Mid-conference field day in Boigneville and Fontainebleau

Wednesday, the 26th of September 2018

This field day will focus on the visit of ARVALIS experimental station in Boigneville where several long term experiments are carried out.

During the visit, 5 sessions will be presented outside based on experiments and demonstrations:
– Crop establishment and seeding technologies
– Cover crops
– Dynamics of soil structure under conventional tillage and no-till from the 50-year long-term experiment at Boigneville
– The use of visual assessment methods of soil structure in France
– Compaction, tires and tractor with the participation of Michelin and Massey Ferguson companies

Then, you will visit the Castle of Fontainebleau.

The Boigneville experimental station

ARVALIS – Institut du vegetal is an applied agricultural research organization dedicated to arable crops : cereals, maize, sorghum, potatoes, fodder crops, flax and tobacco. It was founded by farmers and dedicates its expertise to the creation of production systems that combine economic competitiveness, adaptation to changing markets conditions and environment protection. The Institute has effective means through 27 local sites in France. It operates at the field scale from pre-sowing to post-harvest stages.

The biggest ARVALIS experimental station is located in Boigneville, 70 km south of Paris. 150 permanent staff and 30 to 70 seasonal workers are dedicated to studies focused on agronomy, plant knowledge, modelling, biotechnology, crop management and protection, agri-environmental schemes, precision farming, harvesting and storage, agricultural machinery, digital applications and economy.

Boigneville experimental station covers 150 ha and is known for its several long term experiments:

The soil tillage long term experiment started in 1970 and compares 3 soil tillage techniques (ploughing, shallow cultivation and direct drilling) on three crop rotation (corn-winter wheat; sugar beet-winter wheat-winter oil seed rape-spring barley; continuous winter wheat). Other factors have been studied: straw removal, cover crops, fungicides application, corn straw chopping. Measurements have focused mainly on yield components, fungi, weeds and soil parameters.

ARVALIS experimental station in Boigneville and its numerous field trials

An experiment studying nitrate leaching started in 1991. Equipped with ceramic suction samplers, it compares ploughing and direct drilling, with or without cover crops. Measurements have focused mainly on nitrogen cycle and nitrate leaching.
An experiment which started in 1989 compares several farming systems: one based on digital technologies, one on conservation agriculture (direct drilling, cover crops…), and one on organic farming. The experiment is carried out with classical farm equipment and plots size. The measurements focus on the strengths and weaknesses of each farming system. Since 2016, we pay much attention to digital technologies such as big data processing, the modelling of biological cycles, sensors, decision-making tools, and machine guidance.

For these long term experiments, ARVALIS has some partnerships with other technical institutes (Terres Inovia, ITB), with French and international basic research infrastructures such as INRA (French National Institute for Agricultural Research), and some manufacturers.

The Castle of Fontainebleau

Fontainebleau Castle

Fontainebleau Castle and its famous horseshoe-shaped staircase

The Francis Gallery

The carp pond and the Fontainebleau Castle


The Francis I Gallery

The Castle of Fontainebleau

With over 1500 rooms at the heart of 130 acres of parkland and gardens, Fontainebleau is the only royal and imperial château to have been continuously inhabited for seven centuries. A visit to Fontainebleau opens up an unparalleled view of French history, art history and architecture. It is one of the largest royal residences remaining in Europe, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
The Castle of Fontainebleau can proudly claim to have been a sovereign residence for eight centuries. Capetiens, Valois, Bourbons, Bonaparte and Orleans, all members of French ruling dynasties, have lived within these walls. Kings and queens, emperors and empresses have all striven to make their own improvements to the château built around the original keep. The estate quickly became a huge palace in which many momentous historical events have been played out. For example, on 20th April 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte made his famous farewell speech to the soldiers of the Old Guard.

The visit includes the Grands Appartements, the Napoleon I Museum, the Small Apartements, the Chinese Museum and the second Empire, the furniture Gallery, courtyards and gardens.

Fontainebleau Castle website

The library in the Diana Gallery

The library in the Diana Gallery

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