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:

 

Don’t miss the IUFRO conference!

In september there will be a conference about Landscape Management in Prague.

The conference will be about new ways of gathering and processing data and remote sensing, the impact of climate change, modelling and how to bridge the gap between science and practice.

Kristina Blennow, professor of Landscape Analysis, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Alnarp, Sweden, is one of the keynote speakers. Another is Lluis M. Plà-Aragonès, associate professor, Department of Mathematics and a Senior Researcher at the Agrotecnio Research Center at University of Lleida, Spain and Pete Bettinger, professor, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources University of Georgia, USA, is also coming.

Deadline for abstract submission is June 30. Read more about that here!

Read all about registration and program here!

New assignments for NKJ

NKJ got new exciting assignments and we are financing to eleven networks in 2017.

On February 6 last year, the seminar “Digitalization of agriculture – when and how is the big revolution?” was arranged by NKJ together with Partnership Alnarp, SLU. NKJ was also co-organizer of ICT Agris Conference 24 November 2017 in Copenhagen: “ICT-AGRI Conference on ICT and Robotics for a Sustainable Agriculture”. Digitalization is and has been a priority issue, and the emphasis in the latest NKJ call was digitalization. There is a lot going on in this important issue, and NKJ wants to contribute to the development.

In December, NKJ also attended a seminar on the reindeer husbandry. This was based on an report initiated by NKJ. The seminar set the course for the future of the reindeer husbandry.

During the year, NKJ continued the work for increased knowledge and Nordic cooperation in the agricultural and food sector, and these arrangements are part of this striving.

New assignments

Last year we also received new assignments. One came from Ministry of Enterprise and Innovation and the Nordic Council of Ministers and deals with the digitalization. NKJ will plan for activities in 2018 to bring the matter forward.

The Nordic Council of Ministers has also commissioned NKJ to coordinate a project on carbon storage in land. It will be exciting to develop and arrange activities on the subject!

Deepend cooperation

NKJ has deepened its cooperation with Food Nexus to strengthen Nordic contacts in the food sector. We are also co-applicants in an application to the Social Fund. The Swedish Farmers’ Association is the main applicant and we want to look at how we can supply the industry with labor.

In order to strengthen the Nordic position in agricultural and food research in Europe, we actively participate in European contexts such as JPI FACCE, SCAR and ERA-NETs.

Read the Annual Report 2017 here!

 

The networks that have received funding from NKJ for 2018-2019 are:

 Added value to Nordic Baltic sustainable food research with quality and health perspective, coordinator: Gerd Vegarud, NMBU, Norway

 Nordic feeding recommendations for horses, coordinator: Rasmus Bovberg Jensen, NMBU, Norway

 Effects of extreme weather on agricultural production and environment, coordinator: Marianne Bechmann, NIBIO, Norway

 NORWAY – Nordic Ovine Research, Surveillance and Epidemiology, Coordinator: Clare Phythian, NMBU, Norway

 The Nordic Rye Forum, coordinator: Rikard Landberg, Chalmers, Sweden

 Healthy Outdoors for Sustainable Milk Production, Coordinator: Päivi Rajala Schultz, University of Helsinki, Finland

Together with SNS, NKJ finances in 2018-2019:

 NKJ-SNS 05: Advancing the bioeconomy transition in the Nordic Region (BioWiseTrans), coordinator: Karen Refsgaard, Nordregio

 NKJ-SNS 06: DIALOGUE BIOCONTROL – Improving utilization of biocontrol research for practical plant protection solutions in agriculture and forestry, coordinator: Ramesh Vetukuri, SLU

 NKJ-SNS 07: Neonectria cankers on trees – meeting changed climatic conditions and increased problems in Nordic horticulture and forest production by interdisciplinary networking, coordinator: Jorunn Børve, NIBIO

 NKJ-SNS 08: Genes4Change: Adaptation, mitigation and breeding of trees and crops for future climate, coordinator: Katri Kärkkäinen, LUKE

 NKJ-SNS 09: FiberTies – The use of fibrous materials from biomass, coordinator: Anne Christine Steenkjær Hastrup, Danish Technological Institute

SNS and NKJ seminar: shaping the Nordic digitalized future

SNS and NKJ have initiated the work to prepare the roadmap for the digitalization of the Nordic bioeconomy.

 

April 17th SNS and NKJ gathered people with expertise in the agricultural, forest and digital sectors to learn, discuss and take a step forward in digitalization of the bioeconomy. Experts say we are on the edge to a structural shift paramount to the industrial revolution – digitalization is around the corner.

Annette Mellbye visited the seminar
Annette Mellbye in talk with other seminar participants.

Our very competent moderator Malin von Essen kept focus and speed the whole day. She first welcomed Anette Mellbye, consultant at Rekode, board member, advisor and digital influencer, as a speaker under the headline “No longer business as usual: digitalization in the bioeconomy”. Her point was how digitalization challenges the operating assumptions of any business, and how this requires organizations to transform both their business models and culture.

Filip Lundin, consultant at MacLean, was one of the speakers, here in conversation with Kristin Borresen, Graminor.

Next speaker was Filip Landin, consultant at Maclean, talking about ”Internet of Things in agriculture and forestry” and Erick Thürmer, CEO Thürmer Tools, about “Digitalization trends and the art of 3d printing”.

All three speakers were highly appreciated by the audience and their speeches planted new thoughts with their different perspectives at the digitalization question.

Find the presentations here!

Workshop for creating the roadmap

During the afternoon the almost 50 participants were divided into five groups. Each group had some time to discuss five focus areas: competence, safety, technology, organization and infrastructure. A discussion leader kept the discussions on track and took notes for each focus area, so the participants could fully engage in the discussions.

In the workshop all participants had the chance to discuss and affect the way the digitalization process will take. We got the opportunity to gather valuable opinions and get new aspects of the digitalization process in the bioeconomy. This will be the basis for the roadmap for the coming minister meeting in Haparanda this summer when our Nordic ministers will meet and decide on joint way forward to meet the huge opportunities and challenges in a future, digital bioeconomy.

It seems the participants were very pleased after the seminar which was loaded with knowledge, power and ambition. We hope it will serve as a big and positive step in digitalization of the bioeconomy.

Erick Thürmer.