USE OF A COMBINED MODELLING AND MONITORING APPROACH TO OPTIMISE MANAGEMENT OF FERTILISER N FOR VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN GREENHOUSES

Id:
4

Funder:
MINECO

Title:
USE OF A COMBINED MODELLING AND MONITORING APPROACH TO OPTIMISE MANAGEMENT OF FERTILISER N FOR VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN GREENHOUSES

Project Reference:
AGL2008-03774

Coordinator:
THOMPSON RODNEY

Organisation:
UNIVERSIDAD DE ALMERIA

Department:
DPTO. PRODUCCION VEGETAL

Centre:
DPTO. PRODUCCION VEGETAL

Country:
SPAIN

SRIA Themes:
{sriathemes}

Start Date:
01/01/2009

End Date:
30/06/2012

Summary:
GREENHOUSE-BASED VEGETABLE PRODUCTION IN SOUTH-EAST SPAIN IS ASSOCIATED WITH CONSIDERABLE ON-GOING NITRATE CONTAMINATION OF UNDERLYING AQUIFERS. MOST OF THESE AREAS HAVE BEEN DECLARED NITRATE VULNERABLE ZONES. THIS HORTICULTURAL SYSTEM HAS THE TECHNICAL CAPACITY FOR PRECISE NUTRIENT AND IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT, WHICH IS NOT BEING EFFECTIVELY USED. THERE IS AN URGENT REQUIREMENT FOR MANAGEMENT TOOLS THAT OPTIMISE N AND IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT, THEREBY REDUCING NITRATE LEACHING LOSS. THE PROPOSED WORK WILL DEVELOP A PRESCRIPTIVE-CORRECTIVE MANAGEMENT APPROACH FOR BOTH N AND IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT OF VEGETABLE GROWN IN SOIL IN GREENHOUSES IN SOUTH EAST SPAIN. THE PRESCRIPTIVE COMPONENT FOR N AND IRRIGATION MANAGEMENT WILL BE BASED ON THE USE OF THE CROPSYST SIMULATION MODEL. CORRECTIVE MANAGEMENT FOR N WILL USE NITRATE IN THE SOIL SOLUTION, OBTAINED WITH CERAMIC CUP SUCTION SAMPLERS, AND FOR IRRIGATION, MANUAL TENSIOMETERS. BECAUSE MODELLING WILL BE USED FOR THE PRESCRIPTIVE COMPONENT, AND MONITORING FOR THE CORRECTIVE COMPONENT, THE APPROACH IS ALSO REFERRED TO AS A MONITORING-MODELLING APPROACH. CROPSYST HAS BEEN ADAPTED TO THIS VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEM, AND HAS BEEN CALIBRATED FOR ESTIMATING ABOVE-GROUND DRY MATTER (DM) PRODUCTION AND CROP N UPTAKE, AND CROP EVAPOTRANSPIRATION (ETC) FOR PEPPER AND MELON GROWN IN SOIL. IN EXPERIMENTAL WORK IN THIS PROJECT, CROPSYST WILL BE CALIBRATED AND VALIDATED FOR THESE PARAMETERS FOR TOMATO GROWN IN SOIL. ADDITIONALLY, CROPSYST WILL BE SIMILARLY CALIBRATED AND VALIDATED FOR TOMATO AND PEPPER GROWN IN SUBSTRATE. WITH THIS WORK, CROPSYST WILL HAVE BEEN CALIBRATED, FOR DM PRODUCTION, CROP N UPTAKE AND ETC FOR THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT CROPS IN THIS VEGETABLE PRODUCTION SYSTEM, NAMELY, TOMATO, PEPPER AND MELON. A PROTOTYPE DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM (DSS) IN THE FORM OF A SPREADSHEET OR DATABASE WILL BE DEVELOPED USING THE CROPSYST ROUTINES FOR DM PRODUCTION, CROP N UPTAKE AND ETC. THE DSS WILL BE INITIALLY DEVELOPED FOR TOMATO, PEPPER AND MELON. OTHER CROPS WILL THEN BE INCORPORATED INTO THE DSS USING LITERATURE VALUES FOR CALIBRATION. THE DSS WILL CONSIDER (I) EFFICIENCY OF N USE, (II) SOIL MINERAL N BEFORE CROPPING, AND (III) ESTIMATED MINERALISATION OF N FROM ORGANIC N IN SOIL, WHEN CALCULATING CROP N REQUIREMENTS FROM ESTIMATED CROP N UPTAKE. THE CALCULATION OF CROP WATER REQUIREMENTS FROM ETC WILL CONSIDER APPLICATION OF WHITEWASH TO THE GREENHOUSE, UNIFORMITY OF APPLICATION AND SALINITY. A FIELD STUDY WILL BE CONDUCTED WITH TWO TOMATO CROPS TO DETERMINE ADEQUACY RANGES OF SOIL SOLUTION NITRATE CONCENTRATION. IN THE FIRST YEAR, THREE DIFFERENT CONCENTRATION RANGES OF 4-8, 8-12, 12-16 MM WILL BE COMPARED, TOGETHER WITH A CONVENTIONALLY MANAGEMENT TREATMENT. IN THE SECOND YEAR, THREE RANGES WILL BE COMPARED, WITH THE RANGES BEING SELECTED TO MORE PRECISELY IDENTIFY THE APPROPRIATE ADEQUACY RANGES. SUBJECT TO A LITERATURE REVISION, IT WILL BE ASSUMED THAT SOIL SOLUTION NITRATE ADEQUACY LEVELS FOR TOMATO WILL APPLY TO OTHER VEGETABLE CROPS. IN THE TOMATO CROPS BEING USED FOR THE STUDY EXAMINING ADEQUACY LEVELS, THREE DIFFERENT APPROACHES TO MONITORING CROP N STATUS WILL BE EXAMINED, BEING THE SPAD METER, SAP NITRATE AND TISSUE ANALYSIS. A RAPID ANALYSIS SYSTEM FOR NITRATE ANALYSIS, THE CARDY NITRATE METER WILL BE EVALUATED FOR NITRATE ANALYSIS OF NUTRIENT AND SOIL SOLUTION, AND PLANT SAP.

Keywords:
MEDITERRANEAN PLANTS WATER RELATIONS SALINITY IRRIGATION OSMOTIC ADJUSTMENT ELASTIC ADJUSTMENT SALINE IONS OSMOTIC STRESS