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

1
National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Institute for Agricultural and Forestry Systems in the Mediterranean (ISAFOM), 80056 Ercolano, Italy
2
Department of Economic and Statistics, University of Naples Federico II, 80126 Naples, Italy
3
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; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9060292
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)
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Abstract

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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