Agroscope studies environmentally friendly fruit production

Kombination von Hagel- und Insektenschutz kann Insektizideinsatz reduzieren

A cross-border project in the Lake Constance region aims to develop new environmentally friendly cultivation and plant protection strategies for fruit growers.

Fruit should be grown in a healthy and environmentally friendly way as a high-quality produce that offers good value for money: the demands of businesses and consumers on today's fruit production are very high. In collaboration with various partners, Agroscope is devising innovative strategies for growing fruit in the context of the research project "Model orchards for integrated plant protection" (Modellanlagen für den integrierten Pflanzenschutz). The main goal of this cross-border project is to find novel ways of limiting the use of pesticides. Aiming to find new environmentally friendly techniques to grow fruit, the project combines existing and new cultivation and plant protection strategies. It studies the influence of varietal selection, crop management and weather, disease and insect protection, and the effect of beneficial organisms. But strategies are only feasible if they are able to compete with market rivals. For this reason, the research team will also analyse whether they are profitable.

Model orchards for apples and cherries

The researchers will work on-site at existing orchards in the Lake Constance region. But new model orchards are also planned for apples and cherries as innovation platforms connecting researchers, advisers and growers. Scientists from Switzerland, Germany and Austria are collaborating on the project, which is being funded by Switzerland and the EU.