Latest SCI publications

Latest Projects

Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2024-01-01 - 2026-12-31

The proposed project "Initiative of Fostering cross-border knowledge exchange and co-creation on sustainable soil and farm management (Soil-X-Change)" will help to connect farmers, actors, policy makers, projects, and initiatives to speed up innovation and promote faster, wider co-creation and transposition of innovative solutions into practice. It will contribute to effective AKIS by intensifying thematic cooperation between researchers, farmers, and other stakeholders in the EU. Soil-X-Change will also contribute to the green transition, smart agriculture, climate-neutrality, and sustainability areas, as well as enhancing and exchanging the knowledge of the main actors. Soil-X-Change, initiated by EIP-AGRI Operational Group practitioners (OGs), reflects the needs of 151 direct partners. It will collect, combine, harmonise, analyse and integrate the results and data product developed by the different EIP-AGRI OGs and the project partners. Soil-X-Change will disseminate and share innovative practices across 9 member countries. Furthermore, the Soil-X-Change project will bring together EIP OGs and key stakeholders working on sustainable soil and farm management to create an EU-wide network, share knowledge, and introduce ready-to-use practices that will enable farmers to make the right decisions related to agricultural production practices. At the end of the project the extended knowledge and innovative ideas of member and non-member OGs will widen the scope of their activities and showcasing their result to an increased number of stakeholders and farmers in an international environment and network across EU countries. Soil-X-Change will use a bottom-up approach (farmers to OGs) and will reinforce and share practical knowledge using the main dissemination channels suitable for farmers and practitioners.
Research project (§ 26 & § 27)
Duration : 2023-03-01 - 2025-02-28

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.

Supervised Theses and Dissertations