Retailers and consumers alike place high demands on the internal and external quality of vegetables. Meeting these demands poses a major challenge for vegetable producers. Appropriate plant nutrition as well as preventive and targeted direct plant-protection measures are prerequisites for success here.
As part of extension projects, solutions are developed for current problems in the vegetable-growing sector and the use of fertilisers and plant-protection products is optimised. In longer-term research projects, sustainable cultivation and plant-protection strategies for controlling diseases, pests and weeds are developed which allow a more sparing use of chemical products. Here, alternative non-chemical control methods are gaining significantly in importance, since they leave no plant-protection product residue on the harvested crops and can for the most part also be used in organic farming. Seed disinfection with aerated steam to control seed-borne diseases, the encouragement of natural antagonists of soil-borne pathogens, and strategies for combating the introduction and further spread of problem weeds on land planted with vegetables should be mentioned in this context.
The Vegetable-Production Extension Research Group develops decision-making bases and advisory documents on fertilisation and plant protection for vegetable producers and important federal government and cantonal bodies. Supplemented by studies conducted in the diagnostics laboratory, our warning service provides vegetable producers with information on the current incidence and infestation pressure of diseases and pests, making it easier for these producers to select and time the necessary measures.