The Department of General Agriculture was established as an independent body in 1952, and integrated the Institute of Agrometeorology shortly after in 1959. The scope of the department was broadened into the problematics of agricultural systems (1973) and agroecology (2004), which led to the formation of the current department name, the Department of Agroecology and Biometeorology. Research and teaching activities still focus on all of the foregoing areas. International activities of the department are represented by common research projects, active participations at workshops and symposia, research fellowships and student and staff exchanges. These activities bring a necessary exchange of knowledge and international comparison, and they support the interest of foreign partners on different ways of collaboration in research and education.
Teaching activities Research Consultancy and co-operation with stakeholders
Because of its more generalised focus, the department offers courses mainly in bachelor study programmes. The courses are taught for our home faculty and also for the Faculty of Economics and Management and Faculty of Engineering. Meteorology and Climatology, Fundamentals of Agroecology and Agricultural Systems are the most popular courses, and selected courses are offered in English. The department also offers many specialised courses in Master and PhD study programmes, and many courses are taught together with collaborating departments.
Working on research projects funded by national (NAZV, TAČR) and international (EU - FP6, FP7) grant agencies, the department co-operates with many institutions in the Czech Republic and abroad.
Many projects are focused on weed biology and ecology, diversity of weed communities, and associated invertebrates as influenced by agricultural practices. The department is engaged in long-term research with practical implementations in the area of optimisation of chemical weed control and also related issues such as environmental fate of herbicides, or weed resistance to herbicides.
Important areas of interest are soil tillage systems and vegetation cover, in relation to water dynamics in the soil-plant-atmosphere system. This research also focuses on the effectiveness of water uptake and usage by plants, rainfall distribution in the crop canopy and prevention of soil erosion.
The department achieved significant results from studying the impact of climate change and weather variability on crop production and the associated occurrence of weeds, pests, and diseases. Sustainable use of genetically modified crops is studied together with biotech companies and foreign research institutions.
The department co-operates broadly with a range of stakeholders in the agricultural industry. Co-operative activities include consultancy, counselling, and delivering presentations to government bodies, farmers and farmer associations. Currently, wide-ranging research is in progress for a number of agribusiness companies. Based on Good Experimental Practice accreditation, the department provides commercial testing of herbicides as part of a registration procedure, and many field and greenhouse development trials have been established for Czech and international companies.
Our department members administrate three web applications that are frequently visited and highly rated by the public: Automatic meteorological station, Herba - weed atlas, and Weedmap geodatabase, all of which can be reached from the faculty web page and have become a popular source of data and information for both students and the public.
Consultancy and co-operation with stakeholders