H. Krug
The development of modern societies goes together with an exponential increase in knowledge, a tremendous supply of technology and a growing competition in economy.
  • Science has reacted and is still reacting by way of specialization (fig. 1). In crop science, for example, about 10 disciplines have been developed, which allow for detailed and sophisticated research work.
  • In horticultural practice, too, some specialization has been achieved and is still going on. But every grower has to manage the complete production system (fig. 2), which still consists of innumerable elements and relationships, that have to be integrated. This is more or less done empirically, but with an increasing offer of possibilities and pressure for optimization, difficulties and insufficiencies grow.

Therefore the grower as well as the Advisory Service have to be supported by science not only in detailed specific knowledge, but especially in integration. Until now only rather imperfect methods have been developed in this field. Therefore, science is challenged to make new approaches towards analysing and optimizing of production systems. That is to say, that the period of specialization has to be supplemented by intensified research on integration.

An initial approach such as cybernetics was devised by NORBERT WIENER in 1948. Since then the disciplin of system theory has developed to be a self-reliant field and is used in many basic and applied disciplines, including agriculture and horticulture. In protected cultivation with highly developed technology and high production costs there is a special need for optimization and some approaches being developed in various countries. One of these approaches is the conception of the "Sonderforschungsbereich" (Special Collaboration Program) of the University of Hannover, supported by the "Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft" (German Research Society). This rather comprehensive approach may be demonstrated by the diagram in figure 3.

Krug, H. (1989). CONCEPTION OF BIO-ECONOMIC MODELS. Acta Hortic. 248, 19-26
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.248.1

Acta Horticulturae