Department of sustainable agricultural systems
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Department of Sustainable Agricultural Systems. WURZINGER. MOITZI. FRIEDEL. Objectives. Contributing to a network of sustainable agricultural systems, which provide food, renewable resources, energy and other services relevant for society. productivity issues

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Department of sustainable agricultural systems

Department ofSustainable Agricultural Systems






  • Contributing to a network of sustainable agricultural systems, which provide food, renewable resources, energy and other services relevant for society.

    • productivity issues

    • characteristics of production systems, including the role of producers and stake holders

    • societal demands on agricultural production processes

Starting points

Starting points

  • Sustainable

  • Agriculture

  • Systems

  • Agricultural engineering, occupational safety, biogas, energy efficiency, solar drying, …

  • Animal husbandry, adequate housing, feeding, breeding, animal welfare, …

  • Organic farming, crop rotations, soil fertility, legumes, farmers, society, …




Dnas on the pathway towards sustainability

DNAS on the pathway towards sustainability

  • Business as usual not longer an option - fundamental shift;

  • Diversity and multifunctionality;

  • Animal health & welfare;

  • Next generaton biofuels and energy efficiency;

  • Increase productivity in a sustainable way; fair; organic;

  • Resource poor farmers, small and minorities;

  • Rural women – role, education, health, extension, science;

  • Revalorization of traditional and local knowledge;

  • Local cultivars and breeds for site specific adaptation;

  • Etc.


Heads department for sustainable agriculture systems boku university h930 version 21 nov 2010

Heads: Department for Sustainable Agriculture SystemsBOKU University, H930(Version 21. Nov. 2010)

Head of Department


Deputy Head

Zolltitsch, Weingartmann



Division of Organic

Farming (DOF)


Division of Livestock

Sciences (DLS)


Division of Agricultural

Engineering (DAE)


WG Soil Fertility &

Cropping Systems


WG Animal Husbandry


WG Animal Husbandry

& Environ. Engineering


WG Knowledge Systems

& Innovation


WG Animal Breeding


WG Agricultural

Process Engineering


WG Transdisciplinary

Systems Research


WG Feeding Systems


WG Basics of

Agricultural Engineering



The DNAS contributes with teaching courses and advising students during their bachelor and master theses in the following study programmes:

Bachelor Agricultural Sciences;

Bachelor Equine Science (in cooperation with VUW);

Master Livestock Sciences;

Master Organic Farming;

Int. Master Organic Agriculture and Food Systems (EUR-Organic);

Master Agro Biology;

Master Applied Plant Sciences;

Master Environmental Sciences - Soil, Water and Biodiversity (ENVEURO);

Double Degree Programme: Material and Energetic Utilization of Renewable Resources

International Master Horticultural Sciences;

Master Management of Environment and Bio Resources;

Erasmus Mundus Master Animal Breeding and Genetics.

Several summer schools


Working group soil fertility and cropping systems

Working Group “Soil Fertility and Cropping Systems”

  • Soil Fertility and Nutrient Cycling, low livestock density

    • Symbioses in organic farming

    • Closing nutrient cycleson stockless organic farms

    • Effects of organic fertiliserson soil fertility, yield and quality

  • Cropping Systems in Organic Farming

    • Pre-crop effects of main crops and cover crops

    • Crop rotation design in organic farming, including energy crops / oil crops

    • Improving drought tolerance and site adaptation of lucerne (alfalfa)

    • Improving yield stability and quality of cash crops wheat and potato

  • Resource Protection by Organic Farming

    • Management effects on nitrate leaching, budgets of greenhouse gases

    • Indicators for biodiversity

Working group knowledge systems and innovation

Working Group „Knowledge Systems and Innovation“

  • Local knowledge (ethno-sciences approach)

    • on agrobiodiversity, plant, soil, climate and water management;

    • transmission and transformation of knowledge, ways of knowing.

  • Innovation processes

    • in organic farming

    • farmers experiments, involved actors and institutions, their social networks and the legal framework, impact on regional processes.

  • Socio-ecological systems & resilience perspective

    • e.g. on homegardens; on organic food networks.

Working group transdis ciplinary systems research

Working Group „Transdis-ciplinary Systems Research“

  • IFOAM principles (farmer – consumer relations): Fairness and Justice, “Quality” / Responsibility, …

  • Societal Discourse: Monasteries and Sustainability (rural context), Media Analysis on OA, Initiating sustainable processes by OA

  • Adaptation and Adoption processes of the OA-Movement: Coping with societal Change (CC, food security, EU regulations…)

  • Theorizing Organic Agriculture: Systems Theory, Practice Theory,… - to make OA explicit

  • Dev. Countries: Contributions to sustainable agriculture and food systems (cropping system, biofuel production, social, ecological and economic transition processes; East Africa, Nicaragua) (six projects ongoing)

Working group animal husbandry

Working Group ‚Animal Husbandry‘

  • Aim: Understanding and improving farm animal health and welfare (‚fourth‘ pillar of sustainable livestock farming systems)

  • Applied ethology

    • E.g. social behaviour, sleep in animals, abnormal behaviours

    • Innovative housing systems

  • Animal welfare assessment

    • Feasible on-farm welfare assessment protocols

    • Promising new parameters

  • Health and welfare planning

    • Practical on-farm strategies (including epidemiology)

    • Organic livestock production

Working group animal breeding

Working group „Animal Breeding“

  • Quantitative Genetics (Sölkner)

  • Conservation Genetics (Fürst-Waltl)

  • Design of Breeding Programs (Willam)

  • Animal Breeding in the Tropics (Wurzinger)

Working group feeding systems

Working group "Feeding Systems"

  • Sustainability of livestock production systems

    • Ecological pillar of sustainability (nutrient flow, emissions etc.)

    • Efficiency of livestock production systems

  • Feed resource development

    • Alpine livestock production systems

    • Organic livestock production

    • Animal production in the tropics

  • Feeding management

    • Analysis and optimization

    • Low input / organic livestock production

Wg animal husbandry environmental engineering

WG: „Animal husbandry & environmental engineering “

  • Bioenergy

    • Biogas

    • Residues

    • Cascade utilization

    • Adapted crop rotation systems

  • Renewable resources

    • Biorefineries

    • Feedstock for industrial utilization

    • Reduction of emissions

Working group agricultural process engineering

Working Group “Agricultural Process Engineering”

  • Gender related more effective, efficient and healthier working systems

  • Energy-input and Energy efficiency in agriculture

    • Soil tillage

    • GPS-based automatically steering systems

    • Energy analysis of different farm types

    • Assessement of agricultural engineering in respect of external effects (e.g. soil compaction etc.)

Working group basics of agricultural engeneering

Working Group „Basics of Agricultural Engeneering“

  • Drying technology

  • Solar Energy for Agriculture

  • Climatic engineering

  • Post harvest technology



  • Office rooms;

  • Laboratory rooms;

  • Storage rooms;

  • Access to BOKU experimental station Groß-Enzersdorf; incl. 26 ha certified organic farming;

  • From 2011 onwards: office rooms and lab at UFT (new BOKU site at Tulln);

  • A technical laboratory (Maschinenhalle).

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