A research program consistent with the objectives of the contract of objectives.
ARVALIS - Institut du végétal's activities program is structured in 10 "challenges":
The challenges of production to produce MORE and BETTER:
Increase and regularize the returns:
The research programs on this theme impact all the links from the selection criteria for new varieties to the cultural practices that make it possible to express their genetic potential:
- Diagnose the main limiting factors (biotic / abiotic) per large production pond.
- Develop regionally consistent variety sets that deliver productivity and quality outcomes that are relevant to market opportunities.
- Orient the selection on the most interesting characters of interest vis-à-vis the "produce more".
- To propose technical itineraries by system of culture which contribute to express the genetic progress and to lift the limiting factors.
- Identify the potential of culture "in real time" to optimize farming practices.
Produce and preserve until the finished products, raw materials adapted to the different outlets:
- Take into account market segmentations in quality assessment methods.
- Describe the technological, health and nutritional qualities of the raw materials.
- Enable farmers to produce quality materials adapted to market opportunities.
- Develop tools and methods to control and manage the variability of qualities.
- Sustainably maintain quality by avoiding the degradation of foodstuffs during harvesting, storage, packaging and the end user.
- Design innovative methods to flaxseed, mechanically harvested and stripped tobacco for reduced working time and hardship.
- Make recommendations to control energy consumption in storage of grains and potatoes or drying of tobacco.
The challenge of integrated protection:
Build and promote an effective and sustainable integrated protection vis-à-vis all bio-aggressors (diseases, pests, weeds, parasitic plants) and physiological incidents (pouring, budding tobacco after topping, etc.):
- Assess the pressure, the harmfulness, the risks related to bio-aggressors and physiological incidents and their evolutions, and develop tactical tools to intervene at the right moment.
- Promote and manage varietal tolerances and resistance.
- Identify, by culture, operational prophylactic practices and recommendations for their optimal use in the technical itinerary.
- Evaluate, through a multi-criteria approach (efficiency, selectivity, efficiency, quality - including health-economy, environment, user protection ...), crop protection solutions and alternative or curative levers.
- Strengthen the efficiency of phytosanitary products and highlight the limitation of environmental impacts before the reduction of use.
- Develop protection strategies combining different levers and / or different scales of decision and action to integrate all the means of struggle.
- Develop and promote methods for simple risk assessment, diagnosis and identification of bio-aggressors and physiological incidents.
The challenges of management and the valorization of resources:
Increase the availability of mineral elements while reducing the use of synthetic products:
- Increase the efficiency and effectiveness, both technically and economically, of mineral fertilizer inputs.
- Increase the contribution of legumes in terms of nitrogen supplies to rotational crops.
- Increase the use and efficiency of organic waste inputs.
- Improve the robustness of farms and sectors vis-à-vis the regulatory constraints on fertilization practices.
Build diagnostic and sustainable soil management processes for two-way cropping systems:
Agronomy is increasingly required to provide answers to questions that deal with the protection and nutrition of crops. Soil, with its physical, chemical and biological components, is at the heart of the principles that make up Agroecology:
- Increase, enhance and transfer operational knowledge on soils, from the plot to the territories.
- Develop an operational diagnosis of the physical fertility of soils.
- Evaluate the issues of biological fertility and develop indicators of biological activity of soils.
- Improve the prediction and interpretation of soil organic status
- Improve referencing and transfer of references to soil chemical fertility indicators by developing rapid analysis methods involving infrared reflectance analysis.
Improve the efficiency of rainwater and irrigation, from the plant to the territory:
- Characterize from a water point of view the environments interacting with various species and several early varieties, especially for maize.
- Develop irrigation pipelines, all species, with sufficient and restrictive resources that enhance the use of piloting tools.
- Enlighten reflection on the adaptation of irrigated and rainfed systems to regulatory, economic and climatic contexts.
- Develop a multi-criteria diagnostic tool for irrigation facilities and equipment.
- Develop methods and tools to optimize the management of water, on different crops, at the scale of the territory.
The challenges of economic performance and sustainability:
Design and evaluate innovative multi-performance farming systems:
The orientation of cropping systems towards economic and environmental double performance implies the construction of new systems, sometimes breaking with current practices, and capable of offering combinations of multi-performance techniques:
- Characterize growing systems at a regional scale.
- Characterize the technical levers to improve the operation of arable crop production systems with the aim of establishing references.
- Detect innovations among producers and characterize them in order to objectify their advantages in terms of double economic and environmental performance.
- To elaborate methods and procedures in order to carry out fragmented agronomic diagnoses and to study the effects of agroecological infrastructures on auxiliary populations.
- Design and evaluate innovative systems by setting up multi-year experimental platforms dedicated to the comparison of cropping systems: inter-institute project SYPPRE.
- Develop a strategic advisory offer for advisors in economic organizations or development structures.
Accompany the strategic choices to produce while being economically efficient in a fluctuating and risky context:
The volatility of economic parameters complicates decision-making at the annual level. Economic resilience involves identifying fluctuation factors and developing a methodology that takes into account the variability of technical and economic outcomes:
- Characterize and identify the key elements of the economic performance of French farms and mixed farming (and their sectors) in terms of profitability and competitiveness.
- Characterize the robustness of the economic performance of farms in an evolving context (regulatory, market, input prices, ...).
- Evaluate the levers for improving economic performance.
Challenges of technological and methodological innovation:
- Explore, create and use innovative methodologies for acquisition and valuation of references.
- Build the information systems of the future to inform the strategic and tactical choices of the producers.
Consult the activities program ARVALIS 2014-2015