How can we find more robust genotypes? In a changing climate we need to adapt our crops. Our NKJ research network NordCrop is working to do this!
Field crops are under pressure due to climate change. Knowledge of crop response to single abiotic stress is often available, but NordCrop will focus on the poorly understood effects of multiple stresses to develop more resilient field crops. Global climate change means that our crops are increasingly exposed to drought or waterlogging, heat and elevated CO2.
The network, funded by NKJ, will investigate how we can exploit new genomic and phenotyping technologies to identify more robust genotypes in key Nordic field crops (wheat, oat, potato and fodder grasses). A virtual meeting is coming up, 14-15 April 2021: “Phenotyping for abiotic climate stresses and yield” (day 1) and “Phenotyping for stresses ” (day 2). Welcome to participate!
Day 1 April 14:12.30-16.30 Phenotyping for abiotic climate stresses and yield 12.30 Welcome (Carl-Otto Ottosen, Aarhus University (AU)) 12.40 Keynote Rod Snowdon: Genetics and physiology of yield potential (Justus Liebig University) 13.10 Priming for heat tolerance in wheat (Thayna Mendanha, AU) 13.30 Image-based detection of fungal pathogen infections in Arabidopsis and application of the method on oat spikelets (Kristiina Himanen, University of Helsinki) 13.50 The genetic and physiological basis of yield progress in Norwegians spring wheat (Tomasz Mróz, Norvegian University of Life Science (NMBU)) 14.10 Magic populations in phenotyping (John Doonan, Aberysthwyth University, (AberU)) 14.30 Grain yield prediction based on multitemporal multispectral UAV imaging (Sahameh Shafiee, NMBU) 14.50 3D modelling of ear emergence (Mori Boozandani, AberU) 15.10 Break 15.30 Student presentations (5 min each) 16.00 General discussion (to be planned)
Day 2 April 15:12.30-16.30 Phenotyping for stresses 12.30 Keynote Olivier Van Aken: Wounding response och and stress tolerance (Lund University) 13.00 Wheat and drought (Anders Carlsson, Swedish Agricultural University (SLU) 13.20 Sorghum (Mulatu Geleta, SLU) 13.40 Modulated chlorophyll fluorescence as sceening tool (Eva Rosenqvist, University of Copenhagen (UCPH) 14.00 Guard cells in action (Hannes Kollist, University of Tartu) 14.20 Physiological responses of tomato to drought, elevated CO2 and VPD (Shenglan Li, UCPH) 14.40 Multiple stresses and melationin (Rong Zhou, AU) 15.00 Break 15.20 Wheat and heat (Aakash Chawade, SLU) 15.40 Detecting potato diseases in the field (Rick van de Zedde, Wageningen University and Research, NL) 16.00 Wrap up and general discussion
The Nordic Working Group on Agriculture and Drought will work to coordinate Nordic knowledge and projects for increased crisis preparedness across national borders.
At our last meeting, the working group agreed on that the most important issue for increased crisis preparedness for Nordic agriculture, is to create open channels between researchers and other stakeholders in the various countries. The existing knowledge and ongoing projects need to be Nordic rather than national, to be utilised effectively. The potential for co-operation between the Nordic countries is great thanks to the similarities in climate and political systems, and we should take advantage of that! Therefore, the network will map relevant projects, and work for increased collaboration between them.
In order to enable enhanced cooperation in future crisis, it will be important to identify and remove any barriers in advance. This was pointed out by the network as an important way forward, to improve the opportunities to handle future crises together effectively.
Den Nordiska arbetsgruppen för jordbruk och torka kommer att arbeta för att samordna Nordisk kunskap och projekt för ökad krisberedskap över landsgränserna.
Vid gruppens senaste möte beslutades att den viktigaste frågan för ökad krisberedskap för Nordiskt jordbruk just nu, är att skapa snabbspår mellan forskare och andra intressenter i de olika länderna. Den kunskap som finns och de projekt som bedrivs, ska vara Nordisk mer än nationell, så att den kan utnyttjas effektivt. Potentialen för samarbete mellan de Nordiska länderna är stor tack vare likheterna i klimat och politiska system, och det bör vi utnyttja! Därför kommer nätverket att kartlägga relevanta projekt och arbeta för ökade kontakter mellan dessa.
För att möjliggöra ett utökat samarbete i händelse av kriser, är det viktigt att i förväg kartlägga och undanröja eventuella gränshinder. Det togs av nätverket upp som en viktig väg framåt för att förbättra möjligheterna att hantera framtida kriser tillsammans på ett effektivt sätt.
There were a huge interest in joining our seminar about the current state of knowledge on soil as a carbon sink. But we want to provide those who missed it, and those who wants to refresh the memory, the presentations from our speakers.
November 26th we met to have an overview of the state of Nordic knowledge on soil as a carbon sink. There are good conditions for Nordic cooperation due to the countries’ similar soil types, climate and policies.
But where are we at? Is there a common Nordic base in terms of knowledge? These were our speakers:
Prof emeritus Johan Bouma, board member in the European Commission’s mission in the area of Soil health and food: “Exploring the exciting potential of the Nordic countries to capture soil carbon following climate change”
Prof Katarina Hedlund, Lund University: “How to turn agriculture soils into carbon sinks”
Prof Raisa Makipää, LUKE: “Forest soils and their carbon sequestration potential”
“Globally, soil contains about three times as much organic carbon as plants and twice as much as the atmosphere” 
Increasing carbon storage in soil is proposed to be one of the most cost-effective climate measures, a measure that also has a positive impact on aspects such as biodiversity and soil fertility. The topic has gained the decision-makers’ interest and sits high on the political agenda in the Nordics. However, using soil as a carbon sink is a complex matter. Knowledge is developing at a fast pace, but several questions remain to be answered. The topic is also associated with challenges both in terms of policy development and implementation of identified methods and solutions.
The Nordic countries’ similar soil types and climate, as well as related goal formulations in terms of climate policy, do create promising conditions for increased Nordic co-operation on carbon storage in soil.
Welcome and introduction
Exploring the exciting potential of the Nordic countries to capture soil carbon following climate change – Prof emeritus Johan Bouma, board member in the European Commission’s mission in the area of Soil health and food
How to turn agriculture soils into carbon sinks – Prof Katarina Hedlund, Lund University
Forest soils and their carbon sequestration potential – Prof. Raisa Makipää, LUKE
Dialogue with key note speakers
Furthermore, please feel free to invite additional contacts you may have that would be interested in attending the seminar.
According to a study from Stanford University in 2017, 39% of all couples found their partners on the internet, and only 20% “through friends”. What works for people who search for love should also work for those looking for a research collaborator. And in an ongoing pandemic, the internet is more or less the only way of finding that partner. It was therefore natural for SNS and NKJ to make the 2020 Matchmaking Day digital.
Text and photo: Mats Hannerz, Silvinformation
Matchmaking Day is a forum where SNS (Nordic Forest Research) and NKJ (Nordic Joint Committee for Agricultural and Food Research) invite researchers and stakeholders from a broad spectrum of disciplines to identify possible partners and ideas for cooperation. The forum, which has been held almost annually since 2015, was switched this year to a digital platform instead of the usual mingling in person.
Focus on reindeer husbandry
The theme of the Matchmaking Day on August 25 was Reindeer husbandry in the arctic bioeconomy. The original intention was to gather potential delegates at a meeting in Inari, Finland in May 2020. But – the corona epidemic made it impossible.
– We talked a lot about a plan B, says SNS’ secretary Mimmi Blomquist, but we soon realised that the pandemic would continue for a long time, so simply postponing the physical meeting was not an option.
Instead, the meeting was held digitally, led by the facilitator Malin von Essen. Altogether 48 people were present for the full-day event.
The meeting was conducted using the Zoom platform, one of several online meeting tools. Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and other services have seen an explosion in users since the pandemic forced people to work from home and avoid travelling. In just the first week from 11-18 March, Teams attracted 12 million new users, and Zoom use increased by 169% during the first months of the year.
– There are hundreds of thousands of people who are now learning how to use video conferencing services in an effective way. The changes we have been talking about for 20 years have now been implemented at record speed, says Malin von Essen.
A new reality
In her business, she moderates and organises meetings and workshops with the aim of inspiring people and taking the results back to their organisations. The meetings are normally physical, but in 2020 she had to rethink the situation.
– We carried out several digital workshops during the spring, and we have learnt a lot about the technique and how to use the potential of the services to engage participants, she says.
The Matchmaking Day was organised as a traditional meeting with lectures, but also with several shorter workshops in smaller groups. The digital platform Zoom facilitates flexible group meetings. In “break-out rooms”, participants with a common research interest could discuss cooperation in a group size allowing more intimate discussions, and the results could be presented later to the entire audience.
– Since we have chat functions and can also assemble suggestions using the menti.com tool, everyone can make their voice heard. And afterwards, other people can look at the recorded presentations and the results of the discussions, all being posted on the SNS’ website.
Content with the outcome
Mimmi Blomquist at SNS was impressed with how well the meeting worked out.
– Of course, we need to meet in person, but this is definitely an option that our research networks could use for many of their workshops. SNS and NKJ provide financial support to research networks with partners from all the Nordic countries, and also neighbouring countries. So, partners are often located thousands of kilometres apart, and we can save lots of travel costs and reduce climate impact by using these digital services, she says.
Advices for your coming digital meetings
It is easy to start a video conference, and most researchers and business people are already used to them, but to make the meetings effective, Malin von Essen has some advice:
Be clear about your aim and goal – why is the meeting needed and what output do you expect? Then start to think of the content.
Before the meeting is live, become familiar with all the functions in the digital platform. Conduct a test meeting with some friends.
Ensure that the meeting will function technically. Not all participants are equally comfortable, encourage them to test the technique in advance. Tell the participants to use a headset and web camera, and to avoid distracting surroundings or strong backlight.
Schedule breaks in the programme. It is better to have several short breaks than one long one.
Nordic funding opportunities in reindeer research:
The Nordic Committee for Agricultural and Food Research (NKJ) and Nordic Forest Research (SNS) is calling for networks that will strengthen co-operation in reindeer husbandry research in the Nordic region. The applicant must be a researcher or communicator at a research institution. The network must include researchers from at least three Nordic countries.
SNS is calling for networks exploring forests and forestry in relation to reindeer husbandry. The application deadline is September 21, 2020. Apply for SNS networks here!
NKJ prioritises networks focusing on reindeer husbandry in relation to climate change and land-use change, but networks that focus on other aspects of reindeer husbandry are also encouraged to apply. The application deadline is November 20, 2020. Apply NKJ networks here!
SEE THE PRESENTATIONS:
Morten Tryland, professor in veterinary medicine, infection biology at UiT, The Arctic University of Norway, Tromsø
After a period of clinical veterinary practice, he transitioned to research and has spent most of his research career investigating infectious diseases in arctic wildlife and semi-domesticated reindeer, in close cooperation with Fennoscandian research groups and reindeer herders.
Morten told us about reindeer health and supplementary feeding, which is a quite complex issue.
NKJ and SNS jointly invite researchers and stakeholders interested in reindeer husbandry to a matchmaking day online, August 25, 2020.
We have invited prominent people to share their knowledge and resent research in reindeer husbandry. All participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and add information, for an interesting time together online.
We will also discuss challenging issues and future research needs. Workshops will be carried out in smaller groups and we hope the chat will be a dynamic area during the day. We have designed the program with the hope that all participants will gain new contacts and find people in their own area of interest.
We will give you tips how to successfully apply for funding from NKJ and SNS for future networking activities. By this matchmaking day we envision increased cooperation in reindeer husbandry research in the Nordic region!
August 25, 10.00-15.30 CET
Connection and remote coffee from 9.45, lunch 11-12
Online via Zoom, link will be sent out in advance of the meeting
Matchmaking including sharing the latest research related to Nordic reindeer husbandry, discussing possible future research and funding opportunities
Networking with the participants in focus
Future reindeer husbandry (Åsa Larsson-Blind, Svenska samernas riksförbund)
Reindeer herding, forestry and land use (Jouko Kumpula, LUKE)
Reindeer herding and climate change (Sirpa Rasmus, University of Lapland)
Reindeer health and supplemental feeding (Morten Tryland, The Arctic University of Norway)
How to apply for our funding from NKJ and SNS, tips and tricks
Foods produced by animals with poor welfare pose a serious threat to human health. The purpose of the symposium is to increase awareness and knowledge of the One Health concept and to show that animal welfare is closely linked with the use of antibiotics and antimicrobial resistance and thus human health.
Text: Margareta Stéen
Animal welfare and animal health affect the use of antibiotics in food production and thus the development of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Animals that live in poor conditions become stressed and can suffer from and spread infectious diseases. The use of antibiotics increases and the risk of antibiotic resistance arises.
The Nordic and Baltic Animal Welfare Centers (NordCAW) want to be a strong voice for animal welfare and work to reduce the use of antibiotics in food production. We work in the “One Health perspective” with the aim of protecting the health and well-being of animals, people and the environment.
With the symposium, NordCAW wants to share and disseminate knowledge about the consequences for poor animal welfare for the development of AMR in the Nordic and Baltic countries as well as in the rest of the EU.
Nordic Testbed Network got a real push forward when 40 participants met to set the course for the digital transformation in the Nordic bioeconomy.
For NKJ, cooperation is the key. Therefore we want to gather Nordic testbeds to establish a network that can lead the way towards a sustainable society in a digital future. To facilitate the development of new and existing testbeds, the Nordic Testbed Network aims to unite and strengthen testbeds aimed at supporting the digital transformation of the bioeconomy.
Frida Magnusdotter Ivarsson kick-started the workshop with a very inspiring and energizing talk on the subject “Organizing for digital innovation”, followed by a very interesting talk by Monika Svanberg on “Mobilizing testbeds”. The different testbeds represented at the workshop were also presented with some inspiring talks about how they work to enhance bioeconomy.
But this wasn’t a day for just listening. In workshops, the participants also worked hard to set the vision and structure of the Nordic Testbed Network. The economy of the network was also discussed; how do we use the resources at hand in the most efficient and effective way?
After the workshop, we now have an even better basis for the Nordic Testbed Network! We will now gather all good ideas harvested during the workshop and our coordinator, Maria Tunberg, will use it as a starting point for further development of the network.
There are already testbeds connected to the network and more will join. Spread the word and use the hashtag #nordictestbednetwork to reach out to interested actors in the digital transformation bioeconomy.
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.