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Division of Food Production and Society

Measures to increase sustainability in Norwegian vegetable production.

Finished Last updated: 24.11.2021
End: dec 2021
Start: sep 2021

Reduced use of herbicides and improved soil conditions - using false seedbed and catch crops.

Start - end date 17.09.2021 - 31.12.2021
Project manager Mette Thomsen
Division Division of Food Production and Society
Department Horticulture

The aim of the project is to assess methods for implementing use of:

  1. False seedbed in row cultures and
  2. Investigate the use of catch crops in vegetables. Here we will
    • look at the effect of preculture on the establishment and growth of selected species of catch crops
    • how to establish catch crops both in and following different crops and assess yield, growth of weeds and effect on nutrients.

Cultivation of row cultures includes several resource-intensive operations and intensive soil tillage. Regulating weeds poses a major challenge and cost in row cultures, while there is a desire to reduce the use of chemical herbicides. There is therefore a need for more and varied tools for regulating weeds in row cultures.

Investigations using more and new methods of false seed in carrot have shown good results in recent years, and we will investigate different types of tools and different strategies for implementing false seedbed. Furthermore, in Norway due to stones or for loosening the soil, soil treatment is intensive, and can have several negative influences eg. increase the leaching of nutrients, reduce carbon content and cause soil packing.

Several studies have shown that the use of catch crops can reduce weeds and erosion, increase the carbon content of the soil, increase the earth's buffer capacity against drought/heavy precipitation and loosen the soil after packing. Nevertheless, there is a large lack of research on the use of catch crops in vegetable crops.

Through the project, we will map the establishment of catch crops according to different vegetable cultures, by different nutritional status in the soil and look at whether the catch growths can be established together with the crops.

The results of the project will provide practical advice on how false seedbed can have the best effect, how catch crops can be established in vegetable cultivation and how regulation of weeds and nutrient withholding are affected by the catch growths.

Publications in the project


The year 2020 will go down in history as unusual and different — the year of the coronavirus. Naturally, it has also affected the work of NIBIO. But despite that, we have a great deal to show for in terms of specialist production and dissemination, across a wide range of areas that are important to many people in the Norwegian society. The year 2020 was also special for another reason — this was the year NIBIO celebrated its fifth birthday. Mergers take time and can be difficult, but also create space for development and essential change and NIBIO has come a long way in these five years. We carry out extensive specialist activity all over the country, and increasingly beyond Norway’s borders too. Our broad foundation, covering specialist production problems and value creation, resource and environmental issues with economics and social science included, means that we can fully back up our slogan “NIBIO — Making Sustainability Meaningful.” It is the core of our social responsibility. In other words, our aim is for our expertise to contribute to a positive society, where sustainable solutions depend on the abilities and specialist insight that allow us to balance a range of considerations. With enormous diversity and more than 1,000 projects in our portfolio, it is virtually impossible to present a full picture of NIBIO’s specialised activities. In this brochure, we therefore present just a small selection of articles which are a sample of our specialised activities in 2020. We hope these samples are enough to tempt you to want to find out more about NIBIO and all the exciting projects and specialised development that our 700 employees contribute towards.