Planting and seed testing

Our Institute for Seed and Seedlings, Plant Protection Service and Bees offers examinations for the evaluation of seed and potato seedling quality as well as the physical composition of harvested products. The following criteria are used for this purpose:

  • Species and variety purity
  • Health status
  • Germination capacity
  • Dangerous admixtures
  • Genetically modified organisms
  • Cultivability and multiplicability

In addition to the classical quality criteria for seeds, our testing program pays special attention to the evaluation and assessment of sustainable ecological quality criteria.

Apart from the screening test for the utility value of seeds, all tests are carried out in accordance with the service catalog of the tariff. As a testing laboratory (ISTA as well as national accreditation by Accreditation Austria according to ISO/IEC 17025) with the identification number 0452, we apply accredited methods and report the test results. The currently valid scope of accreditation is available at https://akkreditierung-austria.gv.at .

On the website of the Federal Office for Food Safety you will find current forms for application, for reports as well as for the submission of samples.

Frequently asked questions about seed testing

  • Prevention of epidemics
  • Prevention of the spread of diseases
  • Reduced introduction of other plant species
  • Reduction in the use of plant protection products
  • Improved germination and young plant development
  • Contribution to economical and ecological crop production
  • Contribution to a high quality harvest and high quality fodder
  • Screening test for checking suitability for cultivation and quality condition
  • Protects against economic damage caused by poor field emergence, high weed infestation and high incidence of seed diseases
  • Prevents soil contamination by weed seeds and pathogens
  • Saves high follow-up costs over several years
  • Is only offered for certain crops
  • Cereals:
    • Wheat
    • Rye
    • Durum wheat
    • Barley
    • Triticale
    • Oats
    • Spelt
    • Einkorn
    • Emmer
    • Other cereals on request
  • Buckwheat and millet
  • Large-seeded legumes:
    • Grain and forage pea and chickpea
    • Field bean
    • Vetch
Culture type Included examinations
Barley R, B, TKM, KF, STRIPS
wheat, rye, triticale, spelt, einkorn, emmer R, B, TKM, KF, STONE
Oats, Durum R, B, TKM, KF
Field bean R, B, TKM, KF, ASCO
chickpea, field pea, vetch, seed pea R, B, TKM, KF, ASCO, FUS
Buckwheat R, B, TKM, KF

Legend:

R: Survey of percent pure seed, separated from other seed and breakage, chaff, hulls, excrement, dead/live beetles, etc.

B: Survey of weed seeds, other cultivated seeds and dangerous impurities (e.g. ergot) in pieces.

TKM: thousand grain mass

KF: germination capacity/shooting power under difficult germination conditions near the field

STRIP: stripe disease of barley (Drechslera graminea)

STONE: stone blight (Tilletia spp., Urocystis occulta)

ASCO: Stinging spot disease (Ascochyta spp.)

FUS: Fusarium spp.

No, the purpose of the utility value test is only to provide information on the suitability of the seed for cultivation. The results, which are summarized in a test report, are not a certification. For more information on seed certification, click here.

The sample must:

  • Be well sealed (e.g. bag, shoe box, ....).
  • The sample accompanying bill must not be directly in the sample container, but can be enclosed e.g. in the package to the sample.
  • The quantity to be sent in (approx. 1kg or 1/2kg) should be taken into account, otherwise no proper examination can be guaranteed.
  • Do not use flour sacks as sample sacks (this can influence the stone fire analysis).
  • Do not use spraying agent cartons as an over container (can also influence the examinations).

The sample can be handed in on site or sent by mail to the following address:

AGES GmbH Institute for Seeds and Seedlings, Plant Protection Service and Bees Spargelfeldstraße 191 1220 Vienna, Austria.

You can find the current price list in the downloads at the bottom of the page.

No, only one "pure" cultivar per submitted sample can be tested, no mixtures or blends.

No, we do not sell seeds.

All seed lots approved for organic farming are published in the Organic Seed Database.

Yes, due to

  • Spore abrasion on surfaces
  • Transmission of rock blight spores via all machinery with which they come into contact (e.g. combine harvesters, seed drills, etc.)
  • Often through contract threshing
  • Contamination of originally healthy crop

Cleanable equipment, such as trailers or the seeder should be thoroughly cleaned after contact with contaminated crop.

Seed testing

The Institute for Seeds and Seedlings, Plant Protection Service and Bees offers the following tests:

  • Purity (R): determination of the percentage of pure seeds, separated from other seeds and breakage, chaff, hulls, excrement, dead/living beetles, etc.
  • Extraneous matter (B): survey for weed seeds, other crop seeds, and hazardous contaminants (e.g., ergot) in pieces.
  • Examination of the presence of clover silk (SEIDE)
  • Examination for large-leaved dock (QM)
  • Sieving (S) Sieve throughfall
  • thousand seedmass (TKM): weight of thousand seeds in grams
  • Germination capacity (KF): determination ofgerminable seeds
  • shoot vigor (TK): determination of plants with shoot vigor
  • Fastness (E) for soybean, field bean and oats
  • Water content (W): moisture content in percent
  • Erucic acid content measurement (ERU)
  • Glucosinolate content (GLUCO)

We also offer testing for seed diseases and pests in the following crops:

Testing Code Crop type Macro/Micro*
Infestation with live seed beetles KAE pea, field bean, common bean Macro
Fly blight (Ustilago nuda, Ustilago tritici) FLUG Barley, Wheat Micro
Stone blight (Tilletia spp., Urocystis occulta) STONE Cereals Micro
Stripe disease (Drechslera graminea) STRIP Barley Macro
Leaf and glume blight/septoria (Parastagonospora nodorum) SEP Wheat Macro
Snow mold (Microdochium nivale or majus) SNOW Cereals Macro
Stem blight (Urocystis occulta) STAENG Cereals Micro
Stripe disease (Pyrenohphora avenae) PYRENO Oats Macro
Burn spot disease (Ascochyta spp.) ASCO pea, field bean, vetch Macro
Stinging spot disease (Mycosphaerella pinodes) MYCOS Pea Macro
Diaporthe phaseolorum (Phomopsis complex) DIA Soybean Macro
Fusarium spp. FUS pea, field bean, sugar beet, linseed Macro
Root blight (Phoma betae) PHOMA Sugar beet Micro
Gray mold (Botrytis dinerea) BO_LI Flax Macro
Fusarium lini FUS_LI Flax Macro
Anthracnose (Colletotrichum lini) COL_LI Flax Macro
Stem drought (Ascochyta linicola) ASC_LI Flax Macro
Alternaria linicola (black fungus) A_LINI Flax Macro
Gray mold (Botrytis cinerea) BO_HEL Sunflower Macro
Alternaria dauci (black fungus) A_DAUCI Carrot Micro
Alternaria radicina (blackening fungus) A_RADIC Carrot Micro
Stinging spot disease (Colletotrichum lindemuthianum) COLLET Bean Macro
Anthracnose (Colletotrichum spp.) COLL_L Lupine Macro
Millet blight (Sphaceloteca destruens) SPHACEL Panicle millet Micro

Table Investigation Code Cultivar Macro/Micro.

* Macro: Macroscopically examined are diseases that are visible to the naked eye. Micro: Microscopically examined are diseases that are only visible under the microscope.

Sample collection

We kindly ask you to send each sample together with a sample accompanying bill (form) and send it to

Agency for Health and Food Safety Institute for Seed and Seedlings, Plant Protection Service and Bees Spargelfeldstrasse 191 1220 Vienna

to send.

Note: Mail items without an identifiable sender and/or with visible liquid or oil stains cannot be accepted for security reasons.

In order to place an order with us for the examination of private seed samples, it is necessary to enclose a description of the sample as well as a written order form. Appropriate forms can be found at the bottom of the page under Downloads.

Quantity to be sent in

The amount of samples to be sent depends on the scope of the analysis. In principle, the following quantities apply:

  • Cereals and large seed legumes: approx. 1 kg
  • Other crops: approx. 1/2 kg

Species mixture

  • No joint examination possible, e.g. for vetch-rye mixtures.
  • Examination of only one crop type / sample
  • Please send one "pure" sample per crop type

Sample containers

  • Unused containers e.g. plastic and paper bags, plastic containers ...
  • Avoid contamination of the containers by flour, dust etc.
  • Do not use flour sacks or spraying agent cartons.
  • Careful sealing of the samples
  • Avoid damage, overfilling and bursting of the samples.

Examination and test reports

Examination and test results are always communicated in writing. Results communicated orally or by telephone must be in legally binding written form to be valid. The online transmission of test reports is generally possible if the technical requirements are met.

Prices

The prices for the respective examination can be found in the price list under Downloads at the end of the page.

Value in use test

The utility value test is a so-called screening test and consists of tests that allow an overall assessment of the seed with regard to suitability for cultivation (purity, stocking, germination capacity) and quality condition (health status). The utility value test is intended for raw material samples from the seed industry and for samples from farmers. The utility value of seed (suitability for cultivation or for processing) is determined. A simplified methodology is used compared to accredited methods such as in the seed certification procedure.

Advantages

Utility testing can prevent sustained contamination of soils by weed seeds and pathogens. This also saves often high follow-up costs.

It protects against economic damage due to:

  • poor field emergence
  • high weed infestation and
  • high incidence of seed diseases

Crop types

We offer utility testing for the following crop types:

  • Cereals:
    • Wheat
    • Rye
    • durum wheat
    • Barley
    • Triticale
    • Oats
    • Spelt
    • Einkorn
    • Emmer
    • Other cereals on request
  • Buckwheat and millet
  • Large-seeded legumes:
    • Grain and forage pea and chickpea
    • Field bean
    • Vetch

Scope of testing

We offer screening test with the following checks in reduced scope:

  • Technical purity (R) and thousand grain mass (TKM)
  • Extraneous weed and cultivar seedcontamination (B)
  • Germination capacity / sprouting power (KF) under difficult germination conditions close to the field.

In addition, infestation with the most important seed diseases and pests are examined according to crop type:

  • Stone blight - Tilletia spp, Urocystis occulta (STEIN) in wheat, triticale, rye, einkorn, emmer and spelt.
  • stripe disease - Drechslera graminea (STRIPE) in barley
  • Burn spot disease - Ascochyta spp. (ASCO) in chickpea, field/grain pea, field bean and vetch
  • Fusarium spp. (FUS) in chickpea, field/grain pea and vetch.

The test duration ranges from 12 to 21 days.

Assessment and test report

In the utility test, due to the screening tests used, no test results are reported per trait, but an overall assessment of the seed is reported as follows:

  • the seed is suitable - with indication of the recommended sowing rate per hectare
  • the seed is suitable - after professional processing (with indication of the defect)
  • the seed is suitable - after appropriate dressing (with indication of disease attack)
  • the seed is NOT suitable with the indication of the reason.

Examination or test results are always communicated in writing. Results communicated orally and by telephone require a legally binding written form to be valid. The online transmission of test reports is generally possible if the technical requirements are met.

Sample transmission

We kindly ask you to send each sample together with a sample accompanying form.

Address for submission: AGES GmbH Institute for Seed and Seedlings, Plant Protection Service and Bees Spargelfeldstraße 191 1220 Vienna

Note: Postal items without an identifiable sender and/or with visible liquid or oil stains cannot be accepted at AGES for security reasons.

Quantity to be sent in

A consignment quantity of at least 1 kg is required for submission to the utility value test.

Prices

The current price for the utility value test can be found in the current price list for seed and planting material tests in the downloads at the end of the page.

As your contact for seed and planting material testing, we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about utility value testing.

Cultivation suitability potato

An examination for suitability for cultivation is offered for potatoes grown on the farm. On the one hand, this includes testing for the most important virus diseases of the potato, in particular the leaf roll virus and the Y virus. In addition, a visual inspection of externally visible diseases and damage to the potato is offered, which can also lead to an impairment of the suitability for cultivation.

For the testing, a submission quantity of at least 100 potato tubers is required. We kindly ask you to enclose the filled out sample form with the samples. You can find this at the end of this page under Downloads.

Address for sending samples: Agency for Health and Food Safety Department Potato Testing, Micro- & Molecular Biology Wieningerstrasse 8 4020 Linz

You can also hand in the sample directly at our location in Linz:

Monday to Thursday from 07:30 - 15:30 and Friday from 07:30 - 15:00 or by appointment also outside office hours.

Pickling line certification

The European Seed Treatment Assurance (ESTA) system for the application of seed dressings and the handling of dressed seed was developed by the European Seed Association (ESA) .

The SeedGuard certification system ensures that specified quality standards are implemented and provides a seal of quality for dressed seed in international seed trade.

Certification under the SeedGuard system is based on the voluntary participation of seed processing and treatment stations (in short, seed dressing stations).

AGES GmbH - Certification Body for Products, as a certification body recognized by SeedGuard, offers verification of compliance with the quality standards prescribed by SeedGuard in the form of on-site audits.

For more information, please visit the Link 3 SeedGuard homepage.

We will also be happy to answer your questions at beizstellenzertifizierung@ages.at or +43 (0)50 555 34830 or 34831.

Seed testing Order entry

Note: This form is intended for commercial use by companies (seed companies, farmers, etc.) and is not intended for consumers.

The client agrees to provide visible and clearly legible sender information on letters/packages when sending samples and mail to us and to pack samples so tightly that no substances can escape during transport. Note: Mail items without an identifiable sender and/or with visible liquid or oil stains cannot be accepted for security reasons.

As a general rule, the consignment quantity for cereals and large seed legumes is approx. 1 kg, other crops approx. 0.5 kg.

A utility test is offered exclusively for all cereals, grain and forage pea, field bean and soybean. The following tests are included in this combination package: Extraneous weed and cultivar seeds, germination capacity/shooting power under difficult, near-field germination conditions, technical purity and thousand grain mass, infestation with the most important seed diseases and pests (depending on the type of crop). Based on the test results, you will receive a report with an assessment of the suitability for cultivation. A submission quantity of 1 kg is required for the serviceability test.
 

Order entry

Order propagation by means of tissue culture

Cell and tissue culture uses the possibilities of regenerating complete plants from single cells or cell assemblies (tissues) under sterile conditions in glass (= in vitro) on special nutrient media.

The forming tissue of plants is called meristem. Meristems consist of undifferentiated cells from which any cell of a plant can arise. This is exploited in tissue culture: The meristems of the plants to be propagated are dissected out of shoot tips or leaf axils and applied to special nutrient media; they in turn give rise to new, healthy plantlets.

As a rule, meristems are free of pathogens and thus serve to obtain healthy mother plants. If necessary, in addition to meristem cutting, plants can first be treated with heat, known as thermotherapy or chemotherapy, to kill any pathogens present. Molecular biological tests can be used to determine whether pathogens are still present. This detection is also necessary for obtaining pathogen-free plant and seed material.

Our offer

We have many years of experience with in vitro propagation of crops (potato, elderberry, garlic, pome fruit, banana), woody plants (willow, wild service tree), ornamental plants (alocasia) and medicinal plants (yellow gentian, cyclamen). Based on this experience we can offer the following services:

  • Method development for cell and tissue culture of plants for which there are no established methods yet
  • Production of small series of difficult-to-cultivate plant varieties under conditions specifically tailored to the species in question (from in-cultivation to rooted plants acclimatized in a glasshouse)
  • Micropropagation of species that cannot be propagated or are difficult to propagate by cuttings
  • Meristem culture and thermo- or chemotherapy for pathogen liberation of plant material (liberation of virus S in potato)
  • Development or optimization of in vitro culture protocols up to culture protocols for hardening off and further cultivation of plants in glasshouses (for more information click here)
  • In vitro long-term preservation of valuable plants without the influence of weather and infection pressure by pests (preservation of genetic resources)

Numerous useful and ornamental plants are subject to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. This means that trade in them is severely restricted or prohibited. Propagation by cell and tissue culture therefore also serves as proof of origin that the plants obtained in this way were not taken from wild stocks and were thus produced in accordance with international species protection regulations.

Moreover, endangered plant species that are difficult to propagate by cuttings or seeds can be preserved in this way.

Ornamental and medicinal plants

Cell and tissue culture has many applications in ornamental plant cultivation: New cultivars or species that are difficult to propagate with cuttings can be propagated more easily than is possible with classical methods. Phenotypic mutations, which are particularly desired in ornamental plant cultivation (for example, altered flower color, leaf shape or variegated leaves) can be lost with conventional propagation. Here, too, in vitro culture can be used successfully.

Another field of application is the propagation of medicinal plants for pharmaceutical purposes. The active ingredient content of medicinal plants can vary greatly, depending, for example, on climatic or regional conditions. Cell and tissue culture can be used to propagate plants with a high active ingredient content in a targeted manner and under uniform conditions.

Testing and technical test facilities

Through its four reference stations, our experimental system covers all major climatic and soil conditions (reference environments) of the Austrian arable farming regions.

Due to the four "reference environments" or reference stations (Northern Alpine, Northern Alpine-Baltic, Pannonian and Illyrian-Southern Alpine) and about 150 trials in scattered locations at 75 different sites, we have the right infrastructure and experience to deal with all relevant agronomic, economic and scientific issues of crop production.

The technical trial facilities represent another important part of our service potential. This department has modern glasshouse infrastructures, climatic chambers, phytotrons, a vessel and a testing station at its disposal in Vienna and Linz.

Your advantages:

  • Know-how and many years of experience for all questions concerning the corresponding reference environment as well as regional cultures and production methods.
  • Optimized use of machinery and personnel as well as a targeted education and training program.
  • The increase in quality leads to a clear competitive advantage for us and our customers or partners in industry and research.

Reference stations

Experimental setups in the field, in protected cultivation and in the laboratory are carried out for both official and private-sector services.

Services and equipment

Competence in conducting and supervising:

  • Trials for variety approval and variety issues
  • Organic variety value testing
  • Control, reference and monitoring trials
  • Fertilization trials, treatment trials
  • Conservation cultivation of plant genetic resources
  • Trials within the framework of (research) projects, studies and external contracts
  • Expert advice on technical equipment and methodology in line with the current state of science and technology
  • Use of state-of-the-art hardware and software products

Mobile plot trial technology:

  • Cultivation - Drill and precision seeding: self-propelled or tractor-drawn seed drills and precision seeders.
  • Maintenance: hoeing equipment, fertilizer spreaders and crop protection equipment for trial-specific and plot-specific use
  • Harvesting: six combines for grain harvesting with weighing system (green forage harvester, silage corn harvester, potato harvester, pumpkin harvester)

Conduct precision trials from planning to reporting:

  • Trial design and plot selection
  • Experiment execution: sowing, care - fertilization, plant protection, cultivation work, harvest, harvest sample processing
  • Mobile electronic field data collection
  • Field observations and bonituren
  • Trial evaluation
  • Reporting

Trial data collection:

  • Crop data: Soil tillage incl. seedbed preparation, mechanical maintenance, fertilization, plant protection.
  • Field observations and bonits: vegetation observations, disease observations
  • Yield evaluation: plot yield, yield parameters (water, TKG, HLG, sieving, starch,...)

Competence center in field trials as well as for fruit growing and viticulture for the Pannonian climate region.

The reference station is formed by the experimental stations Fuchsenbigl and Grossnondorf as well as a mobile experimental team and the field station Stammersdorf.

Reference environment:

  • Dry, deep soils with partly negative water balance (drought stress, irrigation sites).
  • Market crop farms with a focus on cereals (e.g. quality wheat production), sugar beet, potatoes and in the immediate vicinity of urban centers
  • In some cases high input use and associated potential impacts on food (nitrate, pesticide residues,...).

Main focus:

  • Trials and variety value testing within the variety approval procedure including bio-value testing (winter and spring wheat, winter rye, winter triticale, durum wheat, winter and spring barley, sugar beet, sunflower, winter rape, oil pumpkin, grain pea, potato, maize, soybean, alfalfa).
  • Variety register tests (DUS testing) for cereals, maize, grain pea, oil pumpkin, poppy seed
  • EC control, monitoring and training plots
  • Control of maintenance breeding
  • Pre- and post-control including GMO monitoring
  • Assessment of seed multiplication plots in the course of field certification
  • Soil health trials (secondary raw material fertilizers, organic fertilizers, NPK step trials)
  • Trials in fruit growing and viticulture
  • Assessment of and participation in the authorization of external trial organizers
  • Execution of experiments for internal and external clients, participation in the determination of the experimental design in relation to the research question.

Competence center for:

  • Cereals
  • Beet
  • Sunflower
  • Control cultivation for cereals, maize, pumpkin and soybean
  • Register inspection for cereals, corn, pumpkin
  • EDP development
  • EDP maintenance and repair

Competence center in field testing for the northern alpine climate area.

The reference station is formed from the Grabenegg experimental station.

Reference environment:

  • Mostly heavy clay-rich soils under cool-temperate humid climatic influence with partly long and high snow accumulations (criterion winter hardiness test).
  • Market crop and livestock farms with emphasis on corn and field fodder production, cereals
  • Mycotoxin problems in feedstuffs.

Main focus:

  • Trials and variety value testing as part of the variety approval procedure including winter hardiness testing (winter and spring wheat, winter and spring barley, winter triticale, winter rye, winter and spring rapeseed, corn, field bean, grain pea, soybean, sunflower, poppy, forage legumes and forage grasses as well as catch crops and special crops
  • Variety register tests (DUS testing) for cereals, potato, field bean, forage legumes and catch crops
  • EC, control, monitoring and training plots
  • Assessment of seed multiplication plots in the course of field recognition
  • Control of maintenance breeding, pre- and post-control including GMO monitoring
  • Trials on soil health (NPK step trial) Trials on plant health, forecast model development, new plant protection strategies and trials with ÖPUL reference
  • Propagation and renewal cultivation in the course of the conservation of plant genetic resources
  • Assessment and participation in the authorization of external trial providers,
  • Execution of experiments for internal and external clients, participation in the definition of the experimental design in relation to the research question
  • Technical and EDP-oriented further development of the test technology

Competence center for:

  • Grain rape
  • Field bean
  • Pea
  • Control cultivation for grasses, small and large seed legumes, cruciferous plants
  • Register inspection for potato, and other crops
  • Planning of inter-farm machinery use
  • EDP maintenance/repair
  • Fertilizer trials
  • Plant protection product trials

Reference experimental stations and competence center in field testing for the northern alpine and Baltic climatic region.

The reference station is formed by the experimental stations Linz, Hagenberg and Schönfeld.

Reference environment:

  • Same as reference station Northern Alpine and additionally Baltic with medium to light, shallow soils during very cold winters with rather low snow levels (criterion winter hardiness test).
  • Market fruit and livestock farms with emphasis on potato and field fodder production, cereals, maize
  • increasing share of crop production for biogas production, demand for high biomass yields
  • Potential mycotoxin contamination of harvested products.

Focus areas:

  • Trials and variety value testing as part of the variety approval process including bio-value testing and winter hardiness testing (winter wheat, winter barley, winter rye, winter triticale, spring barley, spring wheat, oats, corn, winter oilseed rape, grain pea, soybean, poppy, potato, forage legumes and forage grasses, and catch crops)
  • EC control, monitoring and training plots mainly for potato
  • propagation and renewal cultivation in the course of plant genetic resources conservation
  • Assessment of seed multiplication areas in the course of field recognition
  • Assessment of and assistance in the authorization of external trial organizers
  • Execution of experiments for internal and external clients, participation in the determination of the experimental design in relation to the research question

Competence center for:

  • Potato
  • Forage grasses & clover
  • Other crops
  • Control cultivation for potato
  • Planning of inter-farm machinery use
  • Field recognition
  • Genetic resources (gene bank)

Reference experimental stations and competence center in field testing for the Illyrian and Southern Alpine climatic region.

The reference station is formed by the experimental stations Gleisdorf and Hörzendorf.

Reference environment:

  • Deep soils with sufficient rainfall and good temperature distribution.
  • Market fruit and livestock farms with a focus on maize, oil pumpkin and cereals (e.g. mycotoxin problems in animal feed)
  • Increasing share of crop production for biogas production with the demand for high biomass yields

Focus areas:

  • Trials and variety value testing as part of the variety approval process, including bio-value testing (winter wheat, winter barley, spring barley, spring wheat winter triticale, oats, corn, soybean, grain pea, oil pumpkin, lupins)
  • Monitoring and training plots
  • Assessment of seed multiplication plots in the course of field recognition
  • Assessment of and participation in the authorization of external trial organizers
  • Execution of experiments for internal and external clients, participation in the determination of the experimental design in relation to the research question

Competence center for:

  • Maize
  • Oil pumpkin
  • Soybean

Technical test facilities

Due to our expertise and infrastructure, we are able to offer very high quality in plant production. Therefore, we are a professional and interesting partner for companies as well as for drug manufacturers.

In Vienna and Linz we offer a modern glasshouse infrastructure, climatic chambers, phytotrons, a vascular testing station and a lysimeter facility. The technical experimental facilities have 3,000m² of high glasshouse space with 77 autonomous compartments where climate, irrigation and fertilization can be precisely controlled. The required parameters are monitored 24 hours a day and immediately adjusted in case of deviations. The plants are horticulturally supervised by us seven days a week.

We have many years of experience with trials and research projects concerning all questions of phytopathology, plant breeding and plant nutrition and are at your disposal as a service provider and universal contractor for planning, calculation, execution, evaluation and reporting of exact trials.

We offer a modern research glasshouse with a high glass area of 3,000 m² for experiments in the field of plant nutrition, phytopathology and plant breeding and rearing.

The fully automated computer-controlled facility is of composite construction and divided into 77 autonomous compartments, each compartment being an autonomous unit in terms of climate control, irrigation, fertilization and lighting. All parameters can be visualized by the control room computer.

The outer standing walls are made of Thermoplus glass and the roof surfaces are made of blank glass. Temperature control is provided by convector and under-table heating, roof and standing wall ventilation, and a combined shading/heating screen. Two compartments are additionally equipped with evaporative coolers. Humidity is controlled by a high-pressure fogging system, which is also suitable for cooling at temperatures above 27° C.

The additional lighting can be controlled by two circuits per compartment, both assimilative and photoperiodic, simultaneously with different types of lamps (sodium vapor, metal halide) and allows quantum density up to 400 µEinstein.

For the automatic irrigation and fertilization system, partially desalinated water of about 10 µs is available in addition to industrial water. Water can be supplied by ebb and flow system, drip irrigation or via bato sprinklers.

In addition to the other cabins and compartments, a cabin suitable for isotope use and an earth house are available. Six fully air-conditioned vector-safe cabins are equipped with thermal wastewater disinfection. The supply and exhaust air is disinfected by HEPA filters.

Furthermore, there is a rolling house (8 x 34 m), which can be used e.g. for infection experiments as well as a cold frame for cultivation and overwintering of young plants.

The phytotron consists of two cabins in which the temperature, humidity, illuminance and CO2 content of the air can be controlled. Phytotrons can thus be used to fully simulate a wide range of environmental conditions.

For example, the current climate can be compared with a climate scenario in which increased temperature and increased CO2 content of the air prevail along with water stress.

The facility consists of two separate walk-in phytocells, each with a usable area of approx. 7 m² and a clear height of 2.07 m.

CO2 control: To simulate environmental conditions, the two cells can each be gassed via a CO2 dosing device, or the concentration can also be lowered. The CO2 absorption of the plants can be measured by an analyzer.

Lighting: Growth light: assimilation-effective light from Na vapor and metal halide lamps, as well as fluorescent tubes at a distance of 50 cm from the light plane. The lamp compartment is made of UV-resistant but still UV-transmissive material.

Light switching is possible in 4 steps up to 30,000 lx with 12 lamps 250 W NaH / 12 lamps 250 W HQ.

Air humidity: 30 - 90 % rH (tolerance: 5 % rH absolute)

Air temperature: + 5°C to + 30° C temporally and spatially (tolerance: 1°C )

Air velocity: at the discharge opening max. 0.2 m/sec

Air flow: vertically through the floor, fresh air supply can be regulated or switched off (65 m³/h)

Lysimeter studies provide a continuous record of data on basic parameters of water balance, nutrient and pollutant dynamics of soils. The matter dynamics prevailing in lysimeters provide a satisfactory approximation of field conditions.

The matter balance of agroecosystems is influenced to a greater or lesser extent by measures such as organic (farm manure, sewage sludge) and mineral fertilization, pesticide use, intensity and type of tillage, crop rotation, irrigation measures, atmospheric deposition, etc.,.

Of particular importance is knowledge of stress causes, stress pathways and mechanisms of action. From this, strategies for the regeneration of stressed and the preservation of intact agroecosystems can be derived.

Location: Climatically, the lysimeter site is located in a transitional area between the Western European climatic region (mild winters and wet, cool summers) and the Eastern European climatic region (cold winters, hot summers). From the point of view of vegetation ecology, the area already belongs entirely to the Pannonian. In this area, average annual temperatures of about 9.5°C and total annual precipitation of about 550-600 mm can be expected. The lysimeter site is located at an elevation of 160 m above sea level.

Both the site of the lysimeter plant and the sampling sites of the soils Fuchsenbigl and Orth an der Donau belong to the main production area Northeastern Plain and Hills and the small production area Marchfeld.

The Marchfeld is an intensively used arable farming area. This area is also called the "granary of Austria". In order to bridge occurring dry periods, irrigation is used in this area. The main crops of the Marchfeld are cereals (quality wheat), sugar beet, field vegetables and table potatoes. Due to intensive arable farming and artificial irrigation, this area is particularly affected by high nutrient discharge into the groundwater.

Equipment: 18 round steel vessels filled with three different soil types from the Marchfeld as well as probe equipment for the measurement of groundwater pollution by agricultural measures (fertilization, crop rotation, pesticides, etc.).

Each lysimeter vessel is equipped with:

  • a tipping bucket incl. leachate collector: the tipping bucket is designed as a double rocker with 4 ml bucket volume and records the leachate quantities quantitatively with time resolution
  • Tensiometer with temperature sensor at 30 cm intervals down to a soil depth of 210 cm: Tensiometers are in contact with the soil water via a ceramic candle head, resulting in a pressure transfer of the soil water pressure to the pressure transducer of the tensiometer. This allows statements to be made about the soil water balance as a function of the soil type and pore distribution. In combination with a temperature probe, the influence of the soil temperature on the material turnover is recorded.
  • TDR probes at 30 cm intervals down to a soil depth of 180 cm: The TDR method (Time Domain Reflectometry) allows the determination of the water content in the soil by determining the round trip time of an electromagnetic wave emitted by the probe. This directly detects the volumetric water content of the soil and allows seepage fronts to be tracked.
  • Suction candles at 30 cm intervals down to a soil depth of 210 cm: Via a pressure control system, soil water is extracted by means of a diaphragm vacuum pump by applying a suction voltage and sucked into the collection bottles provided for this purpose. Soil water extraction can be carried out individually for the respective soil depths. This makes it possible to record the material composition of the soil water in the individual soil depths.

Weather station: The weather station can measure the following values:

  • Air temperature at 2 m height
  • Near-ground air temperature at 5 cm above ground level
  • Relative humidity at 2 m height
  • Air pressure
  • Wind speed at 10 m height
  • Precipitation measurement at 1 m height
  • Precipitation measurement at ground level
  • Soil temperature at 10 cm, 30 cm, 60 cm and 90 cm soil depth

Data acquisition: For data acquisition, each lysimeter as well as the weather station is assigned its own data logger. Every ten minutes a data average is formed and recorded.

Cold house with Kick-Brauckmann vessels for testing of:

  • Useful and harmful effects of agricultural inputs
  • Drought or water stress
  • Over- and undersupply of nutrients
  • Testing of active substances

Technique: In the vessel testing station at the Vienna Spargelfeldstraße site, it is possible to carry out scientific experiments in plant pots under controlled outdoor conditions. Over 1,000 vessels can be set up on an area of almost 500 m².

The floor space is provided by 66 mobile tables, each designed to accommodate 16 Kick-Brauckmann pots (specially shaped plastic pots 26 cm high, 30 cm in diameter, 8 l in volume).

The roof and the side walls are glazed. This glazing - both the roof and the side walls - is usually open. In case of rain and strong wind and extreme temperatures, the glazing is automatically closed by the greenhouse computer. The entire vascular experimental station is covered with a plastic bird net.

Contact

Leitung

Mag. Bernhard Föger

Leitung

DI Andreas Ratzenböck

Last updated: 20.01.2022

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