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First results of the benchmark study


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In 2016, FERTINNOWA carried out a grower benchmark study which investigated growers management practices, problems and needs related on water and nutrient management in horticulture

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First results of the benchmark study

  1. 1. This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 689687 Some outcomes of the benchmark study
  2. 2. Crop types 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Central-East Mediterranean North-West soil-grown covered soil-grown outdoor soilless covered soilless outdoor Cropping systems investigated 371 interviews covering 531 cropping systems
  3. 3. Water source management - How to manage the water resources in a sustainable way ?
  4. 4. Practices on water source management 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mediterranean %offarms 0 20 40 60 80 100 Central-East %offarms 0 20 40 60 80 100 North-West %offarms
  5. 5. Lined storage Water silo Pond Practices on water storage 0 20 40 60 80 100 Central-East %offarms 0 20 40 60 80 100 Mediterranean %offarms 0 20 40 60 80 100 North-West %offarms
  6. 6. Issues on water source management 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Belgium,n=43 Netherlands,n=42 UnitedKingdom,n=17 FranceNorth,n=16 FranceSouth,n=26 Spain,n=94 Italy,n=33 SouthAfrica,n=8 Poland,n=73 Slovenia,n=19 North-West Mediterranean Central-East Percentage of growers mentioning an issue regarding their water source Quantity problems Quality problems (mineral composition) Sanitary problems Chemical pollution problems Quantity Summer shortage Lack of storage capacity Water share Quality EC/ Na pH Fe Sanitary Algue/micro algae fungi agrobacterium Chemical : very rare Strongly linked to water storage
  7. 7. Issues on water source management Sanitary : solutions applied against algae growth in water storage A lot of techniques available but only few are efficient Strong technical bottleneck But short-term view
  8. 8. Issues on water source management Quality: solutions applied to improve water quality Need for solutions to these issues!  Growers are trying to mitigate the issue but not to treat the causing reason permanently  Same issue for high Iron content in supply water But not sustainable Few efficient practices
  9. 9. Socio-economic bottlenecks linked to a sustainable use of water -Collect and use rainwater -Implement drainage recycling -Would use another source if available -Increase storage capacity, improve storage conditions -No reason to change – No problem - Already the most sustainable - No financial capacity -Technical limitations What would be convincing ? If water problems occur (poor water quality / water shortages) Economic reasons (affordability, proven cost efficiency ,subsidies) Nothing + Legal constraints or administrative incentives %ofgrowers Are you considering using more sustainable water sources?
  10. 10. Water and Nutrient Management - How to optimise water and nutrient use?
  11. 11. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 %ofcroppingsystems soilless systems soil grown systems Non-tech solution are still mostly used! Direct crop sensors are the least used Irrigation management techniques/practices A lot of technologies are available but few are used Soil/ substrate sensors
  12. 12. Fertigation management practices Don't know 32% Not available 41% Use them 67% Don't use them 33% Available 27% Not enough awarness about the schemes 6% No trust in the schemes 27% Not available for specific crop/ condition 27% Not used to them 3% Relies on advisor's advice 17% Relies on personal knowledge 20% Do you use nutrient recommendation schemes? Reasons for not implement them?
  13. 13. Growers awareness Growers aware of possible solutions Growers thinking they are viable Growers considering to implement them Growers Growers awareness about technical solutions to improve their water management
  14. 14. Is it cost-efficient? It is not adapted to my system ( too low/ too high capacity) Already equipped with satisfyin devices Is it really reliable? Bottlenecks towards implementation Too high investment cost Low priority topic Lack of knowledge about it Technical constraints It is not available here Maintenance would be labour intesive
  15. 15. Which factors are the most important for adopting more efficient fertigation & water management practices? North-West Improving crop quality Increasing marketable yields Reducing production costs Central-East Reducing labour costs Improve security of production Reducing production costs Mediterranean Improving crop quality Reducing crop and soil damages Reducing production costs
  16. 16. What would help you to implement best practices for fertigation? North-West Learning from the experiences of other practitionersVisiting demonstration sites for fertigation best practices Direct face-to-face access to fertigation specialists / researchers Central-East Learning from the experiences of other practitioners Visiting demonstration sites for fertigation best practices Updated nutriment recommendation guides Mediterranean Visiting demonstration sites for fertigation best practices Financial support to apply BMP or to implement technology Comparison document about technologies-systems
  17. 17. Effluent management - How to minimise the impact of fertigated cropping systems on the environment?
  18. 18. Do you plan to implement new practices for limiting effluent discharge in the next 3 years? Effluent management practices Do you face controls regarding your emissions? Central-East MediterraneanNorth-West How much of the drainage are you recirculating?
  19. 19. 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 North-West Mediterranean Central-East Water treatment practices- disinfection Cost + Substrate type + Maintenance Efficiency Safety Place Cost Safety Cost Maintenance Hot water Efficiency Efficiency Use of the main treatments and bottlenecks for their adoption
  20. 20. To conclude: Specific needs and interests expressed by the growers: Improved drippers/ Means to avoid clogging Improve homogeneity (or means to check it) More adapted sensors (to substrates, soil type, crop) User friendly tools (minimal calibration , knowledge, maintenance) Mobile and wireless devices Improved flexibility (operation capacities/ pressure / back-up systems, make different recipies) Automation Continuous nutrient recording (e.g Ca/ K/ Fe) Better knowledge of the soil parameters Recirculate and disinfect drainage Increase fertigation capacity (areas/ pumps/ water treatment…. ) Rainwater collection NW- CE- MED