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International Society for Horticultural Science

Horticulture Research International

Norway

General info
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Climate
The yearly average temperature is 5.7 (C in Oslo (60(N) and 3.1 (C in Troms° (70(N). In spite of the northern location of Norway commercial horticulture is carried out even in the northern most part of the country due to a relatively mild climate, partly caused by the warm currents which warm up the waters of the North Atlantic. The winter climate is rather mild along the long coastal areas and fjords, and cold on the eastern and northern inland along the boarder to Sweden and Finland. The yearly average precipitation ranges from 400 mm in the eastern part of Norway to more than 3000 mm at the coastal areas in the western part of the country. The day length range from 6 to 19 h in Oslo and from zero to 24 h (midnight sun) in Troms°.

Geography
Norway (population 4.3 mill.) is a 1752 km long, narrow, mountainous country located between 58°N and 72(N. A large part of the country thus lies north of the arctic circle (66(32'N). The land area is 324000 km2. About 25% of the area is cover by forest, which mainly consists of Norway spruce (Picea abies), Scottish pine (Pinus silvestris) and birch (Betula pubescens). Only 3% of the area is cultivated land, although larger areas of uncultivated land is used for animal feeding during the summer months. Sandy-loam soil can be found in the southern part of the country and in the valleys which is developed during the glaciological time about 10000 years ago. Large areas of peat moss land is located in the northern and eastern parts of Norway, and some of them are cultivated areas.

Horticulture
Horticulture consist of both open field production and protected cultivation in greenhouses. Some early vegetable production is carried out under plastic tunnels or on plastic mulch. Cherry production is produced under plastic covers to avoid fruit cracking under rainy days in order to obtain high quality fruits for the export market and fresh consumption in Norway. The monetary value of the greenhouse ornamental plant production is relatively high and amount to about 60% of the total income of horticultural production in Norway. The Norwegian products should be of high quality in order to compete with imported products. Much of the research efforts are, therefore, concerned with quality problems. The environmental aspect of plant production is very much in focus in practice and research. Research in environmental friendly production is given high priority.

The number of crops grown in the field in Norway is limited. The growing season may be short (140 to 160 days with average temperature above 6 (C), but the plant growth is markedly stimulated by long days of summer. The northern border for many of the most important horticultural crops lies somewhere in southern Norway and in mild fjords lands on the western part of Norway (Hardanger area). This is the case for top fruits like apple, pears, plums and cherries. Small fruits like red and black currents, are, on the other hand, grown successfully in the north and strawberry production has gained importance in the south and in the north. In the north, harvesting the wild cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) is in some areas an important source of income. Attempts are being made to increase yield by means of plant improvement and bog cultivation. Elsewhere, lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L) and the small, blue wineberry (V. myrtillus L.), called blåbær (blueberry) in Norway, is harvested in large quantities. Commercial production of high-bush blueberries have been developed recently in southern and western parts of the country.
Vegetables, primary cabbage, swede, carrot, Chinese cabbage, onion, leek and cauliflower are grown, commercially even in the northern part of Norway. However, both in the north and south, raising the plants under controlled climate in greenhouses or growth rooms, and use of plastic covers for early production in spring is common practice and often a prerequisite. The main vegetable field production is located in growing areas aroud the Oslofjord and the big lake Mj°sa on the south-east, and Rogaland (Stavanger area) on the south-west of Norway and Frosta (mid-Norway).
Greenhouse crop production constitutes a major part of commercial horticulture in Norway. The total greenhouse area is close to 200 hectares. Tomato, cucumber and lettuce production occupies about one half of the area. The rest is mainly used for pot plants, bedding plants and cut flowers. Pot plant production has increased markedly in later years due to increased winter production based on extensive use of high intensity supplementary irradiation. A year-round production of cut flowers has increased the yield by more than 50% and the flower quality by high irradiation levels during the winter months.
A greater part of the horticultural products is sold through the nation-wide sales organisations as Gartnerhallen, Mester Gr°nn, Blomsterringen, and the wholesale markets.

Distribution of Horticulture
The number of crops grown in the field in Norway is limited. The growing season may be short (140 to 160 days with average temperature above 6 (C), but the plant growth is markedly stimulated by long days of summer. The northern border for many of the most important horticultural crops lies somewhere in southern Norway and in mild fjords lands on the western part of Norway (Hardanger area). This is the case for top fruits like apple, pears, plums and cherries. Small fruits like red and black currents, are, on the other hand, grown successfully in the north and strawberry production has gained importance in the south and in the north. In the north, harvesting the wild cloudberry (Rubus chamaemorus L.) is in some areas an important source of income. Attempts are being made to increase yield by means of plant improvement and bog cultivation. Elsewhere, lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idaea L) and the small, blue wineberry (V. myrtillus L.), called blåbær (blueberry) in Norway, is harvested in large quantities. Commercial production of high-bush blueberries have been developed recently in southern and western parts of the country.

Vegetables, primary cabbage, swede, carrot, Chinese cabbage, onion, leek and cauliflower are grown, commercially even in the northern part of Norway. However, both in the north and south, raising the plants under controlled climate in greenhouses or growth rooms, and use of plastic covers for early production in spring is common practice and often a prerequisite. The main vegetable field production is located in growing areas aroud the Oslofjord and the big lake Mj°sa on the south-east, and Rogaland (Stavanger area) on the south-west of Norway and Frosta (mid-Norway).
Greenhouse crop production constitutes a major part of commercial horticulture in Norway. The total greenhouse area is close to 200 hectares. Tomato, cucumber and lettuce production occupies about one half of the area. The rest is mainly used for pot plants, bedding plants and cut flowers. Pot plant production has increased markedly in later years due to increased winter production based on extensive use of high intensity supplementary irradiation. A year-round production of cut flowers has increased the yield by more than 50% and the flower quality by high irradiation levels during the winter months.
A greater part of the horticultural products is sold through the nation-wide sales organisations as Gartnerhallen, Mester Gr°nn, Blomsterringen, and the wholesale markets.

Research Thrusts
The two major research trusts for Research Institutes and Universities are the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry for Education, Research and Church Affairs, respectively. They are responsible for the basic funding of research and teaching in Horticulture. The Norwegian Research Council support funding for more fundamental research projects and PhD students. Growers organisations and several private enterprises have scientific
programs on horticultural research.

Nature of Institutes
Horticultural research in Norway is mainly carried out by the following two organisations: the Agricultural University of Norway at Ås; and the Norwegian Crop Research Institute (main office at Ås). Most Research stations are devoted to farm crops, some work on horticultural crops. Research stations located in Landvik, Nj°s, Særheim, Ullensvang, Kise, Kvithamar and Holt are specialised in horticulture.

In addition local experiments and demonstrations are carried out by the Norwegian Agricultural Research and Extension Groups (Landbrukets fors°ksringer) as basis for their local advisory service. A group consists of farmers and growers who on certain conditions might obtain financial support to hire university graduates for conducting local experiments and advisory service. At present some 250 university graduates are employed. Sixty five percent of the funding is supported by the growers. Head-quarters of the organisation is in Ås. Some research work related to horticulture is conducted at universities in Bergen, Oslo and Troms° and in research institutions such as Norwegian Institute for Food Technology, Seed Testing Institute, and Norwegian Agricultural Economic Research Institute in Oslo.
Norway has no national society for horticultural research but is part of the Nordic Association for Agricultural Scientists (NJF) which organises Nordic cooperation also in horticulture. The address of the organisation is: NJF, Melkogatan 16 A, Box 28. FIN-00211 Helsinki, Finland. Tel. (+358) 0-29-041200, fax. (+358) 0-6922084.

Organisations / Institutes:
The Norwegian Crop Research Institute
Agricultural University of Norway
University of Oslo
University of Troms°
The Gartnerhallen Elite Plant Station, Sauherad
The Norwegian Agricultural Research and Extension Groups
Norwegian Food Research Institute
Norwegian Agricultural Inspection, Seed testing Station
Arboretum and Botanical Garden
Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (NILF)
Norwegian Agricultural Economics Research Institute (NILF), Regional office Bergen


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