Coordinator (and contact):

Name: Rodney Thompson

Address: Department of Agronomy, University of Almeria, Almeria, Spain

email: rodney[at]ual.es


Core group:

  • Rodney Thompson, University of Almeria, Spain
  • Janjo De Haan, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands
  • Angelo Signore, University of Bari, Italy, and University of Ghent, Belgium
  • Antje Fiebig, University of Bonn, Germany
  • Giorgio Gianquinto, University of Bologna, Italy

The Working Group is coordinated by 4 coordinators who work together to keep the working group running and share the work as follows: 

Hanne Lakkenborg Kristensen, Aarhus University, Denmark, hanne.kristensen[at]food.au.dk

  • Leads work in SIRA with help from all coordinators

Janjo de Haan, Wageningen University and Research, The Netherlands, janjo.dehaan[at]wur.nl 

  • Organises next WG meeting in NL 
  • Attends the board meeting

Jana Zinkernagel, Hochschule GEISENHEIM University, Germany, Jana.Zinkernagel[at]hs-gm.de 

  • Attends the board meeting 

Rodney Thompson, University of Almeria, Spain, rodney[at]ual.es 

  • Participates in the EUVRIN telephone meetings held every 2-3 months and reports to the other coordinators 
  • Maintains mailing list and WG membership list

 

Focus of working:

This working group provides a forum in which researchers working in diverse aspects of fertilisation and irrigation in vegetable crops can exchange information, experiences and feedback, and develop collaborations. With a membership from throughout the EU members' interests cover a wide range of fertilisation and irrigation issues. The general objective is to develop tools and strategies for sustainable nutriengt and irrigation management achieved through optimal management. This is being achieved through two general research lines that are apllicable to both fertilisation and irrigation which are : (1) determination of accurate recommendations, and (2) monitoring systems to ensure optimal management throughout a crop.

In the case of fertilisation, our interest is in recommendations schemes that consider nutrients supplied by the soil which includes available nutrients, and nutrients mineralised from soil organic matter, organic amendments and from previous crops. Monitoring approaches that are being examined to ensure optimal fertilisation include various proximal optical sensors, sap analysis, tissue testing, soil solution analysis and soil analysis. All nutrients are being considered; however, there is a strong focus on nitrogen and also on phosphorus. Additional fertilisation issues being addressed are: rotation effects, crop residue management, organic nutrition, and methods used for analysis of soil, plant and substrate.

For irrigation, our interest is in the accurate determination of site-specific crop water requirements, and in the use of soil moisture sensors as a monitoring approach. With soil moisture sensors, research is focused on developing relevant management strategies, automation of irrigation and assessing sensor performance. In southern regions, soil salinity management is being addressed.

Decision Support systems (DSSs) are being developed to assist with the preparation of nutrient or irrigation recommendations; in some cases both. With some DSSs, data from sensors provides a feedback to adjust irrigation or fertiliser plans.

The working group has over 100 members from 21 countries.

Activities:

  • 9-11 May 2017: Working group research workshop in Almeria, Spain.
  • February 2017: Survey of members' interests conducted by Antje Fiebig
  • December 2016: On-line database of member's interests operational. The on-line database in Google Forms was established by Angelo Signore.
  • 25-26 October 2016: First meeting of working group as part of the general EUVRIN meeting in Brussels. Management committee and core group established. Coordinator selected. Discussion on common research lines and how to most effectively work together. Planning of next meeting.
  • July 2016: Active participation in the document "Strategic Innovation and Research Agenda for the Fruit and Vegetable sector, V2016" that was submitted to the European Commission to provide informed opinion on research topics for future EU research project calls. Four suggested research topics, relevant to this WG, were included on N management, irrigation management, fertigation management, and the adoption of precision agriculture techologies.
  • June 2016: WG member encourage to lobby regarding the SC2 Gap Analysis document that was being circulated with suggestions for future H2020research topics.
  • April 2016: The WG established a group in the MeWe social network program. Current membership (February 2017) is 70.
  • March 2016: Initial database of members' interests in Excel operational.
  • 1 February 2016: Foundation meeting of EUVRIN. Working group on fertilisation and irrigation established. Working session of interested people established the general research lines of common interest. Animator selected.

Relevant documents:
Working group Fertilization and Irrigation - May meeting 2017
Presentations of the Almeria meeting
Wrap-up Fertilisation - October meeting 2016
Agenda WG Fertilisation - October meeting 2016
Description of the WG