Fruit Growing

The responsibilities of the Fruit Growing Research area include baseline and applied research that addresses a variety of questions arising within the South Tyrol's orchard sector. Its experiments focus on breeding and testing new varieties, quality-oriented yield regulation, the environmentally sound use of fertilisers and irrigation, labour-saving training methods and preservation strategies and technology. Particular attention is paid to organic farming.

The Laimburg Reserach Centre passes its findings on to local consultants and fruit growers in professional training events and through articles published in various specialised journals.

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With the demands of the marketplace changing fast and constantly, growers must continuously adapt the apple varieties they sell to remain competitive. To that end, the Laimburg Reserach Centre evaluates interesting new varieties from around the world to determine whether they are suitable for cultivation in South Tyrol – with a special focus on fruit quality and favourable tree characteristics.

In its own breeding programme, Laimburg Research Centre develops new varieties with characteristics that meet the demands of consumers and the market. Pest resistance is another top-level priority.

Thanks to the efforts to preserve and propagate apple varieties, tree nurseries and fruit farmers can rely on certified planting material. The Centre offers:

  • testing of new apple varieties (both with and without resistance to disease) developed in the breeding programmes of the most important apple-producing countries
  • conservation of healthy and pomologically controlled source material for the production of certified trees
  • research into floral biology and evaluation of appropriate pollinators
  • breeding of new varieties with excellent intrinsic qualities and market-oriented characteristics
  • use of new methods including molecular biology procedures to shorten the breeding process
  • evaluation of new rootstocks

For facts and information about 70 different apple varieties, visit the Pomosano website.

 

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Modern fruit-growing aims for consistent yields of high-quality fruit using efficient production methods that respect the environment. Appropriate training forms and carefully balanced pruning methods allow for optimal exposure to sunlight. Consistent harvests can be obtained with the help of accurate regulation of vegetative growth and crop load. The portfolio includes:

  • testing of new tree forms and cultivation systems for better exposure to sunlight
  • research into pruning methods that maximise fruit quality and reduce vegetative growth
  • flower and fruit thinning tests to guarantee consistent yields and high fruit quality
  • research into the impact corrective measures have on growth

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The availability of light, water and mineral nutrients are key factors that affect the capacity and productivity of any given crop. A balanced supply of water and mineral nutrients is not only necessary to produce high-quality fruit, but also crucial for protecting the environment. Among the division’s priorities are:

  • field trials using various irrigation systems and intensities
  • research into the efficacy of various foliar fertilisers and their side effects
  • testing of the effect of increased light availability through reflective foils
  • investigation into the effects of shade created by anti-hail netting
  • experimentation with new protective measures against spring frost

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Organic farming aims to grow high-quality produce without using synthetic chemical agents. We offer applied research and consultation services to support the development of this alternative cultivation method. In South Tyrol – as in the rest of the world – the interest in ecologically sound farming practices is on the rise, and growers in all fields of agricultural production are increasingly making the transition to organic farming. Refer to the Centre for:

  • experimentation in controlling the most harmful organisms using products and methods in accordance with the guidelines of organic agriculture
  • tests to determine the suitability of different varieties for organic agriculture
  • crop load regulation and quality assurance without using phytohormones
  • fertilisation and soil management without the use of synthetic herbicides or mineral fertilisers
  • consultation and training for organic producers

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Berries and stone fruit of outstanding quality thrive in South Tyrol's low-mountain climate. This prospect offers additional perspectives and a whole new contribution to the economic survival of a number of mountain farms. The prerequisites for success are varieties that adapt well to the climate, alongside cultivation methods that take into account the fundamental features of the surrounding environment. We offer:

  • tests to determine the suitability of berry and stone fruit varieties for low-mountain sites
  • research on the ideal variety and rootstock combinations and their suitability for high-altitude cultivation
  • experimental trials with various cultivation methods and tending strategies
  • consultation and guidance on the right choice of fruit variety and cultivation management

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