Division of Field Experiments
Main research activities are focused on soil management assessing the influence of various soil management systems, crop rotations and fertilization on soil fertility and crop yields. Valuable data sets are obtained from long–term experiments that are carried out at several field stations located around the Czech Republic. Thanks to its distribution (the experimental stations are located between 225 m and 670 m asl) the long-term field experiments offer data covering a continuous climate and soil-sequence representing diverse farming conditions found in the Czech Republic. The research connected with the long-term field experiments addresses the following topics: the effect of various fertilization systems on nutrient uptake by plants, crop yields and soil properties; the effect of organic and N-mineral fertilization on nutrient uptake, yield formation, product quality and soil fertility; the study of factors limiting the crop frequencies in crop rotations; the study of factors having a positive effect on wheat monocultures; effects of organic fertilization and ploughing-in of straw on soil fertility and crop yields; the effect of crop rotations with a high frequencies of cereals in combination with organic fertilization on yield formation and soil properties; the effect of pig slurry application on crop yields, plant nutrients cycles, nutrient and organic matter balance and soil fertility.
It is well known that the processes of soil fertility formation, accumulation of organic matter, or the transformation and transport of plant nutrients are by their nature long-term processes. Moreover, due to soil heterogeneity and the high variability of measured values, changes in soil properties can only be determined in stabilised systems and based on long time series. The long-term field experiments are, therefore, unique and an indispensable means for studies of soil processes, organic matter transformation and nutrient cycling, for research on the development of long-term yields and on factors that affect the quality of plant products.
Besides the long-term field experiments, the Division also runs short-term field experiments, including custom-made experiments for other divisions within the Institute as well as other research institutions and universities. For private clients the Division runs predominantly testing, registration and demonstration trials. The Division is a holder of the international certificate of Good Experimental Practice (GEP) based on ISO 9000 (Quality Management) and ISO 14000 (Environmental Management), and is qualified to work with GMOs.
The Research Station for Viticulture in Karlštejn evaluates grape genetic resources, assesses viticultural management techniques, and studies the tolerance mechanisms grapes utilise against abiotic stress. Other research activities are connected with the use of biological and biotechnological plant protection and the development of eco-friendly grape nutrition processes and grape-growing systems. Within the National programme a collection of Vitis varieties and clones (230 items to date) has been assembled. The research station farms 8.6 ha of vineyards situated on a terraced slope. As a byproduct of the research activity, our own wine cellar produces wines from its own production to an amount of 5000-13000 litres per year.
The Division has four departments:
Jan Lipavský, PhD. – Head of Division