Valorization of wheat production in marginal areas: farmer-centric experimentation for variety choice and evolutionary population development

Published: 13 February 2024
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Authors

  • Sara Bosi Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Lorenzo Negri lorenzo.negri@unibo.it Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Antonio Fakaros Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Giulia Oliveti Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.
  • Giovanni Dinelli Department of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Bologna, Italy.

In Italy, from 2000 to 2010, 58% of farms in mountain areas were abandoned leading to a 33% decrease in available land for agriculture. This research aimed to restore value and competitiveness to the Apennine area, by proposing a balanced and sustainable agriculture model. Following the needs of farmers, underutilised cereals were selected as the ideal genetic material for the study and development of short local food supply chains. The field experiments were carried out in two organic farms located in the Emilia-Romagna Region (Italy). During two growing seasons, seven wheat genotypes, two wheat evolutionary populations and one einkorn mixture were cultivated under organic farming management. Results related to functional traits are presented along with the main agronomic and technological parameters that were determined. Several nutritional properties are included. Mean yield and stability performance over environments for each genotype were explored using the “Genotype and Genotype by Environment biplot” elaboration. Considering yield performances, “Benco” was closer to the ‘ideal’ genotype. All the results were evaluated with the farmers, who expressed their own preferences from field observations. The right coupling between environment and genotypes can discourage the abandonment of hilly and mountainous farms by enhancing the economic competitiveness of agriculture in these regions.

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How to Cite

Bosi, S., Negri, L., Fakaros, A., Oliveti, G., & Dinelli, G. (2024). Valorization of wheat production in marginal areas: farmer-centric experimentation for variety choice and evolutionary population development. Italian Journal of Agronomy, 18(4). https://doi.org/10.4081/ija.2023.2210