Brief history and actual orientation of RIPP

Research Institute of Plant Production in Piešťany (hereinafter RIPP Piešťany or Institute) was established by the Decree of minister of agriculture No. 71/1951/ÚV of 3 May 1951 with effect from 1 March 1951 under the title "Regional Departmental Research Institute of Plant Production" at Borovce near Piešťany (since 1956 the seat of the Institute has been in Piešťany). The Institute farm at Borovce about 410,41 hectares agricultural land area absorbed at the same time. Since its establishment it has underwent several organization changes, experimental bases at Borovce, Hurbanovo - Sesíleš, Medziháj, and Ľubietová were a part of Institute too.

From the view of organization, in 1951 the Institute was a branch of Research Institute of Plant Production in Praha - Ruzyně with the competence for the whole Slovakia. In 1953 it passed to the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) in Bratislava, in 1959 to the Branch of Czechoslovak Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Bratislava, in 1962 to the Center for Agricultural Research attached to the Commission of Slovak Parliament for Agriculture in Bratislava, and in 1968 to the Slovak Agricultural Academy (SAA). Since abolition of SAA the Institute has been managed directly by the XIth Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and Nutrition of SR.

In accordance with a long-term conception of agricultural research in Slovakia, throughout the years 1954-1962 the RIPP participated in creating new specialized scientific and research centers and scientific institutions, when from his some formations and working collectives were gradually created Laboratory of Plant Protection (1954, later Institute of Experimental Phytopathology and Entomology, SAS, at Ivánka pri Dunaji), Pedology Laboratory (1960, at present Soil Science and Conservation Research  Institute in Bratislava as a part of NAFC Lužianky-based), Research Institute of Maize in Trnava (1962, at present Zeainvent, Ltd. Trnava) and Research Institute of Meadows and Pastures in Banská Bystrica (1962, at present Grassland and Mountain Agriculture Research Institute Banská Bystrica as a part of NAFC).

In 1964 the Institute became the nationwide directing and coordinating research center for field forage crops and the only research center for fruit crops in Slovakia. In 1970 the Institute was split to four crop sectors - for field crops, cereals, fruit crops, and vegetables. These sectors were divided to particular departments according to the scientific fields.

In 1977 in agreement with decision of superior organs to ensure connection of research with breeding and seed production, was RIPP Piešťany organizationally included into the Production and Economical Unit SLOVOSIVO, the scientific and production association for breeding and seed production. Nine Breeding Stations (hereinafter BS) were affiliated to the Institute at the same time, namely Sládkovičovo, Solary, Horná Streda, Radošina, Špačince (beforehand Borovce), Malý Šariš, Vígľaš-Pstruša, Levočské Lúky, and Trebišov. The Institute became in this way the greatest institution for research and breeding in Slovakia.

Within the reorganization in 1977, two great departments, for research and breeding of fruit crops and vegetables, were separated from RIPP and independent institutes were created from them - Research Institute of Fruit and Ornamental Crops at Bojnice (at present Research Institute of Fruit and Ornamental Crops, joint stock company Bojnice) and Research Institute of Vegetables at Hurbanovo.

Based on the decision of the Minister of Agriculture and Food SR since 1 January 1989 the Institute was excluded from the structure of SLOVOSIVO and became a contributory organization managed directly by the Ministry of Agriculture of SR. At the same time six of nine BS were separated from the Institute and within the Institute only BS Malý Šariš, Vígľaš-Pstruša (later were transform on Research and Breeding Stations) and Špačince remained (on 1 January 1997 was BS merged with a specific production unit of RIPP in Borovce into Research and Breeding Station with the seat in Borovce and consequently on 1 January 2005 was transformed to Research Station Borovce). Since 1 January 2005, the Grassland and Mountain Agriculture Research Institute (hereinafter GMARI) Banská Bystrica and the Regional Research Institute of Agroecology in Michalovce and since 1 January 2006, also Research Institute of Viticulture and Enology (hereinafter RIVE) Bratislava have been incorporated into the RIPP by a decision of the Ministry of Agriculture of SR.

Based on the decision of the MA SR since 1 January 2006 RIPP Piešťany became a part of Slovak Agricultural Research Centre with the headquarters in Nitra and since 1 February 2009 till 31 December 2013 on the decision of the MA SR has been a part of a state contributory organization Plant Production Research Center Piešťany, managed directly by the Ministry of Agriculture of SR, a part of which have been GMARI Banská Bystrica, Research Institute of Agroecology (hereinafter RIA) Michalovce and RIVE Bratislava too.

Based on the decision of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of the Slovak Republic (hereinafter MARD of SR) RIPP Piešťany since 1 January 2014 has been a part of (without legal identity) a state contributory organization National Agricultural and Food Centre with the headquarters in Lužianky (hereinafter NAFC), managed directly by the MARD of SR, whereby GMARI Banská Bystrica, RIA Michalovce and RIVE Bratislava have been a part of NAFC.

Research activity of RIPP Piešťany in the field of technological research is at present prioritly aimed on: regulation of factors conditioning and influencing the quantity and the quality of yield at main field and special crops; sustainable improvement and innovation of growing systems and technologies in plant production, including the integrated, alternative and ecological forms; sustainable production of biomass and ways of biomass utilisation for energy production and for non-food purposes; ecologisation and biologisation of the plant production and research of effects and impact of climate change on the course of  production process at the plant production and possibilities for an adaptation of agriculture to the change.

In the field of genetically-breeding research is research of RIPP oriented on analyses of plant genotypes and phenotypes and their pathogens, relationship between them and creation of new biological materials with improved properties using the progressive methods; biotechnological procedures applicable in plant production and in agriculture, including the modifications of plant genomes; genetically conditioned tolerance and persistence of plants to negative factors of the environment; improving the quality, safety and functionality of food resources and testing of the genetically modified plants.

RIPP Piešťany insures and in conditions of Slovak Republic co-ordinates collecting, studying, conservation and utilisation of plant gene pool for agriculture and nutrition (Gene Bank for the needs of SR is located at the Institute in Piešťany) and at the same time non-production and landscape-forming functions of plant production and of  agricultural production are examined.

At the same time the Institute insures: dissemination of knowledge and putting the research and development results into practice; advisory, evaluating and project-making activities; preparation of strategies, prognoses, outlooks, concepts, expertises, studies, proposals and syntheses in the fields of general and specialised plant production; acquisition and dissemination of scientific information; publishing and editing scientific, professional and popular literature and serials; national and international cooperation in science and technology; educational and additional activities.

Research acitivity of the Institute is prioritly oriented on cereals and oil crops, follows forage crops, legumes, vine grape, energy crops, medicinal and aromatic plants and some special crops. Plant breeding aimed at winter and spring wheat, spring and winter oats, triticale and poppy is carried out by the Research and Breeding Stations of the Institute at Malý Šariš and at Vígľaš-Pstruša.