Optimisation of fertilisation in organic vegetable cultivation by a more correct assessment of the N-effect of the basic fertilisation and the N-release from soil organic matter
The project aims to determine the influence of the soil condition on the organic matter management and in relation to this, on the N availability, based on the impact of the basic fertilization and the degradation of the soil organic matter (SOM). The project focusses on the organic vegetable production because the need for efficiency gain in the use of nitrogen in this sector is large. Mainly in crop rotations with mostly vegetables, the external supplies of organic matter and nitrogen are strongly limited by the tightened supply standard for phosphor (‘MAP’….)
The research will be carried out on about 30 plots on farm. This will guarantee a sufficiently large range in soil conditions and immediately makes the research results translatable to the growers’ practice. The grower who participates in the research, chooses the basic fertilization that will be tested for its N efficiency.
In two consecutive years, on the same plots, a trial is applied where the N dynamics is followed in two objects, one with the application of a basic fertilisation and one without a basic fertilization. The research results will provide the organic vegetable grower levers for a better fertilization practice in the context of a sustainable soil management. This will limit the use of fast releasing organic commercial fertilizers in high N demanding crops to a level that is necessary for a sufficient yield and quality without posing a risk of excessive leaching of N to soil and surface water. Based on the provided thorough characterisation of the soil condition on the individual plots, to a better understanding of the N availability, the relation between the soil condition and the plot history at the level of soil management will be documented.
In the project three Flemish partners, ILVO, Inagro and Ugent, collaborate, each with its own specific competences, to make the project successful. The results will be disseminated to the involved organic growers but also broader to all organic growers, sector organisations and public authorities.
Vlaamse overheid, Departement Landbouw en Visserij
Koen Willekens – ILVO
Stefaan De Neve –Ugent
Joran Barbry - Inagro