The autochthonous microorganisms present in the soil are the key to increasing the resistance of cultivated plants against weeds. Identifying which ones are in the soils of seven different European countries, reproducing them and using them to reduce the use of pesticides is the task of the University of Pisa within the European project GOOD (AGrOecOlogy for weeDs), funded within the Horizon Europe program . “The autochthonous beneficial microorganisms of seven European countries will be multiplied in Pisa and used to inoculate the seeds of cover plants to increase their ability to compete with weeds,” explains Professor Alessandra Turrini of the Department of Agricultural, Food and Agricultural Sciences. - environmentalists of the University of Pisa, scientific director of the project on which she works together with colleagues Monica Agnolucci, Luciano Avio and Manuela Giovannetti.
Among the best-selling pesticides
GOOD, which officially started in May 2023, aims to study innovative and sustainable strategies to reduce dependence on herbicides, which represent the second best-selling category of pesticides in Europe. The project is part of the European initiatives aimed at reducing the use of pesticides by 50% by 2030, and at accelerating the transition towards sustainable, resilient, productive, safe and healthy agro-ecosystems with low climate impact, capable of providing important ecosystem services again.
The goals to be achieved
The GOOD project involves 20 partners from 11 European countries, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Serbia, Greece, Cyprus, France, Belgium, Ireland, Holland, Latvia belonging to 6 different European pedo-climatic regions, from the Atlantic area to the Nordic areas and continental to Mediterranean ones, to ensure a balanced representation of the different production systems. The project will develop, over a period of 4 years, a European network for agroecological weed management, including 16 Living Labs, with the aim of increasing and sharing knowledge and experience, also creating links with other projects and networks operating in the field of agroecology and integrated pesticide management. In the photo the European research group of the Good project (source: FIDC).