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  European Commission   > Research > Key Action 5
 
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Management of soil health in horticulture using compost *

Contract nr: QLRT-CT-2000-01442
Project type: RS (Research and Technological Development Project)
Starting date:
Duration: 48 months
Total cost: 2,106,881 EUR
EC Contribution: 1,566,164 EUR
Scientific Officer:
Research topic: 5.1.1. Sustainable agriculture/Plant Systems

Abstract:
Use of compost in horticulture as a soil amendment and nutrient source for plants and the soil microbial community will contribute to the recycling of waste, reduce the use of non-renewable artificial fertilisers and, for many pot cultures, reduce the use of non-renewable peat, compared to other systems. The general objective of this RTD-proposal is to provide essential information on the safe application of compost in horticulture to achieve more sustainable production systems with respect to disease suppression and nutrient management.

The focus will be on four key areas:
1) define compost process conditions need to kill pathogens;
2) predict plant disease characteristics of various types of compost;
3) enrich compost with antagonists; and
4) implement use of compost in horticulture.

Batches of compost will be tested in NW-, CW-, and S-Europe. Specialists in soil microbiology, soil fauna and physiochemical assessments will analyse these compost and compost/soil mixtures.

Objectives:
The general objective of this RTD-proposal is to provide essential information on the safe application of compost in horticulture to achieve more sustainable production svstems with respect to disease suppression and nutrient management.

More specifically, the scientific/technological objectives are:
1. To define composting process conditions that kill plant and human pathogens;
2. To predict disease suppressive properties of compost using abiotic and biotic parameters;
3. To study the possibility of enriching composts with selected antagonists to increase the disease suppressive characteristics of compost; and
4. To stimulale the use of compost in the cultivation of pot plants, cut flowers, and vegetables by transferring the obtained knowledge to industry and growers.


Coordinator
Robert VAN GORCOM
Research station for floriculture and glasshouse vegetables
Naaldwijk
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 174636765
Fax: +31 174636835
E-mail: R.F.M.van.Gorcom@pbg.agro.nl


Partners
  Athanasios ALIVIZATOS
Benaki phytopathological institute, department of plant pathology
Kifissia-Athens
GREECE
Tel.: +30 18079603
Fax: +30 18077506
E-mail: bpibact@otenet.gr
  Jozef COOSEMANS
Laboratory of phytopathology and plant protection
Leuven
BELGIUM
Tel.: +32 16322737
Fax: +32 16322989
E-mail: Jef.Coosemans@agr.kuleuven.ac.be
  Eran VARDI
The seagram center for soil and water sciences, Faculty of agriculture
Rehovot
ISRAEL
Tel.: +972 26586676
Fax: +972 25664740
E-mail: ruth@vms.huji.ac.il
  Paula PERSSON
John Innes Centre, Department of Ecology and Crop production
Uppsala
SWEDEN
Tel.: +46 18672358
Fax: +46 18672890
E-mail: paula.persson@evp.slu.se
  Baukje VRIESWIJK
John Innes Centre, Biological farming systems group, Department of plant sciences
Wageningen
THE NETHERLANDS
Tel.: +31 317482260
Fax: +31 317484292
E-mail: baukje.vrieswijk@alg.kb.wau.nl
  Lionel ROINEAU
Unité mixte de recherche BBCE-IPM
Dijon
FRANCE
Tel.: +33 3 80693011
Fax: +33 3 80693200
E-mail: Roineau@dijon.inra.fr