The four strategic crops

We’re selecting new crop species and breeding new varieties that successfully grow in organic cultivation practices, making artificial fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides used in conventional high-input agriculture a thing of the past

  • Oat
  • Pea
  • Sunflower
  • Wheat

The strategic crops we’ve selected provide the most calories in our diets, and will thus continue being key to the future of food. Every season, we’re adding new crops to broaden biodiversity and enhance sustainability.

Our Achievements so far

Three new alternative crops

After preliminary trials, we identified three crop species as potential alternatives to existing production crops: Popcorn and Borlotti beans for food crops, and Black-eyed peas for green manure. We’ll run additional trials to improve cultivation practices before moving them to production.

Best pea varieties

With an average of 20.25% protein content and 3.64 t/ha yield, we identified the Flokon pea variety as the best for grain production against five other peas varieties.

Best wheat varieties

The Ikona and Izalco winter wheat varieties performed best in screening trials against 19 other genotypes. They have a high protein content (> 13%), acceptable yield (> 5,6 t/ha), high hectolitre mass (> 81 kg/hl), and a high resistance against Yellow stripe rust disease.

Crop Approval tool

This tool standardizes and speeds up alternative crop trials and analysis, before heavily investing in scientific research.

Cultivar Ranker

This tool simplifies the analysis of 50+ metrics when screening multiple varieties, breaking ties between different varieties and offering a clear ranking system of the best variety per use case.

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The Three Areas of Our Research

Our evidence-based approach tests crops species and varieties over multiple research trials to determine which ones are best-suited for organic farming.

We have three areas of research, each answering a specific question.

Area 1: Can a new alternative crop grow in our environment?

Preliminary trials

We plant promising alternative crops and monitor them closely from sowing to harvest to understand the possibilities for farmers in specific geographies.

If they pass our quality standards (protein content, yield, disease resistance, etc.) in preliminary trials, we move them to more advanced trials (Area 2) or directly to field production.

Area 2: Which variety grows best?

Screening trials

Every crop species comes in many different genetic variations. For instance, wheat has 1000+ registered varieties worldwide.

Each variety responds slightly differently to its environment. Some grow taller, others produce more protein in their seed. So we test multiple varieties – side by side – and compare them using 50+ metrics.

From yield to disease resistance, we run experiments to select the best varieties for our growth conditions.

Area 3: How to sow a variety to get the most out of it?

Sowing norms trials

To successfully grow a crop, you need to sow it correctly.

Some crops prefer dense seed sowing, while others thrive with more space between one sowing row and another.

We run experimental trials that change the sowing norms, to determine the optimal conditions for each new crop’s growth.

Once validated, we will provide all findings to interested parties free-of-charge.

Do you want access to the Cultivar Ranker and Crop Approval tools as they become available? Get in touch here.

COMING UP
NEXT YEAR

Test new alternative crops

Research literature and talk to food producers to find and test new alternative crops that can grow in our organic conditions.

Validate the best wheat and peas varieties

Improve the pool of best wheat and peas varieties by testing them against other candidates from the same species.

Screen new varieties of oat and sunflower

Run multiple oat and sunflower varieties through screening trials to find the best varieties for organic growth conditions.

Sharpen our existing tools

Take our existing tools by adding new features that can help us automate Crop Selection operations even further.

Develop new tools for sowing norm trials

Develop an algorithm to help us find the optimal row-spacing and seed density for sowing norms.

Breed new pea varieties

Using organic plant breeding practices, we will develop new pea varieties that have better adapted traits for growing in organic conditions.