July 13, 2024

Paull Ank Ford

Business Think different

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

An EU-funded job promoted the exchange, display and transfer of innovative fertigation technologies which incorporate fertilisation with irrigation. This approach will aid farmers to use constrained drinking water means far more sustainably even though minimizing damaging nutrient losses to the atmosphere.


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Fertigation describes the injection of fertilisers and other drinking water-soluble goods into crop-irrigation systems. Benefits for farmers and other horticulturists involve preserving drinking water, dollars and labour, far more accurate fertiliser software, and reduced nutrient losses.

Nevertheless, in European nations, the cultivation of fertigated crops is continue to constrained by drinking water scarcity, even though intense cultivation poses challenges to drinking water high-quality. Though innovative technologies are out there to enhance fertigation, there is a deficiency of recognition regarding these simple solutions and they are continue to not commonly executed at farm amount.

The EU-funded FERTINNOWA job set out to treatment the predicaments by building a knowledge foundation on innovative technologies and procedures for fertigation. ‘Through the job, we desired to map the problems faced and the answers out there, and then to exchange information and facts and solutions,’ suggests job coordinator Els Berckmoes of the Exploration Centre for Vegetable Output (PSKW) in Belgium.

Essential job outcomes included a benchmark survey of farmers and publication of the ‘Fertigation Bible’, even though the FERTINNOWA thematic community has enabled the transfer of various innovative technologies and finest procedures.


The job team interviewed more than 370 farmers, in 9 EU Member States and South Africa, consultant of a variety of horticultural sectors in diverse local weather zones. Besides giving an overview of the problems faced and the solutions staying executed, it also gauged farmers’ knowledge about innovative or different solutions and the obstacles avoiding their implementation.

Just one key concentration was on building a database of innovative technologies and procedures for fertigation in horticultural crops.
From this, the FERTINNOWA team created factsheets for improving fertigation within, for example, fruit, vegetable and ornamental production systems. All the information and facts gathered by the job was compiled into an formidable report referred to as the Fertigation Bible.

‘The Fertigation Bible has become a compendium of one hundred thirty technologies that are explained from a technological, simple, legal and socio-financial position of see,’ explains Berckmoes. ‘Since the release of this compendium in April 2018, it has been downloaded 1 900 situations. All through our work, we exchanged 28 technologies from just one companion or location to one more, 11 of which were being identified as incredibly innovative,’ she proceeds.

The technologies promoted by the job involve distant sensing of crop variability for effective soil and drinking water administration, a model for the prediction of irrigation blended with the use of dampness-information detection probes, and a determination-assist program for automatic irrigation administration.

All 28 technologies were being shown less than regular industry conditions to present farmers their possible. ‘We noticed that even ‘non-innovative’ or fewer-innovative solutions could have a significant benefit in some regions and we succeeded in boosting the desire of area farmers in these technologies,’ Berckmoes suggests.

Circulation of information and facts

FERTINNOWA has also had valuable social and financial impacts on farms and across regions, in accordance to Berckmoes. The agricultural sector is just one of the biggest individuals of drinking water and just one of the largest polluters in terms of nitrate emissions. The job addressed these problems by selling technologies that assist a far more economical and affordable use of drinking water and lower environmental impacts, therefore assisting to realize the key aims of both the EU Water Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive.

A essential issue in the project’s success was the shut collaboration involving diverse partners. Employing an integrated multi-actor approach, the FERTINNOWA knowledge-exchange platform included researchers, growers, policymakers, marketplace, and environmental and customer teams.

In addition, the team created an effective model for transferring technologies to farmers, which can be replicated worldwide. For example, the Fertigation Bible is staying translated into Mandarin to provide the Chinese agricultural sector.
‘For many partners included in the job, the FERTINNOWA initiative was a bridge to new prospects and at times the to start with methods in further European initiatives,’ concludes Berckmoes. The job results are now commonly used to aid farmers and area and countrywide authorities to clear up their fertigation problems, even though authorities working with fertilisation policy, drinking water scarcity, droughts and local weather adaptation are also benefitting from the results.