26. August 2022

HortiBonn participation at the 31st International Horticultural Congress in Angers HortiBonn participation at the 31st International Horticultural Congress in Angers

From August 14-20, 2022, 2333 scientists from all horticultural disciplines met for the 31st International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Angers, France. The Congress took place at the Congress Center of Angers, which is located next to the Botanical Garden, and at the University which is 7 walking minutes away. Clouds, wind and occasional showers offered a welcome refreshment in high summer temperatures. In 25 Symposia with diverse topics from fruit growing to greenhouse technology, participants were updated on the current state of play in horticultural research. Among the hottest topics were biostimulants, biodiversity, climate change and digitalization in horticulture. 

The HortiBonn participants at the 31st International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Angers.
The HortiBonn participants at the 31st International Horticultural Congress (IHC) in Angers. © HortiBonn
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The HortiBonn team attended the IHC with a delegation of nine participants, who were involved in 11 presentations: Prof. Dr. Eike Lüdeling gave an inspiring keynote speech on “Forecasting tree phenology in a climate change context”. Dr. Hannah Jaenicke presented a study on biodiversity in apple orchards. Dr. Michael Blanke showed a new approach to develop a freshness index for bell pepper fruits and possibilities for long-term CO2 storage in orchard soils. His presentations were complemented by two posters on long-term soil temperatures and light deprivation as a herbicide. Zoe Heuschkel presented her consumer study on the introduction of a new sustainability label in fruit production. Nils Siefen explained the possibilities of a LiDAR sensor for characterizing apple tree canopies based on his study conducted at the Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau Bodensee. Posters on fruiting walls in apple orchards and dormancy release in Prunus avium L. were presented by Lars Zimmermann and Esteban Soto, respectively. Charlotte Hubert from the “INRES Nachwachsende Rohstoffe”, who was temporarily adopted by the HortiBonn family, also visited the congress and gave a talk on the reaction of Mentha genotypes to different UV-treatments. Christine Schmitz completed the HortiBonn travel group as a listener.

Also successful were the initiatives promoted jointly with US colleagues to appoint Prof. Alan Lakso and John Palmer as honorary members of the ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science) and Profs. Luca Corelli-Grappadelli and George Manganaris as the new chairman and vice chairman of the Fruit Crop Section of the ISHS (International Society for Horticultural Science).

Besides the scientific program we had many opportunities to make contacts with other researchers during the coffee breaks and evening events. Some of us took part in one of the technical tours, while others made use of conference downtime to visit the nice city of Angers. Technical tours included trips to Inagro, where the role of apple trees to enhance the micro-climate in cities was shown, to hortival, a big producer of ornamental plants, and to the CTIFL de La Morinière, a pome fruit and berry research station. One evening we visited Terra Botanica, a theme park dedicated to plants. The typical French gala dinner included extraordinary food like snail crumble, followed by a nice party with live music after the dinner (including a stage dive by the conference chair…).

We are already looking forward to IHC 32 in Kyoto in 2026.

Authors: Dr. Michael Blanke and Christine Schmitz

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