NKJ in new Nordic agri/food cooperation

NKJ will fund and take part in the work of the Nordic Food Partnership, a recently founded cooperation for synergies and exchange in the agricultural and food sectors in the Nordics.

 

June 1st the Nordic Food Partnership had its founding meeting. NKJ will fund the cooperation with 300 000 DKK. The chairman of NKJ, Nina Solheim Flæte, will also take place in the steering committee were also representatives from all Nordic countries will contribute.

The Nordic Food Partnership will gather key stakeholders of the Nordic food system to develop a common agenda for research, education and innovation. The partnership wants to identify common challenges and establish Nordic collaborations and synergy. It wants to be a unified voice to drive the transformation of the Food System in the Nordics, in Europe and in global interaction. There are a few areas where the challenges are the same across the Nordic countries and can be handled more efficiently together. The countries have world-class excellence in individual areas and it would be of great interest to spread and share this best-practices.

Except for the 300 000 DKK from NKJ, the Food Nexus Nordic will add 200 000 DKK. The administrative host will be RISE in Sweden.

 

The vision of the Nordic Food Partnership is…

…“to build on Nordic strengths in order to drive the transformation of the food system towards a system that enables the production, packaging, distribution and consumption of safe, affordable and nutritious food with as little harm as possible. We will target the challenges of the food system, such as security, sustainability, health and knowledge provision in the Nordics, in Europe and in global interaction.”

 

These are the partners: