Project: SF0170052s08
The title of project: Diversity, integrity and sustainability of agroecosystems
Project start: 1.01.2008
Project end: 31.12.2013
Summary in English: An agroecosystem is an ecosystem modified by humans in agricultural purposes. The various components of it as seminatural and other grasslands, arable lands and abandoned areas as well as a newer component, lands used for bioenergy cultivation, presuppose sustainable management along with suitable technologies in their coexistence. The following topics will be studied in detail: long term impacts of land use changes on flora, relationship between land use change and the invasion of non-native species, genetic pressure of cultivated crop species on related wild taxa, possibilities for sustainable cultivation of energy crops, nutrient cycling, decomposition of organic matter and its connection to the plant cover in case of different management systems and following abandonment, monitoring indicators of sustainability. The scientific outcome will be establishment of patterns and processes determining relationships between nutrient cycling and vegetation dynamics in agroecosystems
Principal investigator: Tiiu Kull
Senior personnel: Merrit Noormets, Henn Raave, Enn Lauringson, Viacheslav Eremeev
Project: ETF8495
The title of project: Finding alternative solutions to pre-sprouting, through longer thermal shock treatment and use of humic extract, explaining their effect on the formation of yield structure elements of potato
Project start: 1/1/2010
Project end: 12/31/2013
Summary in English: We are searching for alternative measures to presprouting in order to get the similar results of formation of high quality yield with lower costs for labour. As a first factor of the project currently applied for we will use the longer treatment of seed tubers at the temperature level (30oC). With thermal treatment the physiological age of potato tubers can be increased and the time needed for seed tubers to mature to harvestable stage can be shortened. Use of such method favours the activity of enzymes in tubers, stimulates the faster development of sprouts in the buds, shortens the emergence period, increases the rate of plant development and yield formation. In recent years lot of interest has been on the natural preparates that stimulate nutrient assimilation of plants. As a second factor of our project we will investigate the use of humic extract to which lot of attention has been given in the world in recent years. The results of long-term treatment of tubers by thermal shock and spraying the humic extract to the bottom of furrow just before planting of seed tubers has not yet been investigated. The aims of present project: 1) determine which pre-planting treatments (control, thermal shock 3, 6, 9 days and pre-sprouting) will be the most suitable in our climatic conditions for providing the highest yield with best quality parameters as early as possible, considering also the amount of energy consumed. 2) investigate the effect of pre-treatment and the use of humic extract on the development of potato plant, its yield and yield structure. 3) it is needed to solve the issue were different treatments of thermal shock can replace the long-term and energy-consuming pre-sprouting. 4) biometrical observations during the growth and development of potato plants: determination of assimilative area, plant height, weight of the leaves and stems and finding relationships between these parameters which are influenced by pre-planting thermal treatments of seed tubers and the use of humic extract. 5) determine the relationships between parameters of different parts of the plants, depending on the pre-planting thermal treatments of seed tubers and the use of humic extract. 6) determine the effect of pre-planting treatments and the use of humic extract on the disease resistance of plants and infective effect of pathogens and on the storing properties of tubers. 7) investigate which pre-planting treatment has the best effect on the use of humic extract.
Principal investigator: Viacheslav Eremeev
Senior personnel: Juhan Jõudu, Ruth Lauk, Peeter Lääniste, Erkki Mäeorg
Project: 8-2/T9023PKPK (Keskkonnakorralduse programm 2008)
The title of project: Eesti Maaülikooli mullateaduse ja agrokeemia laboratooriumi võimekuse täiustamine
Project start: 11/1/2008
Project end: 3/1/2010
Summary in English:
Principal investigator: Merrit Noormets
Senior personnel:
Project: 8-2/10004 (siseriiklik leping)
The title of project: Setomaa ja Ape regiooni loodus- ja inimressursside alane uuring Eesti -Läti koostööprojekti BY LOCAL raames
Project start: 12/21/2009
Project end: 4/30/2010
Summary in English: Koostatakse üldine analüüs Võru ja Põlva maakonna ning Aluksne rajooni loodus- ja inimressursside kohta ning detailsem analüüs Setomaa ning Ape regiooni loodusressursside kohta. Loodusressursside kaardistamine nimetatud piirkondades toimub olemasolevate andmebaaside, uuringute, kirjanduse jmt põhjal. Uut teadmist luuakse olemasolevaid andmeallikaid analüüsides ja üldistades.
Principal investigator: Alar Astover
Senior personnel: Karin Kauer, Merrit Noormets
Project: 8-2/T9066PKPK (internal project)
The title of project: Impementation of the one-day whole-country conference “Agronomy 2008. From research institution to producer”. Publication of conference papers.
Project start: 9.01.2009
Project end: 9.01.2011
Summary in English: The project is financed from European Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) through Estonian Agricultural Registers and Information Board (PRIA; in EST). The all- Estonia applied research conference “Agronomy 2008. From research institution to producer” was organized 20th of November, 2008 in Tartu at Estonian University of Life Sciences, where participated 207 persons from agricultural sector. There were 12 oral and 13 poster presentations at this conference.
Before the conference the book of conference papers (184 pp., 37 articles) was issued by the project team, what was distributed (700 copies) to participants at the conference and later also to institutions (incl. libraries) and companies acting in Estonian agricultural sector.
Principal investigator: Merrit Noormets
Senior personnel: Juhan Jõudu, Rein Viiralt, Ruth Lauk, Peeter Lääniste, Maria Michelson
Project: P0112 (Riiklik programm "Põllumajanduslikud rakendusuuringud ja arendustegevus aastatel 2009-2014)
The title of project: Directing the Council of Research Matters
Project start: 1/1/2008
Project end: 12/31/2012
Summary in English: Council of Research Matters was established in order to improve organizing research in Estonia and its main purpose is scientific and practical advancement of agricultural research. The council organizes study days and excursions for research workers. The council discusses, modernizes, elaborates and standardizes research methods, based on the principles of good research practices and if needed, gives expert opinion for plant research cases. The council observes research progress if necessary, and checks if proper research methods have been used.
Principal investigator: Enn Lauringson
Senior personnel:
Project: ETF7622
The title of project: Soil compaction on grasslands: the effect of agricultural activity on soil deformation and plants
Project start: 1/1/2008
Project end: 12/31/2011
Summary in English: Cultural grasslands are usually found on less fertile soils, such Leptosols and Arenosols, and on wet soils, such Gleisols and Histosols. On wet soils the other agricultural activities are limited due to the low agrotechnical bear capability of those soils. However, intensive management of grasslands, such repeated cutting, high fertilization rates, monoculture or species arm plant cover, effective but heavy machinery, are proceeded on grasslands to get high quality fodder. In subject of soil compaction research, the main attention is paid on the cultivated land and less on grasslands. How are changing the soil properties during intensive management, in which load the pores continue still to function, how the technology used influences the regeneration ability of roots of grassland cultures and thereby the nutrition and productivity of plants, is slightly known. However, as the grassland cultures with their extensive root system may reduce the harmful effect of soil compaction and improve the soil properties (structure ect), there is not sufficient to study only the mechanical load on soil stability and pore function, but also the effect on roots on the soil processes. How intense load the roots can resist, how the nutrients will be assimilate from the compacted soil by roots and how and to what extent the roots of grassland cultures can affect soil properties, need also further investigations. All those problems, described above, are in the interest of the current study. To reach to the aims of the study, the data will be collected from the agricultural production fields of Estonia and from the field experiment established at the Estonian University of Life Sciences. The physical-mechanical (porosity, bulk density, hydrological parameters ect) and chemical properties the soil, the root parameters (density, volume, strength ect) and the productivity and nutrient content of aboveground plant parts will be tested during the study. From the production fields the probes will be collected after the cut from the passed and un-passed place. In the field experiment the different cultures (legumes and graminaceous) at different fertilization rates will be compacted specially at every spring. The project will be held in the cooperation with the Institute of Plant Nutrition and Soil Science of Christan Albrechts University in Kiel in Germany, where the similar field experiment is established.
Principal investigator: Endla Reintam
Senior personnel: Jaan Kuht, Henn Raave
Project: T8015 PKPK (internal project; state program “Estonian Agricultural Applied Research Development in 2009-2014”; Estonian Ministry of Agriculture)
The title of project: The use of liquid manure (slurry) as fertilizer for grassland and field crops and its impact on the environment and yield quality
Project start: 24.01.2008
Project end: 31.12.2010
Summary in English: In Estonia the number of large-scale cattle and pig farms, having slurry management technology, is growing up to now but the use of slurry for fertilizing of grasslands and arable crops (incl. maize) is connected with several problems: first of all the risks of environmental pollution (nitrate and other nutrients leaching, ammonia volatilization, probable disease transfer) and contamination of herbage. Late spring or summer applications of slurry can lead to poor silage fermentation. Cattle may also reject herbage when grazing a pasture which has fertilized with slurry.
The objectives of current applied research project (lysimeter experiments, field trials) in 2008-2010 are:
to find out optimal rates of slurry application (single, for season) for different crops (grassland, maize)
to study the impact of different slurry rates on the soil and yield quality of crops
to compare the efficiency of various technologies of slurry application (injection info soil, surface application)
As the result of current project ecologically friendly technology for cattle slurry use in agricultural will be find out.
Principal investigator: Rein Viiralt
Senior personnel: Henn Raave, Argaadi Parol, Karin Kauer, Indrek Keres
Project: V8105 PKPK (international agreement)
The title of project: Yield potential evaluation of Estonian and Dutch herbage varieties and seed mixtures Customer: Enterprise Barenbrug Holland BV
Project start: 1.02.2008
Project end: 30.11.2010
Summary in English: Yield potential and quality comparison of new Dutch forage grasses and legumes mixture compositions with existing traditional Estonian grass mixtures. Comparison of a traditional Estonian lucerne variety Karlu with a Barenbrug lucerne cultivar Derby is carried out. In 2008-2010 the field experiment includes 4 Estonian and 4 Dutch grass mixtures (for grazing, hay and silage making) and 2 pure sowings of lucerne varieties (Karlu, Derby). The most grass swards established in the trial are the mixed sowings on forage grasses and legumes (red and white clover).
Principal investigator: Rein Viiralt
Senior personnel: Are Selge
Project: T8011PKPK (Riiklik programm "Põllumajanduslikud rakendusuuringud ja arendustegevus aastatel 2009-2014
The title of project: Researching methods of regulating humus status and nutrient balance of soil and phytoproductivity of various green manure crops in conventional and organic farming
Project start: 1/1/2008
Project end: 12/31/2010
Summary in English: Green matter that is ploughed into soil, enriches the soil with organic matter, from which in the course of microbiological processes, nutrients consumable by crops are released. Therefore it is essential to know, in what extent does green manure afflict humus balance in soil, how much does it improve nutritional conditions of the soil and how much nutrients are leached form the soil as the result of it.
The main purpose of the research would be examining the causes that influence the humus balance and circulation of nutrients in the soil. On the assumption of the purpose, phytoprductivity of various green manure crops will be examined, formation of organic matter above the soil and roots in the soil, consumption of nutrients and decomposition of organic matter in the soil.
Principal investigator: Enn Lauringson
Senior personnel: Liina Talgre, Arvo Makke
Project: T9045PKPK (Riiklik programm "Põllumajanduslikud rakendusuuringud ja arendustegevus aastatel 2009-2014
The title of project: Upgrade of an internet based decision support system on plant protection
Project start: 1/1/2008
Project end: 12/31/2012
Summary in English: The goal of current project is further development and implementation of an Internet based Decision Support System for Crop Protection in Estonia. The existing Web-based programs and modules giving information on disease forecast and proper timing on pesticides will be updated and new modules like on control of diseases in oil seed rape seed will be developed. An essential part of the project is a further development of the interactive database of plant protection providing information on crops, pests and pesticides.  
Adapted or newly created biological models will be included in the Internet based Decision Support System, together with meteorological data from a weather data network. As a result of the project an Internet based local Decision Support System will be available to help growers to find economically optimal times and dosages for pesticide treatments.
Principal investigator: Enn Lauringson
Senior personnel: Liina Talgre, Arvo Makke