MAGIC project looks at bioenergy crops potential on unproductive arable land

April 11, 2021 |

In Germany, a European project with the participation of the University of Hohenheim called “Marginal lands for Growing Industrial Crops”, MAGIC for short, aims at developing the enormous potential of around 65 million hectares of agricultural land in Europe that are hardly or not at all usable for conventional agriculture and see how bioenergy industrial crops can be developed on that land.

Researchers from twelve countries are concerned with the question of how farmers can use these so-called marginal agricultural areas with little effort by growing industrial plants in an economically profitable manner. The Department of Renewable Raw Materials in the Bioeconomy at the University of Hohenheim in Stuttgart is one of 26 cooperation partners in the bioeconomy project funded by the EU with around six million euros. With almost 400,000 euros in funding, the project is one of the research heavyweights in Hohenheim.

The EU project “Marginal lands for Growing Industrial Crops: Turning a burden into an opportunity”, or MAGIC for short, is intended to remedy this. For more than three years, scientists from twelve European countries have been working on the question of how these areas can be used in an economically and ecologically sustainable way through the cultivation of so-called industrial plants.

All findings from the mapping work are incorporated into a database that is publicly accessible on the project website. In this way, visitors can find out about the status of marginal land areas in their region. But they can also help improve the quality of the map.

In addition, there is another database on the website with information on the 20 most important industrial plants that can be grown on marginal locations. All essential information on the respective crop is summarized in fact sheets, starting with their soil and climate preferences, soil preparation and sowing, water and fertilizer requirements, diseases and pests, up to yields and purposes as well as special features of harvesting methods and storage.

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Category: Research

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