New assignments for NKJ

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

Scenic view of rapeseed field. Photo.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 NKJ Annual Report 2017 (PDF)

 

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

Climate change – an important issue for reindeer husbandry

Climate change is a challenge in many ways, and that applies to reindeer husbandry too. NKJ co-organized a seminar about future needs for research in the sector.

 

Reindeer husbandry Boy and reindeer in winter landscape. Illustration.Nordregio has written a report, Reindeer Husbandry in Sapmi (PDF), commissioned by NKJ. The report is a summary of the relevant research done the last ten years. It was presented at, and formed a basis for, a seminar about reindeer husbandry research in Tromsø, Norway, before Christmas.

Overview

The purpose of the seminar was to get a good overview of the problems and possibilities the reindeer husbandry is facing in the future.

– We want to develop the reindeer husbandry moving towards future, says Sunna Marie Pentha, adviser at the Norwegian Agricultural and food department.

Environmental issues

Anna Berlina, Nordregio, initiated the seminar with presenting the report to the participants. Ethel Seljevold, Fylkesmannen, Troms, talked about the opportunities there are in reindeer husbandry, and was followed by Carlos das Neves and Torill Mørch, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, who talked about the challenges the sector approaches when it comes to animal health.

But the most important and urgent issue to discuss might be the climate change, which changes the terms of reindeer husbandry. The warming up of the atmosphere makes the snow come later. That makes it harder for animal owners to gather their herd and transportations become difficult because the snowmobile can’t be used. It also interacts with the movements of the herd because lakes and other waters doesn’t freeze when it usually does. The possible effects of climate change on pastures was summarized by Kari Anne Bråthen, University of Tromsø.

Technical development

Rune Storvold, NORUT, och Erlend Vinje, NIBIO, gave some insight in the new opportunities technology brings to reindeer husbandry.

– The last four or five years, more and more animal owners use drones to handle their reindeers, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

The second day of the seminar was all about the future research needs in the sector. Marit Meløy from the Norwegian Saami Parliament initiated the discussions, and then the participants had discussions in smaller groups to pinpoint the needs and give their suggestions.

– The workshops gave some really useful concrete suggestions for further research, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

– NKJ can be important for the future reindeer husbandry because of the contacts you have, and the funding you can give, she says.

Bioeconomy and digitalization – Shaping the Nordic future

SNS Nordic Forest Research and NKJ Nordic Agri Research will arrange a workshop about digitalization in the forest and agricultural sectors. June 27th the Nordic ministers make the decisions – April 17th we prepare the roadmap. We will shape the Nordic future!

 

Black tree in silhouette with dark blue background. Illustration.Experts talk about a structural shift paramount to the industrial revolution. But what implications does digitalization have for the Nordic bioeconomy? Join our workshop and take this opportunity to influence the political agenda!

At the workshop April 17th we will discuss opportunities, challenges and ways to keep the Nordic bioeconomy at the forefront of the development. Areas of common strategic interest will be defined, with the purpose of strengthening the competitive advantage of the Nordic agriculture and forestry.

The day offers short inspiration talks, discussions with experts and a creative workshop were we together shape the agenda going forward and prepare input to the ministers’ meeting in June.

 

Program for Bioeconomy and digitalization (PDF)

Registration

Please register before the 9th of April (link not available)

Join us in shaping the future of the Nordic bioeconomy!

Time and date: 9.30-16.00, 17th of April
Place: Nordens Hus, Ved Stranden 18, Copenhagen

Info: Maria Tunberg at  or +46 736 14 15 97

Enlightening about Neonectria cankers

The meeting on Neonectria cankers on trees was fruitful for the participants in the SNS–NKJ network Neonectria cankers on trees.

Close up on branch. Photo.
Canker wounds with numerous fruiting bodies of Neonectria ditissima on apple. Photos from the book of abstracts, see link in the bottom of the page: Venche Talgø

Neonectria cankers on trees – meeting of changed climatic conditions and increased problems in Scandinavian horticulture and forest production by interdisciplinary networking” is a newly started network. First meeting was at Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy (NIBIO) at Ås February 6 2018.

The whole meeting day gave a nice overview of current knowledge in research about the diseases Neonectria-species is causing both in forestry, landscaping and in horticulture.

Status of each of the three Neonectria pathogens were presented from each of the four countries: Denmark, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In addition there was one invited speaker for each pathogen; Roland Weber from Germany covering Neonectria ditissima, Ana Perez-Sierra from England covering Neonectria neomacrospora and Richard O’Hanlon from Northern Ireland covering Neonectria fuckeliana.

Lecture hall with ongoing presentation. Photo.
Meeting participants listening to one of the interesting lectures about Neonectria. Photo: Dalphy Harteweld

One comment after the meeting was: this was an eye opener for me, I was not aware of the disease on the other trees.

The network will meet in late autumn and discuss how we can cooperate in the future and how we can use knowledge obtained on one tree and with one Neonectria specie to improve on other trees and other Neonectria-species.

 

Download book of abstracts for Neonectria cankers meeting

 

Climate change – an important issue for reindeer husbandry

Climate change is a challenge in many ways, and that applies to reindeer husbandry too. NKJ co-organized a seminar about future needs for research in the sector.

 

Reindeer husbandry Boy and reindeer standing in winter landscape. Illustration.Nordregio has written a report, Reindeer Husbandry in Sapmi, commissioned by NKJ. The report is a summary of the relevant research done the last ten years. It was presented at, and formed a basis for, a seminar about reindeer husbandry research in Tromsø, Norway, before Christmas.

Overview

The purpose of the seminar was to get a good overview of the problems and possibilities the reindeer husbandry is facing in the future.

– We want to develop the reindeer husbandry moving towards future, says Sunna Marie Pentha, adviser at the Norwegian Agricultural and food department.

Environmental issues

Anna Berlina, Nordregio, initiated the seminar with presenting the report to the participants. Ethel Seljevold, Fylkesmannen, Troms, talked about the opportunities there are in reindeer husbandry, and was followed by Carlos das Neves and Torill Mørch, Norwegian Veterinary Institute, who talked about the challenges the sector approaches when it comes to animal health.

But the most important and urgent issue to discuss might be the climate change, which changes the terms of reindeer husbandry. The warming up of the atmosphere makes the snow come later. That makes it harder for animal owners to gather their herd and transportations become difficult because the snowmobile can’t be used. It also interacts with the movements of the herd because lakes and other waters doesn’t freeze when it usually does. The possible effects of climate change on pastures was summarized by Kari Anne Bråthen, University of Tromsø.

Technical development

Rune Storvold, NORUT, och Erlend Vinje, NIBIO, gave some insight in the new opportunities technology brings to reindeer husbandry.

– The last four or five years, more and more animal owners use drones to handle their reindeers, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

The second day of the seminar was all about the future research needs in the sector. Marit Meløy from the Norwegian Saami Parliament initiated the discussions, and then the participants had discussions in smaller groups to pinpoint the needs and give their suggestions.

– The workshops gave some really useful concrete suggestions for further research, says Sunna Marie Pentha.

– NKJ can be important for the future reindeer husbandry because of the contacts you have, and the funding you can give, she says.

Download the report – Reindeer Husbandry in Sapmi (PDF)

The Nordic countries in numbers

Everything in the Nordic countries is countable – and the Nordic Council of Ministers have done it! In the New report  there is statistics of demography, economics, labourmarket and – not least – bioeconomy.

Did you know that the Nordic Council of Ministers develops an index of how dynamic the 74 regions in the Nordic countries are? You can learn about that in the yearly report as well as you can get to know that the Nordic countries are the most digitalized in the world and that we have really good conditions for developing a new bioeconomy.

Read about it and download it for free here! (link no longer available)

“NKJ is important by contributing to creating meeting places”

Nina Solheim Flæte will lead the work for strengthening Nordic cooperation in bioeconomy the four coming years. She succeeds Jan Svensson.

 

Nina Solheim Flæte. Portrait.The new chairman of NKJ is looking forward to contribute to increased Nordic cooperation in agriculture, food and reindeer sectors.

– NKJ has an important role by contributing to creating meeting places and being an arena for interaction between the national research councils and ministries, Nordic researchers and business actors, she says.

Nina Solheim Flæte wants NKJ to strengthen Nordic cooperation in bioeconomics.

–By uniting fellow players in the Nordic region for joint efforts, we can achieve more sustainable and resource-efficient agricultural and food production.

A major theme internationally, especially after the climate agreement in Paris, is the binding of carbon to agricultural land. Expected changes in the Nordic climate can affect carbon emissions and increase carbon emissions from soil to atmosphere.

The Nordic Council of Ministers sees the need for increased knowledge about the effects of climate change on carbon content in soil, and possible Nordic solutions to maintain or increase carbon content. Among other things, there is a desire to harmonize methodology for modeling and emission calculations that can reveal carbon capture and emissions in Nordic agricultural land that can be used for reporting to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

– NKJ will lead the work on following up the Council of Ministers’ decision. This is a great opportunity to focus on an important theme and to strengthen cooperation between the Nordic countries in this area, says the new chairman of NKJ.

Nina Solheim Flæte

Background

Nina Solheim Flæte is educated in Norway, at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences. She has a broad background in agriculture, specialized in plant sciences and she has a PhD in baking quality in wheat.

After a period of research, she changed her career to work with management in The Norwegian Agriculture Agency. She was employed at the Research Council of Norway November 1st 2017. At the Research Council she will, among other things, work with the program BIONÆR whose main objective is to trigger research and innovation for value creation in the Norwegian bio based sectors.

New exciting assignment for NKJ

NKJ will improve the knowledge about agricultural land as a carbon reservoir. The assignment was given from the Nordic ministers in agriculture and food.​

The Nordic ministers wants agriculture to help decreasing the emissions of climate gases. Therefor they want to increase the knowledge about how to best use the arable land in that purpose. They also see a need to develop models for measuring carbon in arable land. An important issue is to report and use results from research in the development of future policies for society and advice for practitioners.

NKJ got the assignment to lead the work in close cooperation with the Norwegian chairmanship. NKJ is pleased with the assignment and the work starts urgently.

The NKJ board gathered in Stockholm November 6th to discuss that assignment, but also the coming NKJ calls. Next call will be launched during the autumn and the focus will be digitalization of agriculture. More information will be found on our website, www.nordicagriresearch.org.

The two nextcoming calls was also discussed and the preliminary focuses for them is food safety and animal health.

The chairman of the NKJ board the last four years Jan Svensson, FORMAS, was thanked for his excellent work. Jan Svensson will be replaced at the end of the year by Nina Solhem Flæte from the Research Council of Norway. She comes from the Norwegian Agriculture Agency where she has been a senior advisor, and before that from Norwegian Agricultural Authority and Norwegian University of Life Sciences.

Who is your candidate for this Swedish scholarship?

If you are working in Sweden with science, technical development or enterprise in natural resources and biodiversity, you can propose someone to get a scholarship from Carl XVI Gustafs foundation for science, technic and environment.

Konung Carl XVI Gustafs 50-årsfond för vetenskap, teknik och miljö promotes research and enterprising that contributes to sustainable use of the natural resources and conservation of the biodiversity. You can propose individuals, institutions and companies in Sweden. The scholarship is not meant for already well established researchers.

Five or six scholarships of each 85 000-100 000 SEK are granted.

Download the Call: Kungafonden 2018 utlysning (doc)

Biological plant protection doesn’t reach Swedish plant breeders

The Swedish market for biological plant protection is too small and needs national support to get access to existing products in other countries.

 

Close up on sprouts in cultivation bed. Photo.

Researchers in Sweden have evaluated several biological plant protection products. They could show that the effect of the products varied – and that the harvest increased in many cases.

The use of biological plant protection increases in many countries and there are expectations that the chemical plant protection will be replaced with biological alternatives. The researchers wanted to increase accessibility for Swedish plant breeders. But they had a hard time even to get permission from the producers to include their products in the evaluation. The reason is that a small market as Sweden isn’t interesting for them.

The conclusion is that there is a need for national support to be able to provide new and environmental friendly plant protection solutions to the Swedish plant breeders.

And there is an obvious need for more alternatives. The chemical plant protection products is phased out of the EU. That means that the risk for resistance increases.

 

Read more at lantbruksforskning.se (text in Swedish)!