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Open AccessReview

A Systematic Review of Field Trials to Synthesize Existing Knowledge and Agronomic Practices on Protein Crops in Europe

National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean (ISAFOM), 80056 Ercolano, Italy
Department of Economic and Statistics, University of Naples Federico II, 80126 Naples, Italy
Department of Soil, Plant and Food Sciences, University of Bari Aldo Moro; 70126 Bari, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Agronomy 2019, 9(6), 292;
Received: 13 May 2019 / Revised: 30 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 6 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cropping Systems)
Protein crops can represent a sustainable answer to growing demand for high quality, protein-rich food in Europe. To better understand the state of scientific studies on protein crops, a systematic review of field trials results to collect existing knowledge and agronomic practices on protein crops in European countries was conducted using published data from the literature (1985–2017). A total of 42 publications was identified. The following seven protein crops were considered: quinoa, amaranth, pea, faba bean, lupin, chickpea, and lentil. Observations within the studies were related to one or more of eight wide categories of agronomic managements: deficit irrigation (n = 130), salinity (n = 6), tillage (n = 211), fertilizers (n = 146), sowing density (n = 32), sowing date (n = 92), weed control (n = 71), and multiple interventions (n = 129). In 86% of the studies, measures of variability for yield mean values are missing. Through a multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) based on protein crops, European environments, and agronomic management factors, we provide a state of art of studies carried out in Europe on protein crops over the 32-year period; this study will allow us to understand the aspects that can still be developed in the topic. Most investigated studies refer to southern Europe and showed some trends: (i) faba bean, pea, and lupin provide highest seed yields; (ii) sowing date, sowing density, fertilization, and deficit irrigation are the agronomic practices that most influence crop yield; (iii) studies conducted in Central Europe show highest seed yields. The output from this study can be used to guide policies for sustainable crop management. View Full-Text
Keywords: protein crops; systematic review; Europe; multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) protein crops; systematic review; Europe; multiple correspondence analysis (MCA)
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Sellami, M.H.; Pulvento, C.; Aria, M.; Stellacci, A.M.; Lavini, A. A Systematic Review of Field Trials to Synthesize Existing Knowledge and Agronomic Practices on Protein Crops in Europe. Agronomy 2019, 9, 292.

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