Main objectives and experimentation themes

The Caté experimental station conducts 4 programs in conventional agriculture:

  • Open-Field Vegetables

The open-field vegetables sector has over 10 hectares distributed across 34 plots for the implementation of applied research activities under production conditions. Glass greenhouses are used to raise vegetable seedlings or conduct work under semi-controlled conditions.

More than 15 species are being studied : cabbages (cauliflower, broccoli, Romanesco, colored cauliflower, headed cabbage…), crtichoke, shallots and onions, squashes, endive, zucchini/courgettes, diversification.

If you would like more information about this area of activity, you can find the page in French here.

  • Greenhouse Vegetables

The greenhouse vegetables sector has 4,200 m² of greenhouses divided into 10 compartments for conducting applied research activities under production conditions. The greenhouses, built between 2002 and 2016, represent the production tools commonly used by market gardeners. The sector has tools for crop establishment, maintenance, and harvesting.

Two main species are studied : Tomatoes (grape, cherry and small fruits, large fruit segmentation and heirloom varieties, rootstocks) and Strawberries. Each year, we evaluate nearly 150 varieties of tomatoes.

If you would like more information about this area of activity, you can find the page in French here.

  • Ornamental Horticulture

The ornamental horticulture sector has an above-ground outdoor nursery of nearly 7,000 m², 2,500 m² under plastic shelters, and 1,000 m² of glass greenhouse for conducting applied research activities under production conditions or in semi-controlled conditions. One greenhouse is specifically dedicated to propagation.

All types of trees, shrubs, perennial plants, including heathland plants (rhododendron, camellia, azalea, hydrangea…), Mediterranean plants (lavender, myrtle, cyst…), small fruits (raspberries, currants…), hedge plants, roses, and plant productions for the bioeconomy. These plants can be cultivated in various cultivation systems (outdoors, under heated or unheated shelters).

If you would like more information about this area of activity, you can find the page in French here.

  • Cultivated Mushrooms

The objective is to diversify the range of cultivated mushrooms complementary to the button mushroom by developing mushrooms with high commercial value, recognized for their multiple organoleptic, nutritional, and medicinal properties. The cultivated mushroom sector aims to develop innovative, efficient, and economically resilient production models while meeting societal expectations in terms of food safety and environmental preservation.

More than 1,200 experimental plots are monitored annually. Each year, 25 to 30 trials are conducted under controlled conditions, representing 1,200 to 1,300 experimental plots.

The main mushrooms studied are: Shiitake or Lentinus edodes, Oyster mushrooms or Pleurotus ostreatus, Poplar mushroom or Pholiota nameko, King oyster mushroom or Pleurotus eryngii, other diversification mushrooms.

If you would like more information about this area of activity, you can find the page in French here.

MAIN Objectives

  • Strengthening product image (agroecological transition, environmental respect, food safety),
  • Seeking product competitiveness (production costs, commercial quality),
  • Anticipating changes in consumption (diversification, segmentation, presentation).

Themes of experimentation

  • Reasoned fertilization and agronomy,
  • Plant protection and Integrated Pest Management,
  • Cultivation techniques,
  • Varietal segmentation and diversification,
  • Preservation of post-harvest quality,
  • Energy saving.
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Orientation of Experimentation Programs

In the various sectors, the decision-making process for experimentation orientations involves representatives from the profession, technical and scientific organizations, and research and development structures at the regional level.

At this initial level of professional technical commissions by products or themes, the objective is to assess past trials, gather professional needs, and validate orientations.


  • A farm of 16 hectares, including 12 arable hectares,
  • 9,000 m2 of glasshouses and plastic shelters,
  • A set of 16 lysimeter units,
  • 4 post-harvest conservation chambers,
  • Outdoor cultivation areas for soilless ornamental nursery,
  • Specific equipment for cultivated mushroom experimentation (pasteurization chamber, mushroom cultivation and production rooms),
  • A weather station,
  • Measurement and experimental data processing equipment,
  • An operating budget of approximately 2.1 million Euros.
Ensemble des infrastructures de la station expérimentale du CATE en vue aérienne : légumes de plein champ,
légumes sous abris, horticulture ornementale, champignons cultivés
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