The area was formed during the ice age and the interglacial period, especially the Holstein interglacial period and the Saale ice age. This period has created the old moraines landscape of the High Fläming with outwashed plains, ground moraine areas and ground moraines covered with sand. The experimental site itself is also such an area of ground moraines covered with sand. In 1997, the land around the experimental site was declared a landscape conservation area; amongst others the great bustard (Otis tarda) is resident here.
The station was gradually rebuilt since 2000, and is now housed in a new building with office, laboratory, storage and sanitary rooms. A garage and a machine hall have complemented the site.
Adjacent to the building, the experimental field with 38 hectares and an on-site deep-well for irrigation stretches out. The soil is a highly sandy loamy soil with an average concentration of 58.4% sand, 37% silt and 4.6% clay and an organic matter of 1.4%. The pH value is 5.8. The average soil quality is 48 (German soil classification), this stands for a middle quality in Germany but for a better one in the federal state Brandenburg. The location is representative of about 40% of the arable land of the new federal states.
The experimental field lies 77 to 88 meters above sea level, a little undulating and inclined to the east. The average annual precipitation is 526 mm and the average annual temperature is 8.5 °C
Besides the usual test series, the Dahnsdorf site conducts long-term field trials that started in the year 1995. Depending on current research issues, the field trials focus on, for instance, different strategies for plant protection or the potential of pesticide reduction. These long-term trials are important for determining the pesticide dosage reduced to the necessary extent and are part of the National Action Plan on Sustainable Use of Plant Protection Products (http://www.nap-pflanzenschutz.de/en/practice/long-term-studies/ ).
Other long-term field trials deal with the influence of crop rotation, fertilization and plant protection on the intensity of diseases, on pests and weeds and, of course, yield. One crop rotation consists of continuous cropping of winter rye since 1998.
Also organic farming was established in 1995 as a long-term field trial. Examples for the research fields in organic farming are the regulation of the Colorado potato beetle (Leptinotarsa decemlineata) and insects in winter oilseed rape. More research topics are, for instance:
The results of these research activities are discussed with farmers, advisers, politicians and others every year in June when Dahnsdorf is holding its open day, the so called “Feldversuchstag”.
Of course, the results are published in different ways, for example: the JKI publication Journal of Cultivated Plants (Journal für Kulturpflanzen) dedicated two special editions to the long-term trials: 7/2010 (part 1) and 9/2010 (part 2).
A summary of 20 years of long-term field trials can be found in the Journal of Cultivated Plants (Journal für Kulturpflanzen) 12/2015.
The data are also used for diploma, master or PhD theses.
At Kleinmachnow, there are two greenhouses (build in 1975 and 1992) for experiments with a floor space of about 1,000 square meters. Moreover there are 24 climate chambers and walk-in conditioning cells located in a climatic hall for experiments. The open land cultivated for experiments extends over 450 square meters.
The experimental field in a nature park
The experimental site consists of the research station Dahnsdorf and the experimental nursery Kleinmachnow. The experimental station Dahnsdorf (postal address D-14806 Planetal, OT Dahnsdorf) is located in the High Fläming Nature Park (German: Naturpark Hoher Fläming) in the federal state Brandenburg. – The place is about 60 km southwest of Berlin, close to motorway A9, exit Niemegk.
Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants
Stahnsdorfer Damm 81
14532 Kleinmachnow, Germany
Senior scientific officer
Dr. sc. agr. Jürgen Schwarz,
Tel: +49(0)33203 48-225
Senior technical officer
Roland Buchhorn, Dipl.-Ing.
Tel: +49(0)30 8304-2028 / +49(0)33843 514-01
Responsible at Dahnsdorf
Tel: +49(0)33843 30-917