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Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-03-01 - 2024-02-29

Saatgutkompetenz von Bäuerinnen und Gärtnerinnen im Pustertal – Stand, Einflussfaktoren und mögliche Fördermaßnahmen. Ackerbau und Viehhaltung prägten im Pustertal noch bis weit nach dem Ende des Zweiten Weltkrieges das Landschaftsbild. Das Sicherstellen der Lebensmittelversorgung der Familienmitglieder stand besonders in den abgelegenen Tälern und Bergregionen im Vordergrund des überwiegend kleinbäuerlichen Wirtschaftens. Von den Kulturpflanzen, die im Pustertal angebaut wurden, wurde in der jüngeren Geschichte immer auch Saatgut vor Ort selbst vermehrt. Wenn Saatgut vermehrt wurde, fand immer auch eine Auslese von Saatgut bestimmter Pflanzenindividuen statt. Diese Auslese wurde nach Erfahrungswerten und Intuition durchgeführt; geprägt von den persönlichen Vorstellungen und Notwendigkeiten derjenigen, die die Kulturpflanzen anbauten, pflegten und vermehrten. Dies hat zu der enormen Vielfalt genau in diesen lokalen Herkünften der unterschiedlichsten Kulturpflanzenarten geführt, auch im Pustertal. Das Handwerk der eigenständigen Erhaltung, Selektion und Vermehrung von Saatgut wird kaum mehr ausgeübt. Damit geraten einzigartige Kulturpflanzen und deren lokale Herkünfte in Vergessenheit und sind vom Verschwinden bedroht. Die lebendige Erhaltung des kulturellen Erbes der Saatgutvermehrung und Weitergabe von Saatgut liegt in den Händen von einigen wenigen engagierten Menschen. In Handarbeit wird eine große Vielfalt angebaut. Im Projekt „Saatgutkompetenz“ wird der aktuelle Stand der Saatguterhaltung für Kulturpflanzen im Pustertal dokumentiert. In Interviews mit Erhalterinnen werden fördernde und hemmende Faktoren für die Saatguterhaltung, sowie Informations- und Beratungsbedarf der ErhalterInnen identifiziert. Auf Basis dieser Erkenntnisse werden lokale, regionale und nationale Fördermaßnahmen identifiziert, die dazu beitragen die Saatgutkompetenz im Pustertal zu erhalten.   Farming and animal husbandry shaped the landscape in the Pustertal until well after the end of the Second World War. Securing the food supply for family members was the focus of the predominantly small-scale farming, especially in the remote valleys and mountainous regions. In recent history, the seeds of the cultivated plants that were cultivated in the Puster Valley have always been propagated locally. When seed was propagated, a selection of seed from certain plant individuals always took place. This selection was made based on experience and intuition; shaped by the personal ideas and needs of those who cultivated, cared for and propagated the cultivated plants. This has led to the enormous diversity of accessions of cultivated plants in the Puster Valley. The craft of independent conservation, selection and propagation of seeds is hardly practiced anymore. As a result, unique cultivated plants and their local accessions are forgotten and threatened with disappearance. The living preservation of the cultural heritage of seed propagation and seed transmission is in the hands of a few committed people. In the "Seed Competence" project, the current status of seed conservation for cultivated plants in the Puster Valley is documented. In interviews with conservators, supporting and inhibiting factors for seed conservation, as well as information and advice needs of the conservators are identified. Based on these findings, local, regional and national funding measures are identified that contribute to maintaining seed expertise in the Puster Valley.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-05-01 - 2025-04-30

Phosphorus (P) is an essential and limited plant nutrient. It must be used as efficiently as possible. In organic farming, biological nitrogen (N) fixation by legumes is the most important source of nitrogen. P deficiency reduces biological N fixation, N availability, and crop rotation yield levels and threatens production sustainability on organic farms. P balance balances are usually negative on organic market crop farms, and plant available P (PCAL) levels are often suboptimal on longer organic farms. Does a negative P impact balance or a supply level A or B mean that P is in shortage and crop stands are undersupplied? In practice, it is difficult for farmers to assess this information and take the right measures. Using the example of the nutrient phosphorus, on-farm and external possibilities to increase nutrient availability will be investigated and developed. On-farm, plant species with high P mobilization capacity can increase P availability and P efficiency. Recycled P fertilizers provide an off-farm P source, close material cycles regionally, and conserve reservoir supplies. Awareness of the need to use P more efficiently in agriculture and to close P loops regionally is still underdeveloped in some cases. Project objectives and expected benefits: - Improved practitioner assessment of P supply to cropland sites, considering P mobilization potential from stable P pools. - Development of management strategies to improve on-farm P availability: mobilization of P from stable pools on sites with low P availability through catch crops and mixtures. - Improved estimation of P fertilizer effectiveness of different organic fertilizers and P and K mobilization from stable pools based on a long-term experiment. - Information for farmers on the nutrient phosphorus and its management: better assessment of the current phosphorus supply status of the fields; knowledge of which measures on the farm contribute to P mobilization; decision-making basis for management measures to improve one's own phosphorus supply on a field-specific basis. Farmers learn to make targeted use of their own P reserves available in the soil.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2022-01-01 - 2024-12-31

Market gardeners work according to so-called bio-intensive methods. This means using the maximum possible natural yield potential on the area. This yield potential results from the respective location, the climatic conditions (temperature, precipitation, wind, etc.), the production methods and to a large extent also from the soil itself. In addition to the soil type and the thickness of the individual soil layers, the condition of the soil in terms of soil fertility and soil health is of enormous importance for market gardeners. While the term soil fertility rather refers to the function of productivity (mineral, physical and biological aspects) the term soil health is defined more systemically and extended by further soil functions. In addition to the productivity function, the water storage function, the habitat function for plants and soil organisms and their diversity, the nutrient management function, and the climate function as a carbon store are relevant for market gardening. In order to run a market garden successfully and sustainably, the soil condition in terms of its fertility and health must not only be maintained, but even improved in the course of cultivation. Therefore, the goal in every market gardening is not only a sustainable soil management, but a restorative, so-called regenerative management of the soil. Research question: Which measures are target-oriented to promote the nutrient management and production function of the soil in market garden farms? In the project, different measures are compared by means of literature research and those with the greatest potential are implemented in practice on the farms. The results of the WP Soil will be disseminated to existing and future market gardeners as well as to the extension service and relevant Austrian institutions in the course of the work of the WP Dissemination. In addition, the measures are also evaluated in relation to the Bio-Austria guidelines.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations