Università cattolica del Sacro Cuore (Italy)


The institution

The Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) is the largest Italian free academic Institution, counting 5 chairs, 12 faculties and more than 40 thousand students. The Faculty of Agriculture has its seat in Piacenza, in Northern Italy. It is organised in 14 Institutes and counts 81 Researchers on the permanent staff; it has a strong vocation on agricultural and food research. The Department of Sustainable Crop Production, has a wide experience in participating in International and European project particularly in the fields of sustainable agriculture, molecular genetics and biology, food quality and non-food applications.


Main tasks in SSUCHY

UCSC has set up on their research facilities field trials to compare hemp varieties selected during the research carried out in the frame of the FP7 “Multihemp” project on the basis of their yield potential, fibre content, fibre mechanical properties and decorticability (ease of separation of the bast fibre from the woody core). Different varieties have been grown by following the best known cultivation practice while modulating a set of agronomic parameters (i.e. plant density, nitrogen level and time of dew retting) to select the best combination of agricultural techniques to obtain hemp stems leading to high fibre yields combined to high performance mechanical properties.

UCSC is studying the effect of field retting on fibre quality. In particular, experiments have been carried out to study the effect of temperature, humidity in interaction with genotype on the rate of retting of the stems. This information has been used to create a model to predict the effect of retting that in combination with the crop model developed within the Multihemp project have been used to design optimal strategies for hemp cultivation and processing in various environments.


Significant infrastructure and equipment

Field trials have been carried out at the experimental station of UCSC (Cerzoo) where all the infrastructures needed for field trials are available. Fibre extraction and fibre analysis have been carried out at the laboratories of Diproves (UCSC) using a lab decorticator (Wortmann) and other standard lab equipment.


PhD and Post-docs involved in SSUCHY:

Salvatore MUSIO, Post-doc (Salvatore.Musio@unicatt.it)

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