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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-05-01 - 2020-02-29

The aim of the project is to test drought-tolerant grain legumes for their cultivability in eastern Austria in order to provide alternatives to climate-damaging meat consumption and at the same time to increase biodiversity in agriculture. These include common beans, chickpeas, grass peas, lima beans, black gram and lentils. Promoting the cultivation of these crops can lead to an increase in biodiversity in agriculture.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-02-01 - 2020-09-30

The goal of this project is the research, implementation and evaluation of autonomous technologies pertaining to a modular robotic system that can fully autonomously perform mechanical hoeing. The first innovative concept is the application of an image synthesis framework for generating large data set for training deep learning classifiers for agricultural purposes, allowing for novel methods of crop localization, characterization and re-identification of individual plants. The second innovative concept is the real-time augmentation of SLAM generated maps with semantic segmentation output, allowing for the development of enhanced obstacle detection. The final innovative concept is enhanced path- and mission-strategies that allow for raising and lowering of a robotic hoeing implement, crop row following and turning the vehicle at the end of crop rows with the final aim of achieving full field coverage. Finally, the developed methods are integrated on a robotic platform, evaluated and demonstrated in fully autonomous field tests.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2019-12-01 - 2022-11-30

The objective of the project is to develop strategies to increase yield stability of sugar beet under water stress conditions. The project integrates breeding and agronomic approaches: We will test effects of water saving canopy architecture as well as rooting depth to infer on strategic traits for cultivar development. The different cultivar types will be tested in two management systems (plough vs. mulch seeding) at two sites with different soil conditions. Thereby we will provide pathways towards system solutions to ensure sugar beet production under semi-arid conditions of Eastern Austria. The concrete objectives are: 1) In-situ evaluation of cultivar differences in relation to soil water extraction using water isotope measurements. 2) Definition of drought resistant ideotypes via canopy architecture and root system optimization as a framework for breeding. 3) Quantification of reduction potentials of evaporation losses via mulch seeding at different sites. 4) Analysis of interactions between cultivar, management system and site conditions and model-based development of adaptation strategies for sugar beet production under future climate conditions with increasing drought.

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