Name Case Study Site: CSS8 – Czech Republic (Czechia)
Responsible partner: RECETOX, Masaryk University Brno. Case Study Site leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Geographical description:
The case study is realised in the Czech Republic located in the Central Europe (see Fig. 1). The Czech Republic has a hilly landscape covering an area of 78.866 sq. km with a mostly temperate continental climate and oceanic climate. The Czech Republic has a specific geographical position causing air temperature differences between summer and winter. The warmest month of the year is July, followed by August and June. On average, summer air temperatures are about 20–30 °C higher than during winter. Summer is also characterized by rain and storms. The coldest month is usually January, followed by February and December. During these months, there is snow cover in the mountains and sometimes in the cities and lowlands.

The highest point in the country is Mt. Sněžka at 1.603 m a.s.l. Water from the Czech Republic flows to three different seas: The North Sea, Baltic Sea and Black Sea. Based on the Czech statistical office, there live about 10.699 million of inhabitants. The population density is about 134 persons per sq. km, and people are more concentrated in urban areas. The Czech Republic lies mostly between latitudes 48° and 51° N and longitudes 12° and 19° E.

LO Czechia

Main farming systems:
The total agriculture land represents approx. half (54%) of the total area of the Czech Republic. There are currently 4.2 million hectares of agricultural land in the Czech Republic. A decisive part of this area (3 million hectares, 71%) is arable land on which individual crops are rotated.

Agricultural production is one of the traditional sectors of the national economy. The share of agriculture (together with forestry) in gross value added in the national economy is now coming closer to the average for the countries of the European Fifteen. The percentage of workers in agriculture in the overall employment structure of the national economy is 2.9%.

Plant commodities are understood to be field and special crops cultivated for their primary and secondary products for use in human sustenance and consumption and are used to feed farm animals and for technical and pharmaceutical use. They include products such as grain, pulses, root crops, fodder plants and technical and special crops that include vines, sugar beet, oil crops, hops, fruit, vegetables, and curative and aromatic plants. Among the crops grown in the CR, oilseeds take up a significant position, which stems from their high demand on the market, both domestic and foreign. Oilseeds are grown to 479,5 thousand ha of land in 2018. Compared with the early 1990s, the area under oilseeds has increased more than threefold. The most common cultivated oilseed in the CR is oilseed rape, which comprises approximately 84% of the oilseeds grown. On average, about 27% of the domestic production of oilseed rape is exported from the CR.

FS Czechia1 FS Czechia2

Ongoing research and innovation actions
RECETOX is a research centre at the Masaryk University Faculty of Science. In 2018 it celebrated 35 years of existence. At RECETOX we are engaged in research and education in the management of environmental and health risks associated with the chemicals around us. RECETOX research groups focus on environmental contaminants. They study their behaviour in the environment, employ advanced techniques for modelling their long-distance transport and bioaccumulation in living organisms, as well as their health effects on organisms, humans, and populations.

The Environmental Toxicology research programme aims to understand the mechanisms and long-term impacts of acute and chronic exposures to anthropogenic chemicals and natural toxins. The ultimate goal is to predict health and ecosystem risks of complex mixtures present in the environment.

RECETOX actively participates in dozens of research projects annually. In 2018 RECETOX researchers took part in:

  • 17 European projects (H2020)
  • 20+ national research projects (e.g., GAČR)
  • 5 application projects (TAČR, MPO)
  • 6 international contracts (OSN, WHP)
  • 30 contract research projects.

Relevant stakeholders in the area:

  • Oilseed grower
  • The Ministry of Agriculture of the Czech Republic
  • The Ministry of the Environment of the Czech Republic
  • Regional and departmental agricultural chambers - Association of Private Farming of the Czech Republic, Association of Oilseed Growers and Processors, PRO-BIO - Union of Organic Farmers, z.s.