Vegetable crops has a wide diversity where roots, stems, leaves, fruits or seeds can be used as food products. During cultivation, the crops can be affected by different factors related to climate, stress from pests, nutrient availability, cultivation practice. They are further exposed to harvesting machines and grading and packaging lines. We investigate effects of different cropping systems and fertilization strategy on yield and quality characteristics like taste and content of health related compounds. We test new varieties of vegetables in Nordic climate and investigate.

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Quality discussions in research field of vegetable crops, brassica. Photo: Ingunn Vågen / NIBIO
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Root crops of vegetables relevant for production in Norway. Photo: Ingunn Vågen / NIBIO

Vegetable crops can be grown along the Norwegian coast line from latitude 58 to 70°N because of the Gulf stream. This result in extreme day length conditions and a short summer period which influence the plants physiological rhythm with respect to making flowers and develop tubers as well as sensory related characteristics and content of health related compounds.  

We utilize waste fractions of the crops as ingredient i food or health products as well as products for plant protection. Fertilization by use of alternative sources like organic waste fractions and cultivation in combined systems with fish and vegetables and vertical production are new research areas.
Our research is focused on challenges related yield and quality optimization with specific focus on cultivation practice (organic v.s. conventional), fertilization and crop rotation. In our research we include most of the traditional vegetables like cabbage varieties (Brassica sp.), carrots and lettuce. We are now testing crops like legumes, frost tolerant vegetables, herbs, and tuber crops like  Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus).
We are also highly involved in cultivation in controlled climate of crops like tomatoes, cucumber and herbs (greenhouse and vertical production). Our studies on optimization of light regimes and plant nutrition places us in the top with respect to yield.
Our participation in international projects focus on comparison of cultivation in different climates, testing new varieties and cultivation methods as well as optimization of quality for vegetables and their raw material fractions (waste products).