Main research question
This project aims to make leek cultivation more sustainable by means of site-specific fertilization management at the right time and taking into account soil and crop conditions. By reasoned handling of the input -while maintaining the profitability- Flemish horticulture can bring about a further increase in sustainability.
Test and practice plots are closely monitored with soil samples, soil scans and image information. This information is analysed and linked to existing growth models with which site-specific fertilization can be developed. In addition, alternative sensor systems are being evaluated in practice for their precision, technical feasibility and cost. At the same time, practice farms are monitored in parallel. In order to ensure that Flemish growers and machine manufacturers are encouraged to transition to precision agriculture, a knowledge platform and web portal will be set up.
Through this process, we want Flemish horticulturists to make full use of the potential of precision agriculture by taking the step towards a site-specific fertilization technique. This precision fertilization will result in a more efficient use of fertilizers, an improved yield and quality and will go hand in hand with a more sustainable cultivation. In parallel with and after the end of the project, the experiences with fertilization in the leek cultivation will be transferred to other cultivation treatments and other crops to make them more sustainable through site-specific operations.