of General Agronomy
University of Zagreb, Faculty of Agriculture
Svetošimunska cesta 25, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
Pavilion 5th, 1st Floor
Teaching activities of Department take place in the scientific area of biotechnical sciences, the scientific field of agronomy, the scientific branch of crop production and ecology and environmental protection. Department leads 2 study programmes: undergraduate study Agroecology and graduate study Organic agriculture with agrotourism.
Scientific and research activities
In addition to the issues of tillage and fertilization, Department also deals with the amelioration of physical (compaction), chemical (C, N, S) and biological (organic matter) characteristics of the soil; organic farming; conservation management and climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Part of research involves protection of degraded soil and environment (soil erosion by water, fire affected land, soil and water pollution).
Deapartment has published more than 850 scientific papers and participated in numerous national and international scientific, teaching and professional projects: HRZZ, MZOŠ, EU-FP6, LIFE, NATO, COST, ESF, UNDP-GEF, BICRO, TEMPUS…
The activity of the Analytical Laboratory (OPBLab) includes analysis of soil, water and plant material for purposes of teaching, scientific and professional activities.
Students of Bs and Ms studies perform their student practice in the laboratory every day, and prepare projects, final and diploma theses, while postgraduate (PhD students) and postdoctoral students do their scientific research.
The analytical laboratory has had sophisticated analytical equipment:
- spectrophotometer, HACH, DR / 2000, 1996.
- flame photometer, JENWAY, PFP 7, 1999.
- ion chromatograph, DIONEX, 2 × IC 1000, 2005.
- CHNS analyser, ELEMENTAR, Vario Macro CHNS, 2006.
- spectroradiometer, ASD, FieldSpec®3, 2007.
- penetrometer + THETA PROBE, EIJKELKAMP, Penetrologger 06.15.SA + ML2x, 2006.
- GPS, Trimble, GeoExplorerXH 6000, 2012.
- pXRF, Vanta, Olympus, 2019 - portable device for X-ray fluorescence analysis
In addition, the laboratory uses standard equipment: balances, centrifuge, shakers, ultrasonic bath, device for the production of ultra-pure water, conductometer, pH meter, water bath, freezer etc.In the laboratory, soil, plant material and water samples (drainage and lysimetric) are prepared and analysed daily using standard laboratory methods and techniques.OPBLab is capable to analyse over 50 different physical and chemical parameters, from describing quality and fertility to those whose degree of pollution is defined by legislation.The laboratory works in accordance with the general requirements for the competence of the laboratory (for the implementation of testing and calibration), and in accordance with the principles of good laboratory practice.This requires constant and regular external and internal quality control. Internal quality control involves the use of reference materials while external quality control includes annual participation in international programs:
- for soil-WEPAL, ISE, Wageningen, Netherlands (since 2007)
- for water -IFA, Tulln, Austria (since 2006),
- for plant material -WEPAL, IPE, Wageningen, The Netherlands (since 2009)
OPBLab proves its technical competence and the validity and traceability of its results (precision and accuracy).
Department of General Agronomy was founded as an independent unit in 1953. Its goal was scientific research and teaching of plant nutrition, general farming and agroecology. Throughout its history, the organizational units have changed, from the Department of General Agronomy (1953-1977) to the Institute of Agroecology (1977-1992), and finally, again to the Department of General Agronomy within Division of Agroecology as it is today. Agroecology has always been the main focus of research and education of the Department, including areas from the cultivation systems to agroecological conditions of plant cultivation (climate and soil). Since its establishment until today, the Analytical Laboratory (OPBLab) for analysis of soil, water and plant material has been operating within the Department, which is the backbone of scientific research and professional work.