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History of Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics
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Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics in its present form was established on 1st Feb. 2000 by a merge of two scientific departments at the IUNG: Department of Agrometeorology and Department of Applied Mathematics and Informatics. Due to this fact the presentation of its history requires the description of two parallel threads of development until the merge and then as one after the merge.
Department of Agrometeorology
After the reorganization of the PINGW in 1950 research within the scope of meteorology was conducted at more than one unit of the Puławy research centre. In the years between 1953 and 1956 it was confined mainly to the Laboratory of Local Climate and Microclimate of the IMUZ. In 1957 the IMUZ moved from Puławy and at the IUNG the Autonomous Laboratory of Agricultural Meteorology and Climatology was created with dr. Henryk Mitosek as Head. As of 1962 Tadeusz Górski, MSc, became Head of the Laboratory. In 1966 the Laboratory was changed into the Agrometeorology Department, headed by dr. Tadeusz Górski. Initially the Department had 9 persons of staff: 2 scientific workers, 6 technicians and 1 hand. The activities were focused on research methodology and problems within the scope of microclimatology and agrohydrometeorology, for which empirical materials were acquired from fields at Kępa and Osiny experimental stations. Fixed fields of 1 hectare of area, cultivated according to unchanging tillage practices were the experimental objects on which the experiments begun by the earlier research units were continued, aided with the current biometric, phonologic and physical agrometeorologic information. Measurements of atmospheric pollution within the impact range of chemical works in the Puławy region and in Sulphur Basin had been conducted for a few years.
Owing to scientific and organizational initiative of Prof. Tadeusz Górski the research area was broadened, co-operation with other scientific centres was initiated and the number of staff raised. Between 1971 and 1975 the research had been focused mainly on climatic requirements of various crops and methods of objective assessment of yield-effectiveness of the climate. The agroclimatic valuation was elaborated at the Department as part of the complex valuation of agricultural production space of Poland developed by an inter-departmental team. For this achievement the team was awarded the first degree State Reward. The actinometrical measurements that had been previously conducted at Puławy for a long time were expanded and large-scale research within the scope of photoecology was begun; the latter was conducted at a laboratory founded in the Upper Garden inside the Department's own means. In 1971, after many years of research, the activities on the fixed fields had been finished and the empirical materials acquired were taken over by dr. Zygmunt Jakubczak, who moved with two other employees to the Department of Soil Science and Recultivation of the IUNG.
Apart from a diverse scientific programme at the Department standard measurements of weather elements were carried out as well as special ones stimulated by the needs of field experiments of the Institute. For this purpose, in early 70s, the Meteorogical Service was created, supervised by Józef Wójcik. The organizational structure of weather stations network of experimental stations of the IUNG was established and the departmental data archive was extended. In 1972 the XXII Agrometeorological Meeting was organized on the occasion of the Centenary of Meteorology in Puławy. This anniversary was mainly related to the functioning of the Puławy weather station, which had been run by the Department of Agrometeorology, one of only few stations in Poland of such long measurement series.
In late 70s the Department was in charge of co-ordination of a nation-wide project concerning agrometeorological basis of yield forecasting. Apart from that the research into climatic requirements of maize production for different uses was conducted. Furthermore, work on the methodology of loss assessment in plant production as caused by precipitation deficiency was conducted. At the end of 70s the number of staff at the Department reached 17 persons: 4 scientific workers, 10 technicians and 3 hands.
Between 1981 and 1990 the Agrometeorology Laboratory, headed by dr. Gustaw Demidowicz, functioned within the Department. Its team, numbering 8 people, conducted work on climatic requirements of plants in which these properties had been unknown before. The Laboratory also developed the agroclimatic valuation to the scale of voivodship. Moreover, Prof. T. Górski, Head of the Department, formed an informal small group to continue the earlier research into variability of crop yielding and photobiology of seeds and plants. The research into variability of climatic elements and its description in probabilistic terms as well as refining methods of determination the relationship between development and yielding of plants and the weather was also going on. This research became the information and methodology foundation for the Agroclimatic Atlas of Poland, the elaboration of which was begun within a broad thematic scope; the task was to crone the earlier achievements of the Department in the field of agrometeorology.
In the 90s the development of the Atlas was aided with computer technology. In addition, the research into the impacts of climate change on plant production was conducted and climatic index of water balance was constructed. The homogenization of temperature and precipitation series of the length of over one century from the weather station in Puławy was accomplished. In the field of photoecology the research into exploiting the photoblastism of seeds in weed control in crops was conducted as well as into photomorphogenetic factors of habit and yielding formation of plants in stand. In 1992 the Department of Agrometeorology hosted the III Nation-wide Scientific Symposium "Climate of the Cultivated Field".
As of 1995 dr Gustaw Demidowicz became Head of Department. In 1996 the anniversary of 125 years of agricultural meteorology in Puławy was celebrated and on this occasion the International Scientific Conference "Climatic Conditions of Plant Poduction" and the International Seminar on Phytoactinometry were held. The Seminars on Phytoactinometry have been organized at the Institute for many years owing to a strong scientific position of the photoecology team at the Department. The employees of the Department took part in the realization of the commissioned research project "Methodology of current and long-term forecasting of production volume of staple crops in Poland". The statistical and empirical methods developed within the project have been used since in the current forecasting service run by the Department. In co-operation with the Department of Applied Mathematics and Informatics the Agroclimatic Atlas of Poland was finished in the form of computer programs generating data for map creation.
Written by Gustaw Demidowicz
Department of Applied Mathematics and Informatics
In 1970 a Department of Computation was founded at the IUNG. Its main task was analysis of the results of field experiments conducted in ZDUNGs (Soil, Fertilization and Cultivation Experimental Stations) and at the regional network of experimental sations. Henryk Nadzieja, MSc, was appointed as Head of the Department, which at that time was equipped with a GEO-2 machine (manufactured by Warsaw Polytechnic). The Department had 8 persons of staff.
In 1972 the name of the Department was changed to the Department of Electronic Computational Technology with Erazm Działoszyński, MSc, as Head. In the Department an ODRA-1325 computer had been installed (in 1974) and the number of staff grew to 25. Since the new machine had no software dedicated to special jobs it was the task of the crew to develop a library of programs for statistical analysis of results from all experiments conducted at the IUNG. This had been achieved in a few years.
In 1976 Prof. Jerzy Krzymuski was appointed Head of Department. The unit changed the status from services to science-and-services, which was also reflected in its new name: Department of Methodology of Experiments and Informatics. Two laboratories had been created: Laboratory of Methods of Experiments and Applied Informatics with Krystyna Filipiak, MSc, as Head and Laboratory of Applied Informatics with Bogusław Pietraś, MSc, as Head. The Computation Division was headed by Erazm Działoszyński, MSc. This organizational structure persisted till 1987.
The fundamental mission of the Department continued to be computational services and statistical analysis of results from experiments as well as verification of documentation sheets from experiments conducted at ZDUNGs. Parallel to the services research was carried out into regionalization of staple crops, progress in field crop varieties as well as field-experiment methods and application of informatics. The focus was on implementation of new statistical methods, new experimental methods and numerical processing of data.
Apart from typically statistical programs, numerous application programs were created at that time in co-operation with other scientific departments. Of these Valuation of Production Agricultural Space, Programmed Recommendations for Fertilisation and Optimisation of Cropping Systems were the most important. The SYGRODAN system for data collection was developed, in which the following databases were created: a database on sample farms (830 farms from all the country), a database on weed infestation of crops and a database of results from the farms taking advantage of the Programmed Recommendations for Fertilisation system.
After Prof. J. Krzymuski had left in 1987, the Department was changed into Division of Informatics and Experimental Methodology with Czesław Pietruch as Head and a new mission to develop software for PC computers. Due to the restructuring of the Institute in 1992 about 60% of employees left the Division. From the remaining staff of 8 persons a new department was created: The Department of Applied Mathematics and Informatics headed by Prof. Antoni Faber. The changes become faster. KBN, in answer to a proposal prepared by Czesław Pietruch, MSc, grants funding for the purchase of a SUN computer, the installation of a LAN network at the IUNG and the Internet connection. In 1994 dr. Andrzej Zaliwski becomes Head of Department. Gradually new staff is recruited. In the Department new research projects are introduced that take into account new developments in informatics. Research projects on simulation modelling of yields of selected crops are started, but the development of Spatial Information System on Agricultural Resources in Poland becomes the most important. The projects taken on require close co-operation of specialists from such fields as natural sciences, cartography, geodesy, geography, remote sensing, mathematics, mathematical statistics and informatics. These have been considered the priority direction of research at the IUNG. Technical equipment now makes possible to create numerical maps at different scales: country, regional and local in order to present the distribution of natural variables, such as: climate, contamination of soils etc. Between 1998 and 2000 the research is continued within the "Integrated Spatial Information System for Agricultural Production in Poland" project, commissioned by the Polish Minister of Agriculture.
At the present the Department have such computer programs as: AGROEFEKT (Technology Modeling and Economic Analysis of Private Farms), NAW3, AGRONOM (Fertilization Advisory Service), AWAR (Variance Analysis System), DOPL2 (Crop Rotation Advisory Service), which are in the IUNG's advertisement. Progress is made on a new version of Advisory Service in Cereal Production Technology. The staff of the Department have co-operated with other scientific departments at the IUNG in realization of many interdisciplinary research projects. The effects are common scientific publications rewarded with national, ministerial and Director of the Institute's awards.
Written by Stanisław Wilkos
Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics
The Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics between 2000 and 2002 takes part in statutory, commissioned and international research projects and grants. Services activity along the line of mathematical statistics, experimental design, data processing, spatial analysis and cartography for the benefit of other departments has been continued.
In April 2000 the PBZ 17-08 project titled "Integrated Spatial Information System for Agricultural Production in Poland" was successfully brought to an end.
In another project, "Assessment of the content of heavy metals, sulphur and some organic compounds in the soil of arable land", which had been realised in co-operation with the Soil Science, Erosion Control and Land Protection Department, the GIS team of the Department of Agrometeorology and Applied Informatics developed applications for spatial analyses and took part in preparation (spatial analysis, editing and printing) of numerical maps of the state of contamination of the soil with Cu, Cd, Ni, Pb, Zn and S to the scale of 1:500,000.
In the project Starting the information system on distribution of segetal weeds a data processing system was created to generate information on weed infestation of crops in Poland. The data came from a 20-years long monitoring conducted by the Department of Weed Ecology and Control of the IUNG (now Department of Weed Science and Soil Tillage Systems of the IUNG-PIB). With the aid of the system the atlas of distribution of segetal weeds in Poland, containing 16 maps, was prepared and printed. For research in which spatial data and spatial analyses are used the results achieved in the project "Geostatistic Methods in Spatial Experimental Design" are especially important.
Modelling of growth and development of plants was the subject of the project "Assessment of the usefulness of the SUCROS / WOFOST / NWHEAT deterministic models in explanation of winter-wheat yielding-variability in field conditions".
In two international projects, "Development and Implementation of an Internet based Decision Support System for Integrated Pest Management in Poland 2000-2002" and "Development of an Internet based Decision Support System for Cereal Diseases and Potato Late Blight in Poland, 2001-2002" web pages with weather, climatic, variety and other information were developed along with the pages with disease, weed and potato late blight models. These latter projects have been conducted in co-operation with the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences - DIAS (at present Aarhus University), Danish Agricultural Advisory Service (DAAC) and the key Polish institutions in plant protection, namely Plant Protection Institute (IOR) in Poznań, Plant Breeding and Acclimatization Institute (IHAR) in Radzików, the IHAR - Bonin branch, Main Inspectorate of Plant Protection and Seed Inspection (GIIORiN) in Warsaw, Institute of Meteorology and Water Management (IMGW) - the Poznań branch and the Voivodship Agricultural Advisory Centre (LODR) in Końskowola.
Among the major achievements of the Department in the period 2000-2002 numerous computer programs, Internet applications, research progress reports, results of spatial analyses, numerical maps, scientific publications and reviews can be numbered. The Department has had co-operation with scientific domestic institutions such as the Institute of Geodesy and Geodetic Astronomy of the Warsaw University of Technology, the Institute of Meteorology and Water Management in Warsaw and the Wrocław University as well as foreign ones. The employees of the Department have taken part in numerous domestic and foreign symposia, conferences and workshops to present scientific papers and posters.
Written by Andrzej S. Zaliwski

First version: 8 Nov. 2002, last modified: 15 July 2014