Research Center Conthey

Conthey, Switzerland

Research Center Conthey

Conthey, Switzerland
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Baroffio C.A.,Research Center Conthey | Trandem N.,Hogskoleveien 7 As | Birch A.N.E.,James Hutton Institute
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

The raspberry beetle (Byturus tomentosus DeGeer) is one of the major pests in European raspberry production. The Scottish Crop Research Institute (now part of the James Hutton Institute) has developed a trap with a combination of colour and plant odour that attracts adult beetles of both sexes. Capturing a large number of beetles before raspberry flowering could lead to less fruit damage. In Switzerland, 50 traps per ha were deployed before flowering in 2008-11 in raspberry plantations located 1300 metres above sea level. The traps were compared with a standard recommended insecticide treatment. The beetles were active earlier than expected, and trapping should start at least 4 weeks before flowering. During 4 years of trapping in one of the Swiss plots, fruit damage has decreased by 60%. In Scotland, traps deployed within protected crops at 50/ha in a lattice design were more effective than traps deployed outside the tunnel. A single host volatile attractant (B) was more effective than a different host volatile (A) released simultaneously. The level of control using the IPM system gave control of fruit damage equivalent to current recommended insecticide sprays and enabled growers to detect pest 'hot spots' inside and outside the tunnels. In Norway, controlling raspberry beetle with traps alone has proven difficult, probably due to high immigration rates from surrounding wild raspberry during flowering, when traps are less attractive. Comparisons of various trap designs, plant odours and deployment heights demonstrated that the commercially available 'click panel' funnel trap with bee net and plant odour 'B' is as efficient as earlier prototypes, and that varying the trap deployment height between 1.0 and 1.6 m inside plantations, or between 1.0 and 2.0 m outside plantations, does not influence the number of beetles caught. These results confirm that the Scottish traps are valuable as monitoring tools, and also indicate that they could be used for integrated or organic control of raspberry beetle in areas with little wild Rubus.

Haye T.,Rue des Grillons 1 | Haye T.,MoA CABI Joint Laboratory for Biosafety | Girod P.,Rue des Grillons 1 | Cuthbertson A.G.S.,Fera | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Pest Science | Year: 2016

After its arrival in 2008, the Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), Drosophila suzukii, has emerged as a harmful invasive insect pest in North America and Europe. This highly polyphagous pest is a major threat to many economically important fruit crops and is also known to develop on a wide variety of natural host plants. In Asia, Europe and North America, different control measures are applied against SWD, such as chemical, biological, and cultural control. Current controls of SWD rely primarily on the application of insecticides, but cultural management tactics such as sanitation and the use of nets provide a good alternative in some crops. Biological control measures, such as conservation of existing natural enemies in invaded areas, introduction of specialized larval parasitoids from Asia for classical biological control and the use of indigenous parasitoids for augmentative control, are currently being investigated and may become an important management tool in the near future for an area-wide control of SWD. © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

Christen D.,Research Center Conthey | Camps C.,Research Center Conthey | Summermatter A.,Research Center Conthey | Gabioud Rebeaud S.,Research Center Wadenswil | Baumgartner D.,Research Center Wadenswil
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

The aim of this study was to determine the quality of several apricot cultivars by non-destructive VIS/NIR spectroscopy using different devices. In order to determine non-destructively the soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity, firmness and ground colour values of apricot, NIRs spectra and data obtained from destructive tests were subjected to PLS regressions (Partial Least Square Regression). In a first approach, a portable device was used in order to predict and to follow-up the fruit quality and maturity on tree for the cultivar 'Orangered®'. Calibration models allowing the determination of soluble solids content (SSC), titratable acidity, firmness and ground colour were carried out with high precision. SSC was determined with a root mean square error of cross-validation (RMSECV) of 0.62°Brix, titratable acidity was determined with RMSECV of 1.45 meq/100 g, firmness with RMSECV of 6.3 DI and ground colour intensity with RMSECV of 2.4 (a*). R-values were situated between 0.49 and 0.66. External validation of the models gave similar levels of precision. In a second approach, two devices were tested for the prediction of the post-harvest quality of 40 apricot cultivars. Global models combining 40 cultivars were carried out with high precision for the non-destructive determination of SSC and with reliable precision for firmness in post-harvest. Depending on the device used, SSC was determined with RMSECV-values between 0.58 and 0.71°Brix and R-values between 0.94 and 0.95 and firmness with RMSECV-values between 8.4 and 9.1 DI and R-values between 0.77 and 0.85. Such results show the potential of the VIS/NIR technology as a non-destructive tool for measuring apricot quality and for the follow-up of this quality from the orchard and along the whole supply chain.

To save energy in glasshouse culture, one possibility is to use thermal or shading screens during the night but also during the day. The purpose of this study was to identify the effect of different thermal screen managements on yield, quality and energy consumption of a soilless tomato crop. The study was performed in two similar greenhouses each with an area of 358 m2, located in Switzerland. The greenhouses had two screens: a thermal screen (SLS 10 Ultra Plus by Svensson) and an aluminised screen (shading screen, XLS 15 by Svensson). In one greenhouse, the shading screen was removed half an hour after sunrise, and the thermal screen one hour after sunrise if the outside temperature was higher than 5°C and if the light intensity was higher than 3 klux, if not it remained closed (Test management). In the other, the screens were opened at sunrise (Control). Tomatoes 'Climberley', 'Plaisance' and 'Komeet' were planted on February 12th in a coco substrate. The delayed opening of the screens started one week after planting. The test management gave an energy saving of 23%. No significant incidence on yield or on analytical quality of the tomatoes was noted. This result confirms that screen management can provide energy saving without negative impacts on the amount and quality of the yield.

Camps C.,Research Center Conthey | Simone C.,Research Center Conthey | Gilli C.,Research Center Conthey
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

The evaluation of physico-chemical quality of tomatoes is time consuming and expensive because it requires operators and the consumption of chemicals. In this way, the development of a non-destructive and rapid method to assess the fruit quality would be suitable. The present study aimed at developing a portable NIR spectroscopic method to determine the soluble solids content, firmness and colour of tomatoes without the fruit destruction. NIR spectra (690-1700 nm) were directly acquired on the whole fruit using a portable NIR spectrometer. Spectral acquisition was carried out by placing the fruit directly in front of the spectrometer opening situated at the end of the pistol. For each fruit, NIR measurements were done on the 4 quarter of the fruit along the equator of the tomato. Then, firmness of tomato was measured using a durofel device while the background of skin colour was characterized by spectrocolorimetry. Immediately after firmness measurement, each fruit was mixed using a juice centrifuge and the obtained juice was filtered using a filter paper. Soluble solids content of filtered juice was determined by refractometric method. PLS regressions with leave-one-out procedures were carried out to perform linear models of prediction between spectral data and the values obtained from the physico-chemical analyses. The accuracy of the predictions was discussed according to the correlation coefficient value (R), the root mean square error of calibration/cross-validation (RMSEC/CV). The obtained results showed a good precision concerning the determination of soluble solids content with a RMSECV lower than 0.4%Brix. Concerning firmness, the determination remained correct with a RMSECV of 5.9 DI for a range of firmness values comprised between 51 and 100 DI. Finally, the determination of the tomato skin colour was correct for L* parameter with a RMSECV of 2.26 and quite imprecise for a-parameter with RMSECV of 3.02.

Baroffio C.A.,Research Center Conthey
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

Byturus tomentosus (De Geer), the raspberry beetle, is a major pest at high altitude in Switzerland. The damage is caused by adults and larvae who modify fruits' shape and colour and make them dry up. There is one generation per year. There is a demand for alternative methods to control pests without pesticides residues on fresh fruits. The flight of the raspberry beetle has been monitored for the first time in 2008 in the Swiss Alps with a semiochemical trap (floral attractant) developed in Scotland by the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI). Fifty traps per hectare were installed in 2008 before flowering (beginning of June) and were immediately attractive. In 2009 and 2010, the traps were installed respectively two weeks and four weeks earlier and the number of adults caught was much more significant. These results mean that raspberry beetles' activity occurs much earlier than previously thought. However, while 9.6% of the fruits were damaged in 2008, only 3.3% were damaged in 2010. These results shows that traps are attractive and efficient and could be a useful tool in integrated pest management.

Gilli C.,Research Center Conthey | Camps C.,Research Center Conthey
Acta Horticulturae | Year: 2012

The use of thermal and shading screens in a greenhouse can provide a significant saving of energy. This study aimed to test two screen management procedures and to measure their impact on the energy saving, quality and fruit yield. The trials were carried out during the seasons 2009 and 2010 in two 358 m2 greenhouses located in Switzerland. The greenhouses were equipped with two screens: a thermal one (SLS 10 Ultra Plus by Svensson) and a aluminised one (shading screen, XLS 15 Firebreak by Svensson). In a first greenhouse, the shading screen was removed half an hour after sunrise and the thermal one, one hour after sunrise if the outside temperature was higher than 5°C and if the light intensity was higher than 3 klux (TEST MANAGEMENT). In a second greenhouse, both screens were opened at sunrise (CONTROL MANAGEMENT). In each greenhouse, a soilless tomato culture was observed during the seasons 2009 and 2010. During the season 2009, tomatoes 'Climberley', 'Komeet' and 'Plaisance' were planted on February 12th in coconut fiber substrate, at a density of 2.5 plants m-2. Thereafter shoots were selected to reach 2.8 stems m-2. In 2010, tomatoes 'Climberley' and 'Komeet' were planted on February 9th, at the same density. The energy consumption was measured by thermal energy meter. The test management allowed an energy saving of 23% for the 2009 season. The 21th July 2010, the energy saving in the greenhouse with the test management achieved 27%. No significant incidence on yield and on analytical quality of tomatoes was noted. The results confirm that screen management can allow energy saving without negative impact on the amount and quality of the yield.

Baroffio C.A.,Research Center Conthey | Richoz P.,Research Center Conthey | Fischer S.,Agroscope ACW | Kuske S.,Agroscope ACW | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Berry Research | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: Drosophila suzukii is a highly polyphagous vinegar fly native to Asia, which invaded Switzerland in 2011. The pest was found in all regions of the country, from low altitudes to the timberline. Due to its fast reproduction rate and the infestation of fruits shortly before harvest D. suzukii is difficult to control. OBJECTIVE: Our main objective was to establish an efficient monitoring campaign all over Switzerland. RESULTS: In 2012, a total of 60,000 D. suzukii were captured in 200 monitoring traps, whereupon it represented between 25 and 75% of all vinegar flies trapped. The range of host plants is very broad, not only affecting crops, but also wild fruits. In 2012 most individuals were captured close to or within cultivated raspberry, blackberry and grapevine as well as in wild shrubs such as elderberry. It is likely that as a result of a consequent application of the recommended sanitation measures, only very few cases of economic damage were reported by the producers in 2012. CONCLUSIONS: Monitoring traps can reliably detect the occurrence of the pest in a region. The trap must be very selective to small insects (diameter of 3 mm) to avoid other beneficial insects such as Lepidoptera and Hymenoptera being caught. In case of local presence, setting up a dense net of mass-traps around the crop or between a hedge and the crop should guarantee capture of most vinegar flies before they attack ripe fruits. In close collaboration with national and international partners, Agroscope will try to identify pragmatic and sustainable crop protection measures against D. suzukii. © 2014 - IOS Press and the authors. All rights reserved.

Camps C.,Research Center Conthey | Toussirot M.,Research Center Conthey | Quennoz M.,Mediplant | Simonnetb X.,Mediplant
Journal of Near Infrared Spectroscopy | Year: 2011

A rapid, low-cost method, based on near-infrared spectroscopy (NIR), was developed to determine artemisinin and moisture content in dry powder of Artemisia annua (A. annua) leaves. A calibration set of 60 samples and validation set of 40 samples of A. annua hybrids exhibiting artemisinin content of between 0.7% and 1.6% was used. Results of partial least squares modelling indicated that NIR was accurate in predicting artemisinin content. Root mean square error values of cross-validation (RMSECV) and prediction (RMSEV) of 0.1% were calculated, in both cases. A model of moisture content was particularly accurate with RMSECV and RMSEP values of 0.8% (R = 0.99) and 1.4%, respectively. © 2011 IM Publications LLP. All right reserved.

Michel V.V.,Research Center Conthey | Hollenstein R.,Landwirtschaftliches Zentrum St. Gallen | Stensvand A.,Norwegian Institute for Agricultural And Environmental Research Bioforsk | Stromeng G.M.,Norwegian Institute for Agricultural And Environmental Research Bioforsk
Plant Disease | Year: 2013

Black elderberry (Sambucus nigra L.) is grown in Switzerland for flower and fruit production. Flowers are used for candy and syrup production, whereas the fruits are directly consumed as berries. In autumn 2008, the diagnostic laboratory of Agroscope ACW received a sample of strongly shriveled elderberry fruits from the extension office of the canton of St. Gallen. The sample originated from an experimental plot at Flawil, where 80% of the berries exhibited these symptoms. In years with high rainfall, infections of 100% of the berries can be observed in the production areas of Switzerland. Symptoms of anthracnose are only visible on the fruits, but not on the other plant organs. Berries start to shrivel when turning from green to black, and sporulation can be observed on ripe fruits under humid weather conditions. The sample was incubated in a moist chamber at room temperature, where it formed abundant acervuli producing salmon-colored spores at the fruit surface. Isolation from the acervuli on potato dextrose agar (PDA) containing an antibiotic (chlortetracycline) resulted in the growth of white to grey mycelium with salmon-colored spore masses. The reverse side of the PDA was red to violet. One-celled conidiospores were primarily fusiform, with an average size of 16.5 × 4 μm. Based on these morphological traits, the pathogen was previously identified as Colletotrichum acutatum J. H. Simmonds (2). A PCR using the primers CaInt2 and ITS4 (1) was run on a pure culture of the isolate from elderberry and confirmed this identification. A pathogenicity test was conducted from May to August 2010. The isolate from black elderberry and an isolate of C. acutatum from highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum) were multiplied separately on PDA on the laboratory bench (23 ± 2°C) for one week. Conidiospore suspensions of each isolate were prepared with 0.9% sterile NaCl solution and were adjusted to 1.2 × 106 spores/ml. Flower clusters of a single black elderberry tree at the Agroscope Research Center were inoculated at full flowering stage on May 26, 2010. Two sets of three healthy clusters were sprayed separately with the two spore suspensions until run-off. Spraying three healthy clusters with a sterile 0.9% NaCl solution served as control treatment. Immediately after inoculation, flower clusters were enclosed individually in transparent polyethylene bags for 2 days. To avoid excessive temperature inside the bags caused by solar radiation, the bagged flower clusters were placed below the leaves of the elderberry tree. During the 2 days, the average air temperature measured at the research center was 17 ± 2.5°C. Bags were removed and fruits of the treated clusters were harvested on July 27, 2010. Each cluster was incubated individually in a moist chamber on the laboratory bench (23 ± 2°C) for 10 days. Abundant formation of acervuli producing salmon-colored spores occurred on the fruits inoculated with either strain of C. acutatum. No such symptoms were produced on incubated fruits of the control treatment. From acervuli of the inoculated fruits, C. acutatum was reisolated on PDA. To our knowledge, this is the first report of C. acutatum on black elderberry. In Switzerland, a fungicide containing the active ingredient trifloxystrobine is registered to control C. acutatum on black elderberry. © The American Phytopathological Society.

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