Objectives

The overall aim of REFORMA is strengthening the economic and environmental sustainability of Mediterranean crop-livestock and feed systems, also by enhancing their self-sufficiency for feed proteins and their ability to adapt to, and to mitigate, climate change. This is pursued by developing more resilient and more water- and energy-efficient systems based on genetically-improved forage and feed legume species.

The specific objectives of REFORMA are:

  • • enhancing the forage yield and persistence of lucerne in Mediterranean environments subjected to severe drought stress, high temperatures and/or salinity, by selecting phenotypically stress-tolerant varieties and by defining innovative breeding strategies based on marker-assisted selection (MAS) and on ecologically-based selection procedures and adaptation targets;
  • • defining MAS procedures for enhanced grazing tolerance of lucerne targeted to extensive Mediterranean systems and for high lucerne compatibility with grass companions;
  • • producing drought-tolerant pea varieties for grain or forage production, by phenotypic selection in stress environments and by defining innovative MAS procedures and ecological selection strategies;
  • • optimizing the cultivation and use of lucerne-based and pea-based forage crops in climatically-different drought-prone Mediterranean environments, by comparing different pea-cereal and lucerne-grass mixtures between them, with monocultures of their component species and with other mixtures in terms of yielding ability, resilience, forage quality and acceptability by farmers.

 

 

 

lucerne

Lucerne [Alfalfa]

(Medicago sativa)

Pea

(Pisum sativum)

Pea