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Improved organic fertiliser management for high nitrogen and water-use efficiency and reduced pollution in crop systems

Water availability drives the mineralisation of organic matter and modulates the bioavailability and uptake of nutrients by the crop. In cropping systems, soil water levels are determined by the amount and distribution of precipitation and are optimised by irrigation inputs. In the proposed study, further information is needed on the threshold values expressed as matric potential in the active root zone as this is further complicated in row crops that are grown in ridges.
Nutrient supply via fertigation is well known for most of the horticultural crops and orchards but their use in combination with organic fertilisation is largely unexplored and only roughly estimated in the available models. As a consequence of this lack of information, the fertigation could be applied when mineralisation is occurring at a high rate, thereby causing nitrogen leaching and/or crop nutrient unbalance. Moreover, the fertigation strategies normally applied in potato growing was developed in arid areas and on non-ridged soil.

The main objective of the present project is to enhance the use of various organic fertilisers in farming systems, and to develop new management strategies for improving water and nitrogen-use efficiency, thus reducing environmental pollution. To reach this objective, a combined use of existing models, semi-field experiments, and field experiments with advanced technology will be established across Europe. The objective of the modelling study with the Daisy model is to analyse the combined effect of using organic fertiliser, drip irrigation, and fertigation on potato crops. A prototype of a simplified, robust, and easy-to-use Decision Support System (DSS) will be developed to enhance the utilisation of organic fertiliser, to improve nitrogen and water use efficiency, and to reduce pollution at farm level.

Progress to Date
Important results from six experimental sites across Europe are now available. In northern Europe a dynamic allocation with feritgated mineralnotrogen to supplement a basic dressing with slurry shows very good results.
The project webite is now online.
Field visits have been organised, and a range of seminars and small papers presented.

Classified in ARABLE CROPS, SOIL

Scientist responsible for the project

Research Centre Foulum Box 50
8830 Tjele
Denmark - DK

Phone: +45 89 991 809
Fax: +45 89 991 200


Project ID QLRT-2001-01799
Organisation Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences
Area 5.1.1
Start date 01 January 2003
Duration (months) 45
Total cost 2 925 725 €
Total EC contribution   1 727 067 €
Status Ongoing
Web address of the project

The partners

  • The Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark - DK
  • Research Institute for Soil and Water Conservation Prague (Vyzkumny Ustav Melioraci a Ochrany Pudy Praha), Czech Republic (The) - CZ
  • Dansk Vandings Teknik (Danish Irrigation Technology), Denmark - DK
  • Research Institute of Irrigation, Drainage and Landscape Engineering, Bratislava, Slovakia - SK
  • Instytut Hodowli i Aklimatyzacji Roslin (Plant Breeding and Acclimatisation Institute), Poland - PL
  • Potato Research Institute Ltd. Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic (The) - CZ
  • Danish Institute of Agricultural and Fisheries Economics, Denmark - DK

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