Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Sustainable Agriculture

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
4.02.03  Biotechnical sciences  Animal production  Ethology and technology in stock-breeding 
4.03.01  Biotechnical sciences  Plant production  Agricultural plants 

Code Science Field
B400  Biomedical sciences  Zootechny, animal husbandry, breeding 

Code Science Field
4.02  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Animal and Dairy science 
4.01  Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences  Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (28)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  05658  PhD Drago Babnik  Animal production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  369 
2.  16373  PhD Helena Baša Česnik  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2017  896 
3.  33232  PhD Nina Batorek Lukač  Animal production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  228 
4.  17919  PhD Dejan Bavčar  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  296 
5.  11233  PhD Marjeta Čandek Potokar  Animal production  Head  2013 - 2017  782 
6.  21613  PhD Franc Čuš  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  372 
7.  10448  PhD Aleš Gregorc  Animal production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  500 
8.  00371  PhD Viktor Jejčič  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  1,175 
9.  29499  PhD Jure Kolarič  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2015  19 
10.  05663  PhD Darinka Koron  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  746 
11.  24503  PhD Peter Kozmus  Biology  Researcher  2013  322 
12.  32020  PhD Janja Lamovšek  Plant production  Junior researcher  2015  104 
13.  29500  PhD Robert Leskovšek  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  251 
14.  25795  PhD Klemen Lisjak  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  320 
15.  30770  PhD Ajda Moškrič  Biology  Beginner researcher  2017  53 
16.  50594  PhD Klavdija Poklukar Žnidaršič  Animal production  Junior researcher  2017  65 
17.  10922  PhD Andrej Simončič  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  932 
18.  28877  PhD Maja Ivana Smodiš Škerl  Animal production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  264 
19.  32019  PhD Mateja Soklič  Animal production  Junior researcher  2013 - 2015  16 
20.  08746  PhD Matej Stopar  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  438 
21.  27589  PhD Martin Škrlep  Animal production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  349 
22.  21399  PhD Andreja Vanzo  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  248 
23.  14548  PhD Špela Velikonja Bolta  Chemistry  Researcher  2013 - 2017  441 
24.  10035  PhD Jože Verbič  Animal production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  983 
25.  16283  PhD Borut Vrščaj  Plant production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  925 
26.  34339  PhD Nika Weber  Plant production  Beginner researcher  2017  211 
27.  38190  PhD Polona Zabukovec  Biotechnology  Junior researcher  2015 - 2017  14 
28.  22606  PhD Tomaž Žnidaršič  Animal production  Researcher  2013 - 2017  195 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0401  Agricultural institute of Slovenia  Ljubljana  5055431  20,096 
Program of research is set to face the challenge of contemporary agriculture, namely how to produce quality and healthy food of animal and plant origin, yet remaining competitive and preserve the environment. Wide-ranging competences of the researchers involved enable to address complex technological and environmental problems of agriculture using multidisciplinary approach. Program is organised in specialised working groups within two research pillars; one concerns quantitative and qualitative aspects of food production, while the other is dedicated to environmental issues. Both pillars share a common point, as a horizontal linkage between them, being that the emphasis is given to technological factors (or production systems). In Slovenia, over 50% of gross agricultural output belongs to animal production (in particular cattle), denoting importance of the research for the sector. Research goals will be focused on mode of production in relation to productivity, quality, with priorities given to emerging needs, e.g. animal welfare, consumer issues, traditional products, adaptation to climate changes, breeding goals. In addition, novel technologies (e.g. NIRS) for product evaluation will be studied. The autochthonous honeybee (Apis mellifera carnica) is the major pollinator in Slovenia important for agricultural production and maintenance of biodiversity. Focus of the research will be on factors affecting the physiology and vitality of individual honeybees and bee colonies with the aim to reduce the incidence of sudden death. Fruit growing research will deal with basic problems of alternate bearing of apple trees with a consequence on fruit quality and quantity. A new research on substitution of chemical thinning agents with environment friendly and non toxic surfactants will be initiated. Fruit aroma and taste in relation to different nitrogen technologies in strawberry growing will be studied. Research in vineyard and winemaking technologies will focus on physiological response of vine to viticulture technology further affecting wine quality, which will be also studied in relation to oenological factors. A link with health is foreseen by introducing metabolomic research on bioactive compounds in foods. Competitive agricultural activity which ensures sufficient quantities of food brings along negative effects on the environment due to the utilisation of plant protection chemicals, manure spreading and emissions of green house gases. Environmental footprint (energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions) of various production systems will be evaluated in animal and plant production. Research goals will address safer use of pesticides, in relation to cultivation systems or better control over their application, and the residues will be assessed in soil, water, agricultural products as well as on non-target organisms e.g. honey bee. The final goal is the preservation of natural resources which will be monitored using methods of geographical information system and modelling.
Significance for science
The research goals are set to gain new, original scientific data and knowledge and/or to address the specific problems encountered in Slovenian circumstances. Scientific achievements (publications/citations) of program members in the preceding period and high involvement in EU research projects and networks guarantee a devotion to achieve high scientific relevance and originality.   Zootechnical factors e.g. nutrition, breed, genotypes, production system will be evaluated from the new scientific perspectives and societal needs using also modern scientific tools (genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, phenomics). For example in support to pig production research will adress original scientific questions regarding fat metabolism and nutritional strategy for a new ‘type’ (immunocastrated) of pigs (PhD thesis of Nina Batorek). Original research is also foreseen on skatole metabolism, on miofibrillar proteins and tenderness problems in beef and pork, myofibres profile in relation to genetic improvement. In dry-cured ham, volatile compounds and reduction of salt, a risk factor for coronary diseases, will be addressed. There is a need for more scientific evidence related to the adaptation of animal production to climate changes and reduction of negative impact on the environment (greenhouse gas emissions).   In honey bee, research will focus on its biology, breed characteristics and vitality at individual or colony level. Honeybee represents a model for studying the external effects on live tissues and organs, for that purpose immunohistological and molecular methods together with clinical testing in science are expected to bring new findings and applications in bee breeding.   In fruit growing, new apple thinning agents are necessary to develop and enhance the consistency of thinning and to reduce the environmental risk. The techniques of precision agriculture will be developed for the spraying programs in the orchard with aim to satisfy physiological needs of individual tree. Up-grading of conventional approach in viticulture and oenology with genomic, proteomic and metabolomic research on vinification process and bioactive compounds is liable to provide original scientific data.   Research on plant disease and pest spreading in a specific (Slovenian) environment represents a contribution to the body of knowledge on biology and ecology of harmful organisms in the broader context and provides scientific basis for the development of adequate technologies for the protection of agricultural plants.   Soil quality and groundwater dependence, environmental soil properties assessment and modelling, soil-plant relationships, digital soil mapping and proximal sensing represent fundamental research focus in order to sustain agro ecosystem quality. Soil-plant-groundwater research is fundamental for achieving sustainable agriculture and proper natural resource management. Additionally, soil organic C poll and atmospheric C sequestration research activities are needed to mitigate greenhouse gas and climatic change effects and threats.   A need for alternative energetic resources makes the research of biogenic fuels emerging and highly relevant. Technologies of utilization of biogenic fuels are still in their early stage development and a reduction of harmful substances at combustion is one of the major challenges. Original results are expected in research of environmental footprint due to specific conditions of Slovenian agriculture.
Significance for the country
The research program was conceived multidisciplinary with respect to the national strategic plan of rural development, which focuses on competitiveness of agriculture, food quality and diversification, green-energy production, preservation of environment, and sustainable management of natural resources. The program is characterized by a close cooperation with primary sector, as un upgrade of professional work with scientific goals being inspired by the problems encountered in work for the governmental bodies, farmers and breeders' organizations etc. (e.g. implementation of breeding programs in cattle, pigs and honey bee, testing varieties of fruit and vine, evaluation of the impact of pesticidess in relation to agricultural practice, reducing emissions of greenhouse gases and ammonia, farming in water protected areas and Nitrates Directive, monitoring of soil contamination, etc). Due to the strong link with advisory service, relevant Chambers (agriculture, economy) the results of the research and acquired knowledge are directly disseminated to the farmers and food processors. The program puts a great emphasis on the dissemination of results; not only to professional society (by organising conferences, workshops, seminars) but also to general public and consumers via popular articles, television/radio emissions and promotional activities. Many researchers are also involved in graduate and postgraduate education which is demonstrated by lecturing at Universities and tutoring BSc, MSc and PhD works1. The researchers are members of numerous national and international expert boards, councils, commissions, advisory bodies of the ministries (agriculture, environment, science, education), European Comission, UN, breeding organisations, associations. Engagement of program members in EU research projects and networks (presented further on) demonstrates the international relevance of the research. Lately, involvement of foreign visiting students as well as researchers and co-mentorships of PhDs with foreign partners is increasing. Due to the simultaneous consideration of technological and environmental aspects, the results of the research will be of major importance for further sustainable development of Slovenian agriculture and society. By addressing technological factors in relation to the productivity and societal demands for qualitative properties of product, the program serves to increase the competitiveness, whereas on the other hand by assessing consequences for the environment a balance is searched to preserve natural resources. Concrete results of the research should provide scientifically based evidence how to improve the competitiveness of agricultural activity without compromising the environment and natural resources.     1 Marjeta ČANDEK-POTOKAR (2 PhD, 1 MSc, 4 BSc); Aleš GREGORC (1 PhD, 1 BSc); Jože VERBIČ (1 PhD, 5 BSc); Andrej SIMONČIČ (2 BSc); Borut VRŠČAJ (1 MSc, 3 BSc); Matej STOPAR (2 PhD, 1 MSc, 3 BSc).
Most important scientific results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2013, 2014, 2015, final report
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