Living Labs

Prigonrieux, Dordogne, Southwest France
Apple, Plum
Maria-Martha Fernandez (
Most used practices:
Hoeing - Mowing - Cover crops

Apple & Plum Living Lab

Our Living Lab is supported by the Interprofessional Technical Centre for Fruits and Vegetables (CTIFL). The CTIFL is the research and development organization serving the professionals of the unprocessed fruit and vegetable sectors, from upstream (production stage) to downstream (distribution and sales outlets). Our main mission is to help professionals meet the challenges of sustainable production and consumer satisfaction, in a constantly changing, increasingly competitive and demanding context. Our priority is to impact our sectors through our actions, by providing them with technically and economically viable solutions. Our Living Lab’s experiments are carried out on apple model (with an ambition to extend the results to other fruit species, whenever possible) and take place at the CTIFL Operational Centre of Lanxade, on the banks of the Dordogne in Périgord Pourpre, near Bergerac. On these lowland alluvial soils, dominated by silty-sandy soils, we are following two trials conducted in young apple plots in Integrated Fruit Production, under conditions close to those of the real farm. The objective of these two trials is to evaluate, in the specific case of the young apple orchard, a set of short-term transferable strategies, based on existing mechanical equipment and combinations of methods. The 1st of these trials also includes the pre-planting stage (measures to reduce the weed seed bank), while the 2nd focuses largely on the use of plant covers on tree rows. We are also exploring the possibility of robotizing mechanical weeding operations in the specific case of orchards, and working to identify and promote the adaptation to arboriculture of tools for assisting the guidance of inter-trees mechanical weeding equipment.