Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intelligent irrigation can save water and fertilizer without reducing yield or quality

Date:
October 8, 2010
Source:
Wageningen University and Research Centre
Summary:
Sensors and decision-support software can help horticultural growers worldwide to reduce their water consumption by 60 percent and use 30 percent less fertiliser without sacrificing yield and quality. At the same time cultivation also becomes more sustainable, according to results of the European FLOW-AID project.

Sensors and decision-support software can help horticultural growers worldwide to reduce their water consumption by 60 percent and use 30 percent less fertiliser without sacrificing yield and quality. At the same time cultivation also becomes more sustainable. These are among the results of the European FLOW-AID project coordinated by Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture. The project brought together scientists and developers from industry from eight countries.

Related Articles


The FLOW-AID research results will be discussed at a breakfast meeting during the international Horti Fair in Amsterdam on October 13.

World-wide, water is a major issue in horticulture, and limiting its consumption a vital part of sustainable production. Furthermore, over the coming years all growers in Europe will be faced with the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) which contains strict environmental regulations related to the efficient use fertilisers. While the semi-arid regions of Southern Europe are faced more with the effects of water shortage, in the Netherlands growers will mainly have to deal with the restrictions on the leaching of fertilisers.

Within the FLOW-AID project, ten partners cooperated to develop knowledge and technology for more precise irrigation and fertilization, yielding a higher water use efficiency and a reduction in nutrient leaching. The results of the three-year project coordinated by Wageningen UR Greenhouse Horticulture were recently presented in a brochure.

Cooperation results in new technology

There are many opportunities to increase yield by changing the crop production system and the way in which water and fertilisers are being applied. In the Flow-Aid project, scientists from research institutes and industry developed new water technologies and concepts. By using advanced sensors, innovative data transport, computer models and adapted crop production systems, it is possible to achieve more efficient irrigation and reduce the use of fertilisers, whereby decision-support models are used to support growers. The project also evaluated irrigation techniques that use nutrient-rich, purified waste water as irrigation water for horticulture. This would be of particular interest to areas where water is scarce, such as in Mediterranean countries.

The new techniques were tested in practice in case studies on eggplant, tomato, cucumber, lettuce and container ornamental plants in Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. The research showed that, depending on the local situation, fresh water savings of up to 60 percent and fertiliser savings up to 30 percent can be achieved without having a negative influence on yield or quality.

The FLOW-AID project has now been concluded and the results were presented to the European Commission. The EU was recommended to stimulate the introduction of the new techniques in practice by supporting demonstration and educational projects in which research institutes, industry and the agricultural and water sectors participate. This will ensure that the research results have a maximum impact on the sustainable production of horticultural crops.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Wageningen University and Research Centre. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Intelligent irrigation can save water and fertilizer without reducing yield or quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101008082741.htm>.
Wageningen University and Research Centre. (2010, October 8). Intelligent irrigation can save water and fertilizer without reducing yield or quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101008082741.htm
Wageningen University and Research Centre. "Intelligent irrigation can save water and fertilizer without reducing yield or quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101008082741.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

Raw: Lava on Track to Hit Hawaii Market

AP (Dec. 19, 2014) Lava from an active volcano on Hawaii's Big Island slowed slightly but stayed on track to hit a shopping center in the small town of Pahoa. (Dec. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Arctic Warming Twice As Fast As Rest Of Planet

Newsy (Dec. 18, 2014) The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet, thanks in part to something called feedback. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins