Agroscope, Institute for Plant Production Sciences IPS, 1260 Nyon, Switzerland

Sustainable and competitive fruit production: a challenge for the production chain and for research

Fruit growers aim to produce fruit economically and in an environmentally friendly way. Research should find the relevant solutions. Moreover, the framework of agricultural politics and the increasingly open markets are strong challenges for the fruit industry. The following examples will give an insight into the activities of the Federal Research Station Wädenswil: apple breeding and variety testing with pip and stone fruit, training systems and new fruit species. Promising high quality apples are selected in our apple breeding programme and by testing foreign varieties. In addition to traditional apple breeding, new methods of molecular biology are being integrated.<br><br>Modern apple orchards are planted on a density of 2000 to 3000 trees per ha. Systems with lower tree numbers are evaluated as well as those with greater tree numbers. In cherry production for the fresh market, new varieties, weakly growing rootstocks and small trees are the main topics. To achieve high quality fruit with the new plum varieties the regulation of fruit set is being examined. Moreover, new fruit species are investigated. A high standard is achieved in repect to ecological fruit growing. However, the improvement of economics in order to stay internationally competitive is a highly challenging topic for fruit growing.

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