Cultivating innovative techniques f… – Information Centre – Research & Innovation

An EU-funded job promoted the exchange, display screen and transfer of modern fertigation technologies which

An EU-funded job promoted the exchange, display screen and transfer of modern fertigation technologies which merge fertilisation with irrigation. This strategy will aid farmers to use restricted water assets additional sustainably though cutting down damaging nutrient losses to the natural environment.


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Fertigation describes the injection of fertilisers and other water-soluble products and solutions into crop-irrigation techniques. Advantages for farmers and other horticulturists incorporate conserving water, cash and labour, additional exact fertiliser software, and lessened nutrient losses.

Even so, in European nations, the cultivation of fertigated crops is however constrained by water scarcity, though intense cultivation poses threats to water high-quality. While modern technologies are accessible to enhance fertigation, there is a absence of consciousness concerning these practical remedies and they are however not widely applied at farm stage.

The EU-funded FERTINNOWA job set out to solution the cases by building a awareness base on modern technologies and practices for fertigation. ‘Through the job, we wished to map the troubles confronted and the solutions accessible, and then to exchange information and facts and remedies,’ claims job coordinator Els Berckmoes of the Analysis Centre for Vegetable Generation (PSKW) in Belgium.

Vital job final results included a benchmark survey of farmers and publication of the ‘Fertigation Bible’, though the FERTINNOWA thematic community has enabled the transfer of various modern technologies and ideal practices.

Groundwork

The job team interviewed above 370 farmers, in 9 EU Member States and South Africa, representative of many horticultural sectors in different climate zones. Moreover supplying an overview of the troubles confronted and the remedies getting applied, it also gauged farmers’ awareness about modern or choice remedies and the barriers preventing their implementation.

Just one most important aim was on building a databases of modern technologies and practices for fertigation in horticultural crops.
From this, the FERTINNOWA team designed factsheets for improving upon fertigation inside of, for illustration, fruit, vegetable and decorative manufacturing techniques. All the information and facts gathered by the job was compiled into an ambitious report referred to as the Fertigation Bible.

‘The Fertigation Bible has come to be a compendium of 130 technologies that are described from a specialized, practical, authorized and socio-financial stage of watch,’ points out Berckmoes. ‘Since the launch of this compendium in April 2018, it has been downloaded 1 900 occasions. For the duration of our function, we exchanged 28 technologies from one particular lover or location to one more, eleven of which were identified as quite modern,’ she carries on.

The technologies promoted by the job incorporate remote sensing of crop variability for efficient soil and water management, a product for the prediction of irrigation put together with the use of dampness-content detection probes, and a decision-assist system for computerized irrigation management.

All 28 technologies were shown beneath standard discipline problems to clearly show farmers their opportunity. ‘We saw that even ‘non-innovative’ or considerably less-modern remedies could have a significant benefit in some areas and we succeeded in boosting the interest of nearby farmers in these technologies,’ Berckmoes claims.

Flow of information and facts

FERTINNOWA has also experienced helpful social and financial impacts on farms and throughout areas, in accordance to Berckmoes. The agricultural sector is one particular of the most significant individuals of water and one particular of the largest polluters in terms of nitrate emissions. The job addressed these difficulties by marketing technologies that assist a additional effective and inexpensive use of water and minimize environmental impacts, thereby encouraging to reach the most important aims of both of those the EU Drinking water Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive.

A critical component in the project’s achievement was the near collaboration between different partners. Employing an integrated multi-actor strategy, the FERTINNOWA awareness-exchange system associated scientists, growers, policymakers, sector, and environmental and shopper groups.

Additionally, the team designed an efficient product for transferring technologies to farmers, which can be replicated globally. For illustration, the Fertigation Bible is getting translated into Mandarin to provide the Chinese agricultural sector.
‘For a lot of partners associated in the job, the FERTINNOWA initiative was a bridge to new opportunities and at times the initially techniques in even more European jobs,’ concludes Berckmoes. The job outcomes are now widely made use of to aid farmers and nearby and nationwide authorities to address their fertigation troubles, even though authorities dealing with fertilisation coverage, water scarcity, droughts and climate adaptation are also benefitting from the outcomes.