An EU-funded task promoted the exchange, display screen and transfer of impressive fertigation systems which incorporate fertilisation with irrigation. This approach will assist farmers to use constrained water resources much more sustainably while minimizing destructive nutrient losses to the surroundings.


© Floki #88779044, 2020

Fertigation describes the injection of fertilisers and other water-soluble items into crop-irrigation devices. Pros for farmers and other horticulturists consist of preserving water, income and labour, much more precise fertiliser application, and reduced nutrient losses.

Even so, in European nations, the cultivation of fertigated crops is however constrained by water scarcity, while intensive cultivation poses challenges to water high quality. While impressive systems are available to enhance fertigation, there is a deficiency of awareness regarding these functional methods and they are however not broadly carried out at farm stage.

The EU-funded FERTINNOWA task set out to solution the situations by building a knowledge base on impressive systems and tactics for fertigation. ‘Through the task, we needed to map the troubles faced and the answers available, and then to exchange details and methods,’ says task coordinator Els Berckmoes of the Exploration Centre for Vegetable Output (PSKW) in Belgium.

Essential task results provided a benchmark study of farmers and publication of the ‘Fertigation Bible’, while the FERTINNOWA thematic community has enabled the transfer of various impressive systems and very best tactics.


The task group interviewed about 370 farmers, in nine EU Member States and South Africa, agent of a variety of horticultural sectors in distinct local weather zones. Besides offering an overview of the troubles faced and the methods remaining carried out, it also gauged farmers’ knowledge about impressive or option methods and the barriers preventing their implementation.

1 main emphasis was on building a database of impressive systems and tactics for fertigation in horticultural crops.
From this, the FERTINNOWA group made factsheets for improving upon fertigation in, for instance, fruit, vegetable and ornamental production devices. All the details collected by the task was compiled into an ambitious report referred to as the Fertigation Bible.

‘The Fertigation Bible has grow to be a compendium of 130 systems that are explained from a technical, functional, legal and socio-economic point of check out,’ explains Berckmoes. ‘Since the launch of this compendium in April 2018, it has been downloaded one 900 occasions. In the course of our operate, we exchanged 28 systems from just one associate or location to a different, 11 of which were discovered as very impressive,’ she proceeds.

The systems promoted by the task consist of distant sensing of crop variability for powerful soil and water management, a product for the prediction of irrigation merged with the use of humidity-information detection probes, and a decision-guidance process for automated irrigation management.

All 28 systems were shown below normal area conditions to present farmers their potential. ‘We noticed that even ‘non-innovative’ or much less-impressive methods could have a sizeable advantage in some locations and we succeeded in raising the interest of community farmers in these systems,’ Berckmoes says.

Flow of details

FERTINNOWA has also had effective social and economic impacts on farms and throughout locations, according to Berckmoes. The agricultural sector is just one of the largest people of water and just one of the most significant polluters in conditions of nitrate emissions. The task resolved these issues by advertising and marketing systems that guidance a much more effective and economical use of water and lessen environmental impacts, thereby assisting to realize the main objectives of each the EU H2o Framework Directive and the Nitrates Directive.

A critical aspect in the project’s achievements was the close collaboration concerning distinct associates. Making use of an integrated multi-actor approach, the FERTINNOWA knowledge-exchange system included scientists, growers, policymakers, field, and environmental and buyer teams.

In addition, the group made an powerful product for transferring systems to farmers, which can be replicated around the globe. For instance, the Fertigation Bible is remaining translated into Mandarin to serve the Chinese agricultural sector.
‘For a lot of associates included in the task, the FERTINNOWA initiative was a bridge to new chances and occasionally the initial steps in more European assignments,’ concludes Berckmoes. The task results are now broadly applied to assist farmers and community and national authorities to clear up their fertigation troubles, even though authorities working with fertilisation policy, water scarcity, droughts and local weather adaptation are also benefitting from the results.