Experimentation and technical testing facilities

Changed on: 18.11.2016

AGES experimentation and testing covers all essential climate and soil conditions (reference environments) for Austrian agricultural regions at its four reference stations.
AGES provides optimal conditions for all relevant horticultural, business and scientific issues in plant cultivation at its test facilities, organized in four reference environment zones or reference stations (Alpine North, Alpine North - Baltics, Pannonian and Illyrian - Alpine South) and about 150 trials in scattered areas at 75 different locations.

The technical testing facilities represent another important part of the AGES service range. This department uses modern greenhouse infrastructure, climate chambers, phytotrons, a container test station and a lysimeter facility in Vienna and Linz.

Benefits for customers and partners

  • Know-how and long-term experience in all issues of the relevant reference environment and  regional cultures and production methods.
  • Competence for customers and partners.
  • Optimised used of equipment and staff, as well as target-oriented education and training programme.
  • Quality increase leads to a clear competitive advantage (USP) for us, our customers and research.

AGES experimentation and testing covers all essential climate and soil conditions (reference environments) for Austrian agricultural regions at its four reference stations.
AGES provides optimal conditions for all relevant horticultural, business and scientific issues in plant cultivation at its test facilities, organized in four reference environment zones or reference stations (Alpine North, Alpine North - Baltics, Pannonian and Illyrian - Alpine South) and about 150 trials in scattered areas at 75 different locations.

The technical testing facilities represent another important part of the AGES service range. This department uses modern greenhouse infrastructure, climate chambers, phytotrons, a container test station and a lysimeter facility in Vienna and Linz.

Benefits for customers and partners

  • Know-how and long-term experience in all issues of the relevant reference environment and  regional cultures and production methods.
  • Competence for customers and partners.
  • Optimised used of equipment and staff, as well as target-oriented education and training programme.
  • Quality increase leads to a clear competitive advantage (USP) for us, our customers and research.

Reference stations

Field trials in protected cultivation and the lab are conducted for official and private purposes.

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Karte mit Referenzstationen in Österreich
Karte mit Referenzstationen in Österreich

Reference Stations:

Pannonian [green]

Pannonian [green]

Competence centre in field trials and for fruit and wine cultivation in the Pannonian climate region.

The reference station consists of:


Head of Reference Station:

Friedrich Platz
Telephone: +43 (0) 50 555 34451
Mobile: +43 (0) 664 839 80 60
Address: 2042 Guntersdorf, Grossnondorf 109

Processing Area/Aufarbeitungsraum VST Grossnondorf
Telephone: +43 (0) 50 555 34452


Reference environment: 

Dry, deep with partly negative water balance (drought stress, irrigation location);
Commercial crop farms focusing on cereals (e.g. quality wheat production), sugar beet, potatoes, and close to metropolitan areas;
Partial high use of resources and potential effects on food products (nitrates, pesticide residues,…);

Focus:

  • Tests and VCU (value for cultivation) tests as part of the variety registration process, including a test on seed environmental friendliness (winter and summer wheat, winter rye, winter triticale, durum wheat, winter and summer barley, sugar beet, sunflowers, winter rape seeds, oil pumpkin, grain pea, potato, maize, soya bean, alfalfa)  

  • DUS (distinctiveness, uniformity and stability) tests for cereals, maize, grain peas, oil pumpkin, poppies 

  • EC control, monitoring and training plots 

  • Inspections for conservation cultivation

  • Pre- and follow-up inspections, including GMO monitoring

  • Inspection of seed propagation areas as part of cultivation suitability tests 

  • Tests on soil health (secondary resource fertilisers, organic fertilisers, NPK multiple stage tests) 

  • Fruit and vine cultivation Trials 

  • Inspection and assistance in the authorisation of external test facilities 

  • Conducting of tests for internal and external customers, assisting in determining query-focused test design.


Competence Centre for:

  • Cereals

  • Beets

  • Sunflowers

  • Cultivation tests for cereals, maize, pumpkins and soy 

  • Index test for cereals, maize, pumpkins 

  • IT development 

  • IT maintenance and repair

Alpine North [blue]

Alpine North [blue]

Competence centre for field experiments in the Northern Alpine climate region.

The reference station consists of:


Head of Reference Station:

Ing. Harald Bock
Telephone: +43 (0) 50 555 34400
Mobile: +43 (0) 664 839 80 59
Address: 3244 Ruprechtshofen, Grabenegg 1


Reference environment:

Mainly heavy, clay-rich soils in a moderate-cool, humid climate with occasionally long and heavy periods of snow (criterion winter hardiness test); commercial crop and livestock farms focusing on maize and field forage, cereals. Mycotoxin issues in feedstuffs.

Focus:

  • Tests and VCU tests as part of the variety registration process, including winter survival tests (winter and summer wheat, winter and summer barley, winter triticale, winter rye, winter and summer rape seeds, maize, field bean, grain bean, soya bean, sunflowers, poppy seeds, feed legumes and feed grass, catch crops and special cultures
  • DUS tests for cereals, potatoes, field beans, feed legumes and catch crops
  • EC control, monitoring and training plots
  • Inspection of seed propagation areas as part of the cultivation suitability test
  • Maintenance of variety controls, pre- and follow-up tests including GMO monitoring
  • Soil health (NPK stage) experiments, plant health experiments, development of forecast models, new plant protection strategies and experiments with regards to ÖPUL
  • Propagation and renewal planting in respect to maintaining plant-genetic resources 
  • Inspection and collaboration in the authorisation of external experimental facilities
  • Conducting of experiments for internal and external clients, participating in the determination of query-focused experiment design
  • Technical and IT-oriented development in experimentation techniques

Competence centre for:

  • Rapeseed 
  • Field beans 
  • Peas
  • Cultivation tests for grass, small and large-seeded legumes, cruciferous plants
  • Index test for potatoes and other cultures
  • Planning the use of machines on several farms
  • IT maintenance/repair
  • Fertiliser tests and trials
  • Experiments and tests for plant protection products

Alpine North Baltics [orange]

Alpine North Baltics [orange]

Reference test stations and competence centre for field trials in the Northern Alpine Baltic climate region.

The reference station consists of:

Head of the Reference Station:

Ing. Josef Traxler
Telephone: +43 (0) 50 555 34207
Mobile: +43 (0) 664 839 80 51
Address: 4240 Freistadt, Galgenau 32


Reference environment:

Like reference station Alpine North (see above) and additional Baltic with medium to light, shallow soils; very cold winters with snow in lower areas (criterion winter hardiness test).
Commercial fruit and livestock farms focusing on potatoes and field feed production, cereals, maize. Increasing share of plant production for organic gas production, demand for high biomass yields.
Harvested products might be contaminated with mycotoxins.


Focus:

  • Tests and screenings as part of the variety registration process, including a test seed environmental friendliness and winter hardiness test (winter wheat, winter barley, winter rye, winter triticale, summer wheat, oats, maize, winter rapeseed, grain peas, soya beans, poppy seeds, potatoes, fodder legumes and grasses, catch crops)
  • EC control, monitoring and training plots, especially for potatoes 
  • Propagation and renewal planting in respect to maintaining plant-genetic resources 
  • Inspection of seed propagation areas as part of the cultivation suitability test 
  • Inspection and assistance in the authorisation of external test facilities 
  • Conducting of experiments for internal and external clients, participating in the determination of query-focused experiment design


Competence Centre for:

  • Potatoes
  • Forage grass  & clover 
  • Other cultures 
  • Cultivation test for potatoes 
  • Planning the use of machines on several farms 
  • Cultivation suitability tests
  • Genetic resources (gene bank)

Illyrian – Alpine South [red]

Illyrian – Alpine South [red]

Reference test stations and competence centre for field trials in the Illyric and Alpine South climate region.

The reference station consists of

Head of Reference Station:

Ing. Bernhard Muchitsch
Telephone: +43 (0) 3112 5020
Mobile: +43 (0) 664 839 80 58
Address: 8200 Gleisdorf, Am Tieberhof 33a

Reference environment:

Deep soils with sufficient precipitation, even temperature distribution
Commercial fruit and livestock farms focusing on maize, oil pumpkins and cereals (including mycotoxin issues in feedstuffs). Increasing share of plant production for organic gas production, demand for high biomass yields.


Focus:

  • Tests and screenings as part of the variety registration process, including a test on seed environmental friendliness and winter hardiness test (winter wheat, winter barley, summer wheat, summer barley, winter triticale, oats, maize, soya beans, oil pumpkins, lupines)
    Monitoring and training plots
  • Inspection of seed propagation areas as part of the cultivation suitability test
  • Inspection and assistance in the authorisation of external test facilities 
  • Conducting of experiments for internal and external clients, participating in the determination of query-focused experiment design

Competence centre for:

  • Maize 
  • Oil pumpkins
  • Soya beans

Services and equipment

Services and equipment

Competence in carrying out and assisting with:

  • Tests for variety registration, questions on varieties 
  • Test on seed environmental friendliness 
  • Surveillance, reference (OECD, EC,…) and monitoring tests 
  • Fertiliser tests, treatment tests 
  • Maintenance cultivation of plant genetic resources 
  • Tests as part of (research) projects, studies and external projects
  • Expert knowledge, technological equipment and methods, in line with the latest scientific and technological findings 
  • Use of the latest hard and software

Mobile plot testing technique:

  • Cultivation – seed drill and precision seeding; self-propelled or tractor-pulled seed drill or precision seeder machines
  • Maintenance; hoeing machines, fertiliser spreader and plant protection machines for test and plot-specific use 
  • Harvest; 6 combined harvesters for cereal harvests with weighing system (green fodder, silage maize harvester, potato harvester, pumpkin harvester)

Conducting precision tests from planning to reporting:

  • Planning of tests and area selection
  • Conducting of tests; seeding, maintenance – fertilisers, plant protection, culture work, harvests, processing of harvest samples
  • Mobile, electronic field data acquisition
  • Field observation and assessments
  • Test evaluations
  • Reporting

Acquisition of test data:

  • Culture data; tillage incl. seed bed preparation, mechanical maintenance work, fertilisers, plant protection
  • Field observation and assessments; observation of vegetation and diseases 
  • Yield evaluation; plot yield, yield parameters (water,  TGW, HLW, sieving, strength,…)

Technological equipment

Technological equipment

AGES offers very high quality plant production thanks to its expertise and infrastructure. This makes it an interesting, professional partner for companies and, given the legal framework, also for pharmaceutical manufacturers.

You have access to a modern greenhouse infrastructure, climate chambers, phytotrons, one container test station and a lysimeter facility in Vienna and Linz. The technological test facilities include a 3,000 m² greenhouse area with 77 independent compartments in which climate, irrigation and fertilisers can be managed very accurately.

The parameters required are monitored 24/7 and are readjusted in case of any deviations. Horticultural care is provided 7 days per week. 

We have many years of experience in conducting experiments and research projects concerning all issues relating to phytopathology, plant growing and plant nutrition and are your modern service contact and universal contractor for planning, calculating, carrying out, assessing and reporting of exact experiments.

 

Wir haben langjährige Erfahrung mit Versuchen und Forschungsprojekten in allen Fragen der Phytopathologie, Pflanzenzüchtung und Pflanzenernährung und sind Ihr moderner Dienstleister und universeller Auftragnehmer zur Planung, Kalkulation, Durchführung, Auswertung und Berichtlegung von Exaktversuchen.

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High-pressure sprinkler system in a greenhouse compartment
Hochdrucksprühnebelanlage in einem Gewächsabteil
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Greenhouse compartment with vegetation light
Glashausabteil mit Vegetationslicht

Equipment:

Greenhouse facility

Greenhouse facility

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Glashauseinrichtung der AGES
Glashauseinrichtung der AGES
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Glashaus der AGES am Standort Linz
Glashaus der AGES am Standort Linz
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Quarantänekabinen am Standort Wien
Quarantänekabinen am Standort Wien
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Düngermischeinrichtung
Düngermischeinrichtung im Glashaus
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Hochdrucksprühnebelanlage in einem Gewächsabteil
Hochdrucksprühnebelanlage in einem Gewächsabteil

Modern research greenhouse with a glass surface of 3,000 m² for experiments in the field of plant nutrition, phytopathology and plant growth.

The fully automatic, computer-operated facility is a compound construction consisting of 77 autonomous compartments, each of which represents an independent unit in terms of climate management, irrigation, fertilisers and light, if required.

All parameters can be visualised, recorded and illustrated graphically via the supervisory computer system.

The outside walls are clad with Thermoplus insulation glass and the ceiling with float glass. The temperature is regulated via convector and under-bench heating, ceiling and wall ventilation systems, as well as a combined shade/heat screen; two compartments are equipped with condensation coolers.
Air humidity is regulated via a high-pressure fog system, which can also be used for cooling at temperatures of above 27° C.

Additional lights can be controlled via two circuits for each compartment, either in an assimilative or photoperiodic manner, parallel with different lamp types (sodium vapour, metal halide) and provide a quantum density of 400 µEinstein.

The automated irrigation and fertiliser system uses service water and partially desalinated water with approx. 10 µs. The water supply is provided via an ebb and flow system, drip irrigation or via Bato sprinklers.

There is one chamber equipped for the use of isotopes and one soil house, in addition to the chambers and compartments.

Six fully climatized vector-secure chambers are equipped with thermal waste water disinfection. HEPA filters keep the air flowing into and from the chamber sterile.

An 8 x 34 m greenhouse with folding roof that can be used for infection experiments, for example, and a cold frame facility to cultivate and hibernate young plants.

Phytotron (research greenhouse)

Phytotron (research greenhouse)

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Exterior view of the phytotrons
Außenansicht der Phytotrones (Pflanzenwuchskammer)
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Interior of a phytotron
Innenansicht eines Phytotrones (Pflanzenwuchskammer) mit Pflanzen

Description:
Two chambers in which temperature, air humidity, illumination level and CO2 levels are  computer-regulated to fully simulate environmental conditions.
Phytotrons can be used to simulate various different environmental conditions. Thus, the current climate could be compared to a climate scenario that features increased temperatures, higher CO2 levels and water stress.
The facility consists of two separate phytocells, with a floor space of about 7 m² and a clear height of 2.07 m each.

CO2 regulation:
The CO2 levels can be increased or decreased using a CO2 dosing apparatus to simulate specific environmental conditions. Plant CO2 absorption can be measured via an analytical device.

Illumination:
Growth illumination: assimilation-effective light from sodium-vapour and metal-halide lamps, as well as fluorescent tubes about 50 cm from the light level. Lamp casing made of UV-retardant, but UV-permeable materials.
Light controls with four levels up to a maximum of 30,000 lux with 12 lamps 250 W NaH / 12 lamps 250 W HQ.

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

Air temperature:
+ 5°C to + 30° C seasonal and spatial (tolerance: 1°C )

Air speed:
max. 0.2 m/sec at the vent opening

Airflow:
Through the floor, vertically; fresh air flow can be controlled or switched off (65 m³/h)

Lysimeter

Lysimeter

Lysimeter tests allow for the continuous recording of data for basic parameters in the water supply and nutrient and pollutant dynamics of soils. The dynamics of nutrients in lysimeters provide an acceptable, approximate simulation of free-range conditions.

The nutrient cycle of agricultural ecosystems is more or less influenced by actions, such as organic (commercial fertilizer, sewage sludge) and mineral fertilisation, use of pesticides, intensity and type of soil preparation, crop rotation, sprinkling, atmospheric depositions etc.

Knowledge about causes of pollution, pollution vectors and effect mechanisms is of particular importance to find strategies to regenerate polluted and maintain intact agricultural ecosystems.

Location:

The lysimeter facility is located from a climate perspective in a transition area between the Western European Climate Zone (mild winter, humid, cool summers) and the Eastern European Climate Zone (cold winters; hot summers). However, the location is considered part of the Pannonian region from a vegetational-ecological perspective. An annual temperature average of around 9.5°C and annual average of precipitation of 550-600 mm are typical for this region. The facility is 160 m above sea level.

Both the location of the lysimeter facility and the locations where the soil samples are taken in Fuchsenbigl and Orth an der Donau are part of the main production region Northeastern lowland and hillside and the minor production region Marchfeld. The Marchfeld is an area used intensively for agriculture. It is also known as “Austria’s breadbasket”. Irrigation is used in this region to bridge occasional drought periods. The main crops in the Marchfeld region are cereals (quality wheat), sugarbeet, field vegetables and potatoes.

Intensive agricultural use and artificial irrigation causes a major problem as important nutrients are washed into the groundwater.

Equipment:

A total of 18 round steel containers with three different types of soil from the Marchfeld region equipped with probes to measure groundwater pollution caused by agricultural activities (fertilisers, crop rotation, pesticides, etc.)

Each lysimeter container is equipped with:

  • Tipping gauge incl. collector for seepage water: the tipping gauge is equipped with a double seesaw and a tip volume of 4 ml, recording the amount of seepage water at varying time intervals.
  • Tensiometer with temperature sensors at distances of 30 cm, reaching down to 210 cm into the soil: the tensiometer is over the top of a ceramic tube in contact with the groundwater so that the pressure of the groundwater is transferred to the pressure sensor of the device. This helps to find out about the soil’s water balance depending on the soil type and the distribution of pores. Combined with a temperature sensor, the tensiometer also records the impact of soil temperature on the nutrient cycle. 
  • TDR probes at distances of 30 cm, reaching down to 180 cm into the soil: the TDR method (Time Domain Reflectometry) makes it possible to determine the water levels in the soil by measuring the reflections of electromagnetic waves transmitted by the probe. It records the volumetric water level in the soil and is able to trace seepage water  depths.
  • Suction tubes at distances of 30 cm, reaching down to 210 cm into the soil: a membrane vacuum pump is used in combination with a pressure regulator to create suction tension to suck groundwater into the collection containers. It is possible to take groundwater samples from different soil depths individually and analyse the combination of nutrients in the groundwater of the individual soil layers. 

Weather station:

Air temperature 2 m above the ground; air temperature 5 cm above the ground; relative air humidity 2 m above the ground; air pressure; wind speed 10 m above the soil; precipitation gauging 1 m above the ground; precipitation gauging at ground level; soil temperatures 10 cm, 30 cm, 60 cm and 90 cm below the ground.

Data recording:

Each lysimeter and weather station has its own data logger to record the data. A data average is created and recorded every 10 minutes.

Container Test Station

Container Test Station

Greenhouse with Kick Brauckmann Containers to test:

  • Positive and negative effects of agricultural Inputs 
  • Drought and water stress 
  • Over and undersupply of nutrients 
  • Test of active substances

Technology:

The container test station provides the opportunity to carry out scientific experiments in plant containers under controlled outdoor conditions. More than 1,000 containers can be set up in an area of almost 500 square meters.

The area is equipped with 66 mobile tables built in a way that each can carry 16 Kick Brauckmann pots (specially designed plastic containers; height: 26 cm, diameter: 30 m, volume: 8 l ).

The roof and walls of the greenhouse are made of glass. Both the retractable roof and walls are usually kept open, but will be closed automatically by the greenhouse control computer system during rain, strong wind and extreme temperatures. The entire test station is covered with a plastic bird net for protection.

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Container test station with folding top
Gefäßversuchsstation mit Rolldach

Contact

General contact

Telephone: +43(0)5 0555 34901 bzw. 33326
Fax: +43(0)5 0555 34909
Spargelfeldstraße 191
1220 Vienna
office.npp@ages.at

Contact for specialist topics

versuchswesen@ages.at

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