A study is underway in Scotland to identify the best combinations of crops to develop more sustainable production. The Sustainability in Education and Agriculture using Mixtures (SEAMS) initiative, funded by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, is coordinated by the James Hutton Institute. SEAMS has a network of sites across Scotland to trial crop mixtures and provide information on how to tailor their use to different locations. The sites will also be the venue for discussions with local farmers to further expand the network.
The study is based on the finding that different crop mixtures can improve yield stability, reduce pest and disease damage, and enhance stress resilience in agricultural systems. SEAMS aims to partner up with food buyers and producers to increase demand for local products derived from the mixtures. The project also plans to connect with policy makers to promote the use of crop mixtures within future agricultural policy.