AgroFoodNature works at the interface of agri- and horticulture, food production and processing and nature conservation.
AgroFoodNature focuses on:
- a sustainable plant and animal production through the development of integrated circular bio-economy systems, climate-proof crop production, climate resilient agro-ecosystems and integrated pest management systems;
- a sustainable food production offering a diversity of nutritious and healthy food products and aiming to reduce food losses and a food consumption taking into account healthy diets and food waste problems;
- the restoration of biodiversity through innovative nature restoration measures, nature-inclusive farming and farm-including nature management.
Our current research projects.
Sustainable agri- and horticulture
- Cover crops in maize
- Sustainable agriculture in Rwanda
- Weed control 2.0, with a smart combination of chemistry and technology
- 4R principle of crop rotation in maize - Right source, right rate, right time, right place
- Towards more sustainability in agriculture: impact of cultivation system and crop rotation
- IPM in horticulture: Future Proof
- Integrated approach of Cyperus esculentus
- Heat stress in maize silage
- Potential for protein transition with locally-produced field beans
- Private Sector Development Opportunities targeting smallholder farmers' cooperatives
Sustainable food production, valorisation of by-products and product innovation
- Optitunta: Impact of the transition towards a semi-industrial chuño production on the quality and economic viability
Biodiversity and nature restoration
- Beblabo- Managing aphids on trees with the help of natural enemies
- Biodivers Zorggroen – (Multi)functional green environments for the healthcare sector: design, construction and management of biodiverse and restorative healthcare gardens
- FLOWERPOWER YOUR GARDEN: experimenting, learning and raising awareness about flowery grassland
- Restoration of biodiverse grasslands: ecosystem services examined
Do you have a question or do you wish to collaborate? Contact us via email@example.com
Services and infrastructure.
AgroFoodNature offers tailor-made research, training and advice to professional partners (companies, government and other organisations) active in agriculture, horticulture, food production or nature conservation. Our researchers have strong expertise within these domains and a long history of interdisciplinary cooperation. Our experiments and tests, advice and training are based on solid, practically oriented research and are formulated to suit your company or organisation.
The experimental farm in Bottelare (HOGENT/UGENT) is a well-equipped facility for practical research on crop protection and sustainable crop management (e.g. crop rotation and soil management). The farm consists of 50 hectares of land including more than 25.000 experimental plots, an adapted machine park (experimental equipment such as plot harvesters) and a phytopathological lab. Here we carry out field experiments and pot trials, mainly on arable crops (grain cereals, maize, legumes …), breeding programmes (triticale and barley) and silage trials. Expert knowledge is present on the cultivation, harvesting and processing of hemp fibres, and on integrated pest management and functional agrobiodiversity. The experimental farm has a long history in bilateral research with companies concerning product development, crop management, plant genetics and testing of crop protection products, bio-control organisms and biostimulants.
The Innovation Centre for Brewery & Fermentation (HOGENT/UGent) has a long-standing tradition of services and research for the Belgian brewery industry. The pilot brewery of 70 liters is ideal for the preparation of test brews. In the well-equipped lab, our experts perform physicochemical analyses for barley, malt, raw grains, wort, hops and beer. Other routine analyses include the determination of sugar with HPAEC-PAD and of total nitrogen and protein content of wort and beer. Moreover, we are specialized in the microbiological control of beer and yeast and offer microbiological analyses of beer. We can help develop procedures for storage, washing, propagation, identification, differentiation, and quality control of pitching yeast for main and secondary fermentation. There is specific expertise on isothermal brewing, the fermentation process, the production of gluten-free beer, the potential of alternative cereals for beer production, the use of bread losses in the brewing process and the production of low- and non-alcoholic beers.
Our food labs are equipped with extensive infrastructure to answer questions on product development, product evaluation and food safety. We offer support in optimising recipes, labelling, organising sensory analyses and drawing up product specifications. We perform microbiological, texture and nutrition analyses and provide advice on hygiene, allergen management and food legislation.
Our experts can offer advice and support on natural pest management and (functional) biodiversity in public green spaces, on restoration and management of natural grasslands, and on the construction and management of inspiring and biodiverse gardens for healthcare centres.
Meet our experts.
AgroFoodNature consists of experts in agri- and horticulture, food and nature.