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----- Original Message -----
From: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">Susan Smalley
To: [log in to unmask] href="mailto:[log in to unmask]">[log in to unmask]
Sent: 5/25/2006 3:11:06 PM
Subject: Organic Apple Production Seminar - Franco Weibel - 5/31 at noon




Franco P. Weibel

Head, Fruit Crops Department FiBL (Research Institute of Organic Agriculture)
A European and Swiss Perspective on Organic Apple Production:  Past Successes and Future Challenges


Wednesday May 31, 2006 @ 12:00 pm
A279 Plant and Soil Sciences Bldg.


Dr. Weibel is the head of the research and advisory activities in fruit, berry and vine growing of FiBL (http://www.fibl.org/english/index.php). Dr. Weibels research is in variety and rootstock testing for organic fruit growing (apple and cherry); development and evaluation of marketing concepts to introduce new (organic) apple varieties; weed control and soil management concepts; tree nutrition concepts; fruit thinning concepts; quality assessment with emphasis on health related components; testing suitability of holistic methods of quality assessment; system comparison trials organic/conventional; projects on soil fertility with microbial and physical  aspects in organic fruit and vine growing.


Major Accomplishments:


Science based practical recommendations for the site and situation adapted use of herbicide free weed control methods. Development of a sensor device and software to measure accurately real-time sap flow (transpiration) of apple trees growing in the field. Science based recommendations for variety choice in organic fruit production. Creation, introduction and evaluation of a new marketing concept to introduce unknown (scab resistant) apple varieties in a Supermarket chain. This Taste-Groups-Conceptis now successfully introduced at the two dominating supermarket chains of Switzerland, even for conventional fruit. Creation and testing of new weed control concepts (Sandwich System) for non-chemical weed control in tree strips. Author of a scientifically acknowledged study to compare conventional and organic apple quality including holistic methods (resulting also in method improvements).


Initiation of a national now smoothly co-operating interdisciplinary scientific and advisory network to solve flexibly and efficiently the various problems of organic fruit growing. Member of multinational research groups for EU-project grants. Initiator and presently chair of the "European Group of Researchers in Organic Fruit" EUGROF; Vice-President of the Working Group of Organic Fruit of ISHS.


Creation of and assistance for seven regional rings of organic fruit growers in Switzerland to increase knowledge transfer and professionalization. Co-author and author of six technical leaflets on the basic techniques etc. of organic fruit growing. Frequent articles in grower magazines; different book chapters; regularly courses (theory and practical training) for growers, university and professional students etc.


            (CV available upon request)     

Susan B. Smalley, Ph.D.
Extension Specialist
C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University
Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies (CARRS)
303 Natural Resources Building
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222

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