Optimization of Resource Use and Systems to Protect the Environment

Optimization of baby leaf salad production through the use of precision detection and application of pesticides

In North-Rhine Westphalia, salad production is, with 2.000 ha, an important element of vegetable production and reginal marketing. In the past, several aphid-tolerant varieties were available but there are increasing indications of a gradual loss of this tolerance which leads to increased use of insecticides. This is expensive and contrary to environmentally conscious vegetable production. It is also difficult, because of the short rotation of baby leaf salads, to adhere to legal requirements and secondary standards regarding pesticide residues.
Our innovative approach aims to selectively identify plants affected by aphids through the use of optical methods. The affected plants will then be spot-treated using an appropriate spray technology/application. Thus the amount of pesticides used will be reduced (=reduction of costs and increase in market competition) and a reduction of residues in plant and soil will be reached (=resource, environment and consumer protection).
The dissemination of project results will take place at three levels: into the horticultural practice with the innovative method, at level of agricultural engineering by commercialising the equipment and scientifically through new knowledge in the phenotyping of stressors.


Members of the Operational Group:

  • University of Bonn (Lead partner KoGa and Institute for Agricultural Engineering)
  • Landgard GmbH & Co KG
  • Schwarz Vegetable and Strawberry Production, Bornheim
  • Research Centre Jülich (IBG-II)

Duration: 1 April 2017 – 31 March 2020


Funding: NRW Rural development 2014-2020 (https://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rural-development-2014-2020_en)


Contact: Dr. Hannah Jaenicke (h.jaenicke(at)uni-bonn.de)

Pesticide residues in market-ready pot plants


The production area for ornamental plants in North-Rhine Westphalia is amongst the largest in the Federal Republic of Germany. In the marketing of ornamentals through whole sale structures, the retail sector increasingly demands residue-reduced pot plants. The standards of the retail sector are often beyond those of legal and registration requirements and exclude specific chemicals (neonicotines, glyphosates) and demand a limited number of compounds in the residues.
In general, there is sufficient knowledge available in the fruit and vegetable sector about metabolisation rates and necessary waiting periods, this knowledge is not available for ornamental pot plants. Ornamental plant producers currently have no measures or recommendations for an appropriate plant protection strategy at hand. In order to develop recommendations for compliant plant protection measures a series of analyses with potted plants from production companies is being carried out.


Responsible:

Duration: 2016-2017


Funding: Landgard Foundation


Contact: Ms Gabriele Hack (Gabriele.hack(at)lwk.nrw.de)

Potentials and practice programme to increase natural diversity in fruit plantations and mixed orchards

Wasp spider
Figure: Wasp spider

“Potentials and practice programme to increase natural diversity in fruit plantations and mixed orchards” is a collaboration of six important fruit producing regions in Germany. The goal of the project is to implement modern management strategies to increase biodiversity in organic and conventional fruit production systems in selected practice farms and to evaluate and continuously adapt these strategies. Successful and applicable tools shall be implemented in practice and find entry in recommendations for both organic and conventional production. Recognition for the value of the ecosystem “fruit orchard” shall be increased. Lead partner of the project is University of Hohenheim.
Focus of the part of the project which is implemented in the Rhineland and in Rhineland Palatinate by University of Bonn together with DLR Rheinpfalzis in the development of information for the optimization of ecosystem services in “integrated” production systems and implementation of specific measures. The following activities are planned:

  • Optimization and implementation of cultural measures to increase nutrition for predators and pollinators, to increase the diversity and fauna and to support regionally important species.
  • Evaluate the potential of the ecosystem “fruit orchard” under “conventional integrated” (IP) management as food habitat to support ecologically important species.
  • Evaluation of the changed management options with respect to orchard hygiene.
  • Collaboration in the development of a national list of recommendations for IP management and development of a regional list for the Rhineland fruit area.


Responsible for the region Rhineland Palatinate/North-Rhine Westphalia:

Partners:

  • University of Hohenheim (Lead of nation-wide programme)
  • Stiftung Kompetenzzentrum Bodensee
  • Obstbauversuchsring des Alten Landes e.V.
  • Öko-Obstbau Norddeutschland Versuchs- und Beratungsring e.V.
  • Landesverband “Sächsisches Obst” e.V.

Duration: 2016 – 2022


Funding: Federal Office for Nature Protection with finances of the Federal Ministry for Environment


Contact: Kim Larissa Preuß (kim.preuss(at)uni-bonn.de)

Development of Peat Substitutes Based on Renewable resources

Goal of the project is to produce plant substrates as ecologically/economically as possible and thereby strengthen the sustainable production and new market pathways for renewable resources. The use of low-input biomass plants as peat substitutes in pant substrates can be an alternative to common additives. In addition it offers the possibility to substitute higher amounts of peat in plant substrates as so far possible. For the expansive experimentation the new greenhouse facilities in Campus Klein Altendorf are used and for practice tests the greenhouse of Gramoflor Company in Vechta.


Responsible: University of Bonn INRES Renewable Resources

 

Partner: Gramoflor GmbH & Co. KG

 

Duration: 2015 – 2017


Funding: FNR e.V.


Contact: Prof. Dr. Ralf Pude (r.pude(at)uni-bonn.de)

Development of peat substitutes for commercial horticulture on the basis of local and renewable resources

Goal of the project is to develop a regional concept for extensive land use for the production of substrates from appropriate renewable resources. Here existing experiences about the biomass plants Miscanthus, Silphie, poplar, willow and Paulownia on mineral soils will be intensified and early experiments on Sida, Helianthus annuus and soft wood trees (beech, asp) will be carried out. For organic soils the possible test plants will be reed species such as Phragmites australis ssp. altissimus and Phragmites australis ssp. australis and several Carex species.


Responsible: University of Bonn INRES Renewable Resources


Partner: Gramoflor GmbH & Co. KG


Duration: 2014 – 2017


Funding: Lower Saxony Ministry for Agriculture, Nutrition and Consumer Protection


Contact: Prof. Dr. Ralf Pude (r.pude(at)uni-bonn.de)