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

An EU-funded project promoted the exchange, show and transfer of progressive fertigation systems which combine fertilisation with irrigation. This solution will help farmers to use confined water assets additional sustainably although lessening damaging nutrient losses to the natural environment.


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Fertigation describes the injection of fertilisers and other water-soluble solutions into crop-irrigation systems. Pros for farmers and other horticulturists incorporate saving water, dollars and labour, additional correct fertiliser software, and lowered nutrient losses.

Having said that, in European nations, the cultivation of fertigated crops is even now constrained by water shortage, although intensive cultivation poses risks to water excellent. Although progressive systems are available to strengthen fertigation, there is a deficiency of consciousness concerning these sensible remedies and they are even now not widely applied at farm level.

The EU-funded FERTINNOWA project set out to treatment the circumstances by making a know-how base on progressive systems and techniques for fertigation. ‘Through the project, we desired to map the difficulties confronted and the responses available, and then to exchange data and remedies,’ states project coordinator Els Berckmoes of the Study Centre for Vegetable Production (PSKW) in Belgium.

Vital project outcomes provided a benchmark study of farmers and publication of the ‘Fertigation Bible’, although the FERTINNOWA thematic network has enabled the transfer of several progressive systems and very best techniques.

Groundwork

The project crew interviewed about 370 farmers, in 9 EU Member States and South Africa, agent of many horticultural sectors in diverse local weather zones. Other than providing an overview of the difficulties confronted and the remedies becoming applied, it also gauged farmers’ know-how about progressive or substitute remedies and the barriers blocking their implementation.

One particular principal focus was on making a database of progressive systems and techniques for fertigation in horticultural crops.
From this, the FERTINNOWA crew designed factsheets for increasing fertigation within just, for example, fruit, vegetable and ornamental manufacturing systems. All the data gathered by the project was compiled into an formidable report referred to as the Fertigation Bible.

‘The Fertigation Bible has turn out to be a compendium of a hundred thirty systems that are explained from a specialized, sensible, legal and socio-economic place of view,’ explains Berckmoes. ‘Since the release of this compendium in April 2018, it has been downloaded one 900 moments. Throughout our do the job, we exchanged 28 systems from a single spouse or area to a different, 11 of which had been discovered as incredibly progressive,’ she proceeds.

The systems promoted by the project incorporate distant sensing of crop variability for powerful soil and water administration, a model for the prediction of irrigation combined with the use of humidity-material detection probes, and a decision-help procedure for automated irrigation administration.

All 28 systems had been demonstrated beneath typical discipline conditions to clearly show farmers their possible. ‘We noticed that even ‘non-innovative’ or considerably less-progressive remedies could have a considerable profit in some areas and we succeeded in raising the fascination of community farmers in these systems,’ Berckmoes states.

Flow of data

FERTINNOWA has also experienced effective social and economic impacts on farms and across areas, in accordance to Berckmoes. The agricultural sector is a single of the major buyers of water and a single of the largest polluters in conditions of nitrate emissions. The project addressed these difficulties by selling systems that help a additional efficient and affordable use of water and lower environmental impacts, therefore helping to achieve the principal objectives of the two the EU Water Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive.

A essential component in the project’s success was the shut collaboration between diverse companions. Making use of an built-in multi-actor solution, the FERTINNOWA know-how-exchange system concerned researchers, growers, policymakers, marketplace, and environmental and client groups.

On top of that, the crew designed an powerful model for transferring systems to farmers, which can be replicated throughout the world. For example, the Fertigation Bible is becoming translated into Mandarin to provide the Chinese agricultural sector.
‘For numerous companions concerned in the project, the FERTINNOWA initiative was a bridge to new chances and sometimes the 1st techniques in even further European initiatives,’ concludes Berckmoes. The project outcomes are now widely utilised to help farmers and community and countrywide authorities to address their fertigation difficulties, whilst authorities dealing with fertilisation plan, water shortage, droughts and local weather adaptation are also benefitting from the outcomes.