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

An EU-funded job promoted the trade, screen and transfer of modern fertigation technologies which blend fertilisation with irrigation. This approach will aid farmers to use constrained water sources extra sustainably while reducing damaging nutrient losses to the natural environment.


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Fertigation describes the injection of fertilisers and other water-soluble merchandise into crop-irrigation techniques. Advantages for farmers and other horticulturists incorporate saving water, income and labour, extra precise fertiliser application, and decreased nutrient losses.

Having said that, in European nations around the world, the cultivation of fertigated crops is still constrained by water shortage, while intensive cultivation poses pitfalls to water excellent. Despite the fact that modern technologies are available to increase fertigation, there is a deficiency of recognition concerning these useful solutions and they are still not greatly implemented at farm level.

The EU-funded FERTINNOWA job set out to remedy the situations by producing a information foundation on modern technologies and tactics for fertigation. ‘Through the job, we required to map the challenges faced and the responses available, and then to trade facts and solutions,’ says job coordinator Els Berckmoes of the Research Centre for Vegetable Manufacturing (PSKW) in Belgium.

Essential job outcomes included a benchmark study of farmers and publication of the ‘Fertigation Bible’, while the FERTINNOWA thematic community has enabled the transfer of a lot of modern technologies and finest tactics.

Groundwork

The job staff interviewed over 370 farmers, in 9 EU Member States and South Africa, agent of several horticultural sectors in distinct climate zones. Apart from supplying an overview of the challenges faced and the solutions remaining implemented, it also gauged farmers’ information about modern or substitute solutions and the obstacles blocking their implementation.

1 main concentration was on producing a databases of modern technologies and tactics for fertigation in horticultural crops.
From this, the FERTINNOWA staff developed factsheets for enhancing fertigation in just, for instance, fruit, vegetable and decorative generation techniques. All the facts gathered by the job was compiled into an bold report referred to as the Fertigation Bible.

‘The Fertigation Bible has develop into a compendium of 130 technologies that are described from a technical, useful, legal and socio-economic stage of see,’ clarifies Berckmoes. ‘Since the launch of this compendium in April 2018, it has been downloaded 1 900 periods. Through our do the job, we exchanged 28 technologies from one lover or area to a different, 11 of which were being recognized as quite modern,’ she continues.

The technologies promoted by the job incorporate distant sensing of crop variability for successful soil and water administration, a design for the prediction of irrigation put together with the use of humidity-articles detection probes, and a determination-aid system for automatic irrigation administration.

All 28 technologies were being demonstrated under common discipline circumstances to exhibit farmers their potential. ‘We observed that even ‘non-innovative’ or considerably less-modern solutions could have a considerable benefit in some locations and we succeeded in raising the interest of local farmers in these technologies,’ Berckmoes says.

Stream of facts

FERTINNOWA has also experienced effective social and economic impacts on farms and across locations, in accordance to Berckmoes. The agricultural sector is one of the greatest people of water and one of the greatest polluters in conditions of nitrate emissions. The job dealt with these worries by promoting technologies that aid a extra successful and economical use of water and cut down environmental impacts, therefore assisting to attain the main goals of both equally the EU Drinking water Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive.

A essential element in the project’s accomplishment was the near collaboration concerning distinct companions. Applying an built-in multi-actor approach, the FERTINNOWA information-trade system associated researchers, growers, policymakers, field, and environmental and client groups.

Also, the staff developed an successful design for transferring technologies to farmers, which can be replicated around the world. For instance, the Fertigation Bible is remaining translated into Mandarin to serve the Chinese agricultural sector.
‘For quite a few companions associated in the job, the FERTINNOWA initiative was a bridge to new prospects and from time to time the initially ways in further European assignments,’ concludes Berckmoes. The job outcomes are now greatly applied to aid farmers and local and countrywide authorities to address their fertigation challenges, whilst authorities dealing with fertilisation plan, water shortage, droughts and climate adaptation are also benefitting from the outcomes.