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International Society for Horticultural Science

Horticulture Research International

Switzerland

General info
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Climate
Temperate zone, between maritime and continental climate. Average temperature in January: - 2.1 °C, in July + 16.1 °C. Average precipitation per year in the zones with horticultural crops: 600 mm (Sion, Valais) up to 1200 mm (region of the Lac Léman, Canton Thurgau). The prevailing winds are blowing from west to east. Occasionally the winds are blowing from south to north, a very dry and warm wind, the so-called Föhn. Switzerland is well suited for horticultural crops.

Geography
The horticulturally suited areas are on 300 to 500 m over sea level (in the lowland). The alpine region, which goes across the country from west to east has mountains up to over 4000 m over sea level. Only one half of the surface of Switzerland can be used for agricultural purpose and for timber wood.

Horticulture
All kind of horticultural crops for temperate zones are produced in Switzerland: Pome fruits, stone fruits, berry fruits, vegetables in the open and under glass, viticulture and ornamentals.
Fruits (apple, pear, sweet cherry, apricot, berries) are produced in the lowland between the Lac Léman and the Lake of Constance: 8,000 ha. The vegetable centers are in the regions of Geneva, Lac Léman, Valais, Berner Seeland and in the Cantons Aargau, Zürich, Thurgau and St. Gallen: 11,000 ha. Viticulture (white and red varieties) is dominant in the Cantons Valais, Vaud, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Aargau, Zürich, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Graubünden and Ticino: 15,000 ha. Ornamentals and nurseries are situated in the lowland between the Lac Léman and the Lake of Constance: 2,300 ha.

Distribution of Horticulture
Fruits (apple, pear, sweet cherry, apricot, berries) are produced in the lowland between the Lac Léman and the Lake of Constance: 8,000 ha. The vegetable centers are in the regions of Geneva, Lac Léman, Valais, Berner Seeland and in the Cantons Aargau, Zürich, Thurgau and St. Gallen: 11,000 ha. Viticulture (white and red varieties) is dominant in the Cantons Valais, Vaud, Geneva, Neuchâtel, Aargau, Zürich, Schaffhausen, Thurgau, Graubünden and Ticino: 15,000 ha. Ornamentals and nurseries are situated in the lowland between the Lac Léman and the Lake of Constance: 2,300 ha.

Research Thrusts
The dominant part of horticultural research is done by the two Federal Research Stations of Wädenswil and Changins, 85% paid by the federal government. The second group of research centers is incorporated in the Universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen), paid dominantly by the cantons. A third group of research centers is run by private organisations.

Nature of Institutes
The Federal Research Stations are based on applied and some basic research. Some basic research results are delivered by the Universities (cantonal institutions). The Universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen) are having primarily a teaching task. They are doing additional applied research. The private research centers are working on applied research, too.

Organisations / Institutes:
Swiss Federal Research Station for Fruit-Growing, Viticulture, and Horticulture (Wädenswil)
Swiss Federal Research Station for Plant Production (Changins)
University of Applied Sciences of Lullier
University of Applied Sciences (Nyon)
Swiss Occidental University of Applied Sciences
Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL)


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