In the field of "Plant Protection - Entomology & Agroecology", we develop holistic solutions for cultivation systems that set a good example ecologically and that are economically viable. Our basis is the naturally occurring biodiversity, which we supplement on pilot areas with customized nature-oriented elements. There, we measure central ecosystem services such as biodiversity, pollination and aspects of soil fertility.
Our main areas of work:
- On the model crops apple, cherry and cabbage, we are working on improving natural pest control through specific promotion of functional agrobiodiversity. To this end, we use flower strips, companion plants and specific upgraded habitats.
- We investigate interactions between cultivation techniques (crop rotation, variety selection, fertilisation, soil maintenance, etc.) and pest infestation in order to develop ecologically resilient cultivation systems.
- Against invasive pests such as the spotted wing drosophila and the brown marmorated stinkbug or problematic pests such as the rape pollen beetle, we develop and test new, environmentally sound products, such as repellent fragrances to deter the rape pollen beetle. In addition, we are investigating whether an inter-farm, landscape-wide regulation of these highly mobile pests can reduce the infestation pressure.
- We are studying the impact of climate change on native and invasive pests and on the entire cultivation system, and evaluating crop protection measures to ensure that organic farming is optimally adapted to climate change.
Organic farming and biodiversity