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

An EU-funded job promoted the trade, display and transfer of revolutionary fertigation technologies which merge…

An EU-funded job promoted the trade, display and transfer of revolutionary fertigation technologies which merge fertilisation with irrigation. This technique will assist farmers to use limited h2o means far more sustainably although minimizing damaging nutrient losses to the natural environment.


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Fertigation describes the injection of fertilisers and other h2o-soluble products and solutions into crop-irrigation devices. Benefits for farmers and other horticulturists include saving h2o, funds and labour, far more precise fertiliser software, and lessened nutrient losses.

However, in European nations around the world, the cultivation of fertigated crops is even now constrained by h2o scarcity, although intensive cultivation poses threats to h2o top quality. Whilst revolutionary technologies are available to improve fertigation, there is a deficiency of consciousness concerning these useful options and they are even now not extensively implemented at farm degree.

The EU-funded FERTINNOWA job established out to cure the cases by producing a understanding foundation on revolutionary technologies and methods for fertigation. ‘Through the job, we desired to map the problems confronted and the answers available, and then to trade info and options,’ says job coordinator Els Berckmoes of the Exploration Centre for Vegetable Creation (PSKW) in Belgium.

Key job results included a benchmark survey of farmers and publication of the ‘Fertigation Bible’, although the FERTINNOWA thematic network has enabled the transfer of several revolutionary technologies and most effective methods.

Groundwork

The job team interviewed about 370 farmers, in 9 EU Member States and South Africa, representative of various horticultural sectors in different climate zones. Besides providing an overview of the problems confronted and the options currently being implemented, it also gauged farmers’ understanding about revolutionary or substitute options and the barriers blocking their implementation.

1 key emphasis was on producing a database of revolutionary technologies and methods for fertigation in horticultural crops.
From this, the FERTINNOWA team created factsheets for bettering fertigation in just, for case in point, fruit, vegetable and ornamental generation devices. All the info gathered by the job was compiled into an formidable report referred to as the Fertigation Bible.

‘The Fertigation Bible has turn out to be a compendium of one hundred thirty technologies that are described from a technological, useful, lawful and socio-economic position of see,’ clarifies Berckmoes. ‘Since the release of this compendium in April 2018, it has been downloaded 1 900 moments. During our perform, we exchanged 28 technologies from 1 partner or location to another, 11 of which had been discovered as very revolutionary,’ she proceeds.

The technologies promoted by the job include remote sensing of crop variability for productive soil and h2o administration, a product for the prediction of irrigation merged with the use of dampness-content material detection probes, and a selection-support system for computerized irrigation administration.

All 28 technologies had been shown under standard field ailments to exhibit farmers their prospective. ‘We noticed that even ‘non-innovative’ or considerably less-revolutionary options could have a significant benefit in some regions and we succeeded in elevating the desire of local farmers in these technologies,’ Berckmoes says.

Movement of info

FERTINNOWA has also experienced advantageous social and economic impacts on farms and throughout regions, according to Berckmoes. The agricultural sector is 1 of the major people of h2o and 1 of the major polluters in terms of nitrate emissions. The job resolved these worries by selling technologies that support a far more productive and economical use of h2o and decrease environmental impacts, thus aiding to reach the key targets of both of those the EU H2o Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive.

A essential aspect in the project’s success was the near collaboration involving different associates. Using an integrated multi-actor technique, the FERTINNOWA understanding-trade system included researchers, growers, policymakers, industry, and environmental and consumer teams.

In addition, the team created an productive product for transferring technologies to farmers, which can be replicated around the globe. For case in point, the Fertigation Bible is currently being translated into Mandarin to serve the Chinese agricultural sector.
‘For many associates included in the job, the FERTINNOWA initiative was a bridge to new prospects and occasionally the first methods in more European assignments,’ concludes Berckmoes. The job outcomes are now extensively used to assist farmers and local and countrywide authorities to address their fertigation problems, whilst authorities dealing with fertilisation plan, h2o scarcity, droughts and climate adaptation are also benefitting from the outcomes.