Skip to main content

Research fields

Research fields

1. Research of microorganisms and invertebrates important to agriculture

The objective is to clarify the influence of microorganisms and invertebrates important to agriculture on the crop growth, development, yield formation and its quality.

Priority research topics:

  • Research of rhizobia (Rhizobium spp.) and their strains, assessment of their efficiency and compatibility with host plants (peas, beans and other legumes),  research of their biological and genetic diversity;
  • Interaction between different groups of microorganisms (rhizobia and mycorrhiza fungi);
  • Life cycles of plant pathogens (mainly from the Ascomycota division and Deuteromycetes group), biology and ecology of pathogens;
  • Occurrence of wheat root rot and the spectrum of its causal agents and diversity depending on the agronomical measures;
  • Occurrence of barley ear scab and the spectrum of their causal agents depending on the agro-ecological conditions;
  • Invertebrates (ground beetles and rove beetles) as environmental indicators;
  • Occurrence and harmfulness of cereal pests, their life cycles and natural enemies.

2. Research of soil and land as the main resource of agriculture

The objective is to study the changes of soil characteristics in different agro-ecological conditions and management systems in order to ensure the sustainable use of soil and diminish environmental risks.

Priority research topics:

  • Soil diversity and protection; The role of soil in the formation of environmental risks (CO2 and other greenhouse gases emissions leaching and run-off of  biochemically active substances) and agricultural technologies for the reduction of such risks;
  • Changes in the characteristics of the soil using different agricultural systems – intensive production, extensive use of resources, biological agriculture, site  specific (precision), different soil tillage methods and crop rotation schemes etc.;
  • Methods and techniques of fertiliser use for increasing efficiency and reducing environmental risks. Studies on chemical element cycling in agriculture;
  • Sustainable crop rotation and soil tillage methods and techniques by adjusting them to different agricultural systems and environmental conditions;
  • Changes in weed species and their occurrence depending on different agro-ecological conditions.

3. Improvement of plant productivity and quality of harvest by using environmentally friendly technologies

The objective is to improve the yield of field crops and its quality by reducing risks of environmental pollution and saving on resources. 

Priority research topics:

  • The formation of structural elements of wheat, oilseed rape and other crop yield in crop rotation and repeated sowings depending on the soil tillage method;
  • Differences in the cold resistance (resistance to low positive temperatures) of maize hybrids and their influence on the growing, development and yield; influence  of the sowing density and harvesting time on the yield its quality and the formation of mycotoxins in the yield;
  • Suitability of various energy crops for the production of biogas – more methane with a reduced climate risk;
  • The determination of maximum nitrogen fertiliser rates for maize, hemp, legumes and other crops;
  • Research on the occurrence and harmfulness of pests in crop rotation and repeated sowings or monoculture – wheat, field beans, maize etc.;
  • High-quality pasture swards for different species of animals; evaluation of forage contamination with mycotoxins in Latvian farms; growing of alfalfa and its use  in industrial processing;
  • Propagation of Vaccinium spp. (high-bush blueberries, cloudberries, red bilberries, cranberries), biological aspects of winter hardiness;
  • Physiological aspects of ornamental plant propagation, growing technologies, substrates, fertilisation;
  • Research of genetic resources (aromatic, medicinal and other plants, bees), conservation of the genetic recourses.