US Agro-Impact

Research unit AgroImpact (INRA Laon and Estrées-Mons)

Our lab


The AgroImpact unit is attached to two INRA scientific departments: the Environment and Agronomy Department on the one hand and the Biology and Plant Breeding Department on the other. It is located on two sites: Laon (02) and Estrées-Mons (80) and consists in a single team but with a very wide spectrum of skills.

AgroImpact's research projects aim to contribute to the development of low-input, low-environmental impacts farming systems with a place for biomass production dedicated to biosourced chemistry. In this sense, they contribute both to the development of agroecology, to the bioeconomy and to their complementarity. Research activities are based on a shared study object, the soil-plant system in  Northern European cropping systems, and mobilizes the two major sets of scientific disciplines of the unit (agronomy / ecology and CN biogeochemistry on the one hand and ecophysiology and genetics on the other) to develop research axes interconnected at different scales: plant, soil-plant system and rotation / cropping system. The more comprehensive scales, such as the territory or the supply basin, are dealt with in partnership, in particular with transfer structures or in the framework of the PIREN-Seine program, for example.

Nitrogen and carbon cycles, soil, crop or cropping systems, modeling, biomass and bioenergy crops, including miscanthus, are the main key words associated with Agro Impact's research's activities.

Some specificities of the work carried out by the AgroImpact unit are:

• Study of cropping systems dedicated to the production of biomass including perennials (miscanthus, switchgrass), underground compartment (rhizome, roots);

• Entry through levers of action rather than processes (agricultural practices, adaptation of plants);

• Long-term effects of changes in agro-systems;

• Combination of in situ experiments and modeling (STICS).

Since 2013, the AgroImpact unit is conducting its research project along two axes:

• The first axis concerns the assessment of the C and N environmental impacts (GHGs, stocks of C and N, nitrate contamination) of alternative farming systems aiming to be more autonomous in nitrogen, more economical in inputs, more durable; the effect of the mobilized management options on biogeochemical cyclesare also studied as well as understanding of the mechanisms involved.

• The second axis concerns the evaluation and multi-criteria optimization (production in terms of quantity and quality, environmental impacts) of cropping systems either dedicated to the production of biomass or including crops contributing to it,both through the adaptation of practices and the genetic improvement of plants.




Direction et/ou correspondant FIRE: 

Joël Léonard



INRA - AgroImpact
Pôle du Griffon
180 rue Pierre-Gilles de Gennes 02000 BARENTON-BUGNY
Tél : 03 23 24 07 77
Fax : 03 23 24 07 76
Email :

Tutelles de l'unité: