Projects of the Horticulture Research Group
Agroforestry in Austria
Under certain conditions, agroforestry land management systems can create an interesting economic and ecological opportunity for optimising land use for future climate change-related challenges. In Austria, there is no network or central location to respond to questions related to or consult on agroforestry issues. Nevertheless, there is a great deal of interest amongst practitioners. To deal with this issue, FiBL Austria has established the EIP-AGRI Operational Group in cooperation with six farmers who wish to implement agroforestry. The aim of the initiative is to generate new knowledge in the field and encourage farmers to implement agroforestry in Austria. The ZHAW is responsible for the practical implementation on the farms - from planning to realisation.
Project Partner: FiBL Österreich, Landwirtschaftliche Fachschule Grottenhof/Hardt, Bio Austria, Landwirtschaftskammer Niederösterreich, Universität für Bodenkultur Wien
Duration: 2019 - 2022
Further Information: Mareike Jäger
Long-term protection of the Fragaria and Rubus gene pool
Be it Lambada, White Pineapple, Wädenswil 6, Evergreen Blackberry or Red Raspberry from Zurich - the variety of colours, shapes and flavours of strawberry (Fragaria) and raspberry / blackberry (Rubus) is enormous. The long-term protection and maintenance of this gene pool is essential for future breeding as well as from a socio-cultural perspective.
The aim of the project is to establish both a primary collection of virus-free potted plants in an insect-proof greenhouse and a duplicate backup collection in the form of meristems, which will be cryopreserved in liquid nitrogen at -196°C..
Client: Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG)
Duration: 2019 - 2022
Further Information: Julia Lietha
Reduction of pesticides in horticulture
In this study we investigated the effects of "pesticide-free" cultivation methods used in vegetable and ornamental plant production. For this purpose, different integrated and organic farming practices were analysed and compared with each other in terms of production costs, yields and pesticide residues. In vegetable farming, practices are also used that do not employ officially approved pesticides.
Client: Stiftung Gartenbau, VSGP, Jardin Suisse
Duration: 2018 - 2021
Further Information: Alex Mathis
KEF Strip - Preliminary Study on development of an "AgriStrip" for the Spotted Wing Drosophila, SWD
In cooperation with Bioreba AG, it is to be clarified whether it is possible to develop an "AgriStrip" (lateral flow device, such as pregnancy test) for the spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii. This requires literature research and preliminary laboratory tests.
Conservation collection of grapevine varieties Halbinsel Au
Reduction of pesticides input in horticulture
This study examines the effects of "pesticide-free" cultivation methods of vegetables in comparison to IP production or cultivation according to BioSuisse guidelines by determining the effective production costs. In the ornamental part, the study compares the production costs of selected ornamental plants from conventional cultivation with organic ...
Extension of the study on life cycle assessments for alternative substrates to peat
The aim of the research study is to extend the study by Eymann et al. (2015) of the Zurich University of Applied Sciences (ZHAW) by selected substrate components and substrate mixtures which, based on defined criteria, have a high potential as peat substitutes. Analogous to the 2015 study, the present research project is intended to provide a ...
Implementation of aquaponic technology in Kunming, China: Construction of prototype for cultivation of fish and vegetables
This project proposes to introduce the Aquaponic technology (AP) to China’s urban population. The objective is to devise AP systems suitable for efficient food production on smallest surfaces, which will be implemented in urban areas. Two solutions should be developed: (i) a prototype greenhouse facility for the partner company Swissino Agriculture ...
Effect of cryopreservation on genome mutation rate - examples of grapevine
Grapevine genetic resources are maintained in field collections being challenged by repeating biotic and abiotic stresses. Plant adapt to stress by increased mutation rates. Hence, long-term field collections may not be optimal to maintain original cultivars (and clones in grapevine). This project will quantify cryopreservation process-induced ...
Multispectral imaging: key to early leaf disease detection
Automated Airborne Pest Monitoring AAPM of Drosophila suzukii in Crops and Natural Habitats
Drosophila suzukii has become a serious pest in Europe since its spread in 2008 to Spain and Italy, attacking many soft-skinned crops such as several berry species, cherry and grapevines. Pest monitoring is the basis of its control. Therefore, an efficient and accurate monitoring system is essential in order to identify the presence of D. suzukii ...
Implementation of aquaponic technology in Romania to benefit health and sustainable livelihood in deprived areas (AQUA-ROM)
Aquaponic is an innovative technology that combines aquaculture (fish farming) with hydroponics (soilless plant culture) to create a sustainable, low-impact food production unit. The project aims to introduce Aquaponics to Romania and thus contribute to poverty reduction in Romanian mountain areas and modify the current food habits so as to ...
Systemic disease response of Solanum lycopersicon
This project is part of COST Action FA1208 "Pathogen-informed strategies for sustainable broad-spectrum crop resistance". Late blight, caused by the oomycete Phytophthora infestans, is one of the major threats in potato (Solanum tuberosum) and tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) production. Facing the goals of COST Action FA1208 to gain knowledge on ...
Effect of ladle slag from steel recycling on soil fertility and plant growth
The ZHAW conducts a four-year field trial with simplified crop rotation to investigate the effect of ladle slag on various parameters of soil fertility and plant growth. Ladle slag contains various nutrients and has a calcifying effect, which could be used to stabilize or increase the soil pH. The effect of three treatments is compared: application ...
Life cycle assessment of Swiss wine from conventional and organic farming
The consumption of food and beverages causes more than a quarter of an average person’s environmental impact in Switzerland. Apart from meat, fish and dairy products, beverage and semiluxury food – especially spirits and coffee – contribute to a significant share. Over the entire life cycle of wine – from the cultivation of the vineyard to ...
LCA of peat, alternative substrates and growing media
Due to its soil improving properties peat is regarded as an ideal component of growing media. However, peat cutting has a high environmental impact. In Switzerland, the extraction of peat is prohibited since 1987, but 130’000 tons of peat are imported every year. To reduce peat consumption, alternative substrates are needed. This projects aims at ...
Occurence of grape phylloxera (Dactulosphaira vitifoliae) in Switzerland
Grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, Fitch) was a major pest in European grape production until the consequent use of resistant rootstocks. Today phylloxera is found mostly on derelict vineyards and interspecific hybrids used mainly in organic grapewine production. This project aims to map the occurence of grape phylloxera in Switzerland ...
Detection of Bois noir phytoplasma in the vectoring ciciid Hyalethes obsoletus.
Bois noir is a yellow disease of grapevines (Vitis vinifera) caused by phytoplasmas belonging to the class 'Candidatus Phytoplasma solani'. These phytoplasmas live mostly on bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) and stinging nettle (Urtica dioica). By accident they are transmitted by the ciciid Hyalesthes obsoletus to V. vinifera. We investigate the ...
Expression of Vitis vinifera genes during downy mildew infection
Plasmopara viticola, an oomycete causing downy mildew of grapevines (Vitis vinifera), is one of the major pathogenes in grape production in many grape growing regions world wide. We are interested in genes of V. vinifera expressed during the first 24 h post inoculation.