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 November 25, 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 November 25, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Antarctic Sea Ice Mystery Thickens... Literally

Newsy (Nov. 25, 2014) — Antarctic sea ice isn't only expanding, it's thicker than previously thought, and scientists aren't sure exactly why. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

3D Map of Antarctic Sea Ice to Shed Light on Climate Change

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A multinational group of scientists have released the first ever detailed, high-resolution 3-D maps of Antarctic sea ice. Using an underwater robot equipped with sonar, the researchers mapped the underside of a massive area of sea ice to gauge the impact of climate change. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Car Park Solution for Flexible Green Energy

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — A British solar power start-up says that by covering millions of existing car park spaces around the UK with flexible solar panels, the country's power problems could be solved. Suzannah Butcher reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Yellow-Spotted Turtles Rescued from Trafficking

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 24, 2014) — Hundreds of Amazon River turtles released into the wild in Peru. Sharon Reich reports. Video provided by Reuters
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