Novel Solutions to Enable Intercropping Practices for Agricultural Intensification

Effective, sustainable, and durable solutions to agricultural challenges

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Corteva Agriscience is seeking proposals for novel methods to enable inter-seeding and the establishment of seedlings within multi-cropping systems that include corn, soybean, canola, sorghum, or wheat.

Application Deadline
September 2nd, 2023
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Most row crop systems in North America are currently grown as annual monocultures. Improving sustainability in these systems and meeting the growing world demand for food, fuel and fiber requires a new paradigm guided by sustainable intensification practices. Like adding additional work shifts at a manufacturing plant to leverage more of the total capacity, land use efficiency may be increased by leveraging unused light, soil, & water resources to yield more per acre.  

Innovative multi-cropping systems with reduced or removed fallow periods not only intensify agricultural output, but also protect the soil, keeping it covered throughout the year. However, logistical challenges of planting during the post-harvest period hinder adoption of these systems.  Inter-seeding before harvest may lower the barrier, but requires addressing variables such as planting dates, time to maturity, and ability to inter-seed, germinate and establish seedlings within a standing crop before harvest. Furthermore, establishing new multi-cropping systems in a region will require new agronomic practices and breeding efforts for optimized varieties. We believe innovative methods and technologies can have a positive impact on the adoption of multi-cropping systems and are specifically interested in collaborating to enable inter-seeding and the establishment of seedlings within multi-cropping systems that include corn, soybean, canola, sorghum, or wheat. 

At Corteva, our goal is to develop effective, sustainable, and durable solutions to agricultural challenges. Driving innovation to help farmers operate more sustainably and profitably is core to delivering for our future. We invite public and private sector scientists and organizations and farmers to join our efforts by submitting a proposal describing novel methods to enable inter-seeding in intercropping systems. 


Corteva is seeking short, non-confidential proposals that describe a plan to demonstrate novel methods to enable inter-seeding within a scalable intercropping system involving corn, soybean, canola, sorghum, or wheat. 

Must have: 

  • The multi cropping system includes a minimum of one traditional commodity crop (corn, soybean, canola, sorghum, or wheat)
  • Novel methods that enable inter-seeding into a standing crop, seed germination at a desired time, or seedling establishment in an intercropping environment.
  • Methods may include but are not limited to: Physical methods (equipment or hardware),  Management practices applied to any crop in the system, Seed treatments (chemical or physical), Breeding strategies
  • Scalable application (e.g., path to use at 100+ acre scale must be clearly described if not demonstrated in the proposed solution) 


  • Data supporting the proposed method (productivity, pest and weed impact, soil health impact, etc) 
  • Estimated and/or modeled value potential  
  • Ability and willingness to carry out relevant field trials for the proposed system in small plot trials or on-farm.  

Approaches not of interest: 

  • Intercropping systems and associated enabling technologies limited to tropical environments 
  • Inter-seeding systems that are widely known including:  Broadcast seeding of untreated winter rye into corn/soybean via plane, drone, or equipment equivalent to Hagie Montag Fortifier, Relay cropping soybeans into wheat using established methods (e.g., row-skipping). Improvements to these standard methods may be of interest. 

What's in it for you?

A Corteva Open Innovation representative will contact selected finalists to arrange a virtual discussion with Corteva scientists under confidentiality and to provide additional details on the selection process. For selected proposals, submitters will engage with Corteva scientists to develop and execute on an agreed upon project plan.

Awarded submissions may receive the following:

  • Funding (up to $50,000 inclusive of a maximum of 10% indirect costs*) 
  • Corteva in-kind resources including access to field sites as applicable 
  • Opportunities for extended collaboration and additional funding if successful 

* Indirect costs available to academic and nonprofit research institutes only.  Final agreement terms and funding amount to be determined after selection. 

This is a global challenge, and Corteva Agriscience is open to collaborating with public and private sector scientists, engineers, organizations, or farmers. 

If you have or are developing solutions, or if you have expertise in the above, please click "Apply" to submit your solution/expertise to the Network.