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Unique research infrastructure on perennial crops in Lund

research infrastructure on agriculture. Photo.
The measuring stations will measure the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and agriculture in real time in two parallel cultivation systems in Alnarp. Foto: Peter Kornacher.

As part of innovative research on perennial crops, a unique research infrastructure has been developed outside Lund. The infrastructure will measure the exchange of greenhouse gases between the atmosphere and agriculture in real time in two parallel cultivation systems: the newly domesticated Kernza (Intermediate wheatgrass) and conventional crop rotation in Skåne (including wheat, sugar beet, barley and rapeseed).

The infrastructure is part of the research project ”PERENNIAL / Is there a PERENNIAL future of agriculture?” led by professor Lennart Olsson, who was recently awarded the prestigious ERC Advanced Grant. The project aims to investigate opportunities and obstacles for a future transition to an agriculture with completely new perennial crops. Within the project, researchers will test grow the wheatgrass Kernza from the Mediterranean to the Arctic Circle to see how it fits into different climate zones. The research infrastructure in Alnarp is part of this unique experiment.

According to professor Lennart Olsson it is about fundamentally changing our entire food system, thus contributing to a new agricultural revolution.

– For 10,000 years our food has come from annual crops, even though they cause or contribute to many of the problems agriculture struggles with such as erosion, nutrient leakage, greenhouse gas emissions, high costs and vulnerability to climate change. With perennial crops, we can solve almost all of these challenges. It is also a way to change agriculture in a direction back towards a functioning ecosystem, says Lennart Olsson at Lund University Center for Sustainability Studies.

The researchers also hope that the research infrastructure will pave the way for further research collaboration between LU and SLU in the field of agriculture.


The facility is funded by projects from the European Research Council (ERC Advanced Grant) and Formas.

Read more about the research project ”PERENNIAL/Is there a PERENNIAL future of agriculture?” 

About the inauguration of the new research infrastructure

The inauguration of the new research infrastructure will take place at SLU Alnarp on the 25th of October.

See the full programme and register here

Lennart Olsson, LUCSUS

Lennart Olsson

Lennart Olsson is Professor of Geography at Lund University. His current research fields include human-nature interactions in the context of land degradation, climate change and food security in Africa and globally. His current research focuses on the politics of climate change in the context of poverty and food security

Read more about Lennart Olsson