Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Good soil, good harvest

25.05.2012
New control system increases efficiency and prevents over-fertilization
No rain at all or rainfall which significantly fluctuates is a major problem for farmers, since long periods of drought increase the risk of a poor harvest and make nutrient input difficult. The aim of the “OPTIFERT” research project is to optimize the fertilization and irrigation of agricultural land in Europe by means of intelligent technology. The Optifert system is an integral system that will allow the farmer to optimize the fertilizer supply, reducing the costs and environmental risks of over-fertilization, by means of a closed control loop.

Over 9 million farmers in Europe are obliged to use an irrigation system on their fields. The amount of natural rainfall is often not sufficient to bring home a good harvest. Today, Europe’s farmers are irrigating an area of almost 200.000 km² and this will presumably increase, as the market for irrigation systems is growing rapidly. In the last ten years, the use of such systems rose annually by about 10 percent. Many systems have not however been developed with demand in mind and this often has a devastating impact on the environment: valuable water resources are squandered and fertilizers washed out. Over-fertilization (eutrophication) of land and waters are the result. Sustainable and intelligent solutions are therefore necessary.

Central pivot irrigations system with radio communicated soil sensor. Picture: Optifert


Moisture sensor in potato field. Picture: Optifert

It’s the mix that makes the difference: Nutrients and water are important factors for soil quality

Within “OPTIFERT” (http://www.optifert.eu), an EU-funded research project, a consortium led by ttz Bremerhaven is developing a demand-driven, fully automatic and combined irrigation and fertilization system. The partners from Poland, Great Britain, Austria and Germany want to enable farmers to control easily their use of water and fertilizer - in a way which is customized to each specific type of crop. The innovative system reduces water and fertilizer consumption and thus fosters sustainable, efficient and competitive agricultural production in Europe.

Depending on its requirements, the OPTIFERT system currently being developed supplies the crop in real time with water and nutrients: it combines irrigation with just-in-time fertilization. On the basis of various data, the required amounts of water and fertilizer are measured and calculated. This includes data from an innovative soil sensor system (pH, moisture, salinity, fertilizer concentration) as well as meteorological, crop physiology and market data. The OPTIFERT system comprises three main components: the soil sensor, the fertilizer mixing module including dosage system, and the control unit. These allow the system to fulfill efficiently the objective of demand-based fertilization and irrigation.

The “OPTIFERT” research project is being funded under the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme, will last two years and is co-ordinated by ttz Bremerhaven. Project partners are Hydro-Air GmbH, Pessl Instruments (METOS), Integrated Microsystems Austria GmbH, Soil Moisture Sense Ltd., Agrargesellschaft “Niederer Fläming” MBH Petkus, the University of Warmia and Mazury and the Technical University of Vienna. Further information about the project can be found under www.optifert.eu/.

ttz Bremerhaven is an provider of research services and performs application-based research and development. Under the umbrella of ttz Bremerhaven, an international team of experts is working in the areas of food, environment and health. http://www.ttz-bremerhaven.de

Contact:

ttz Bremerhaven
Christian Colmer, Head of Communication and Media
Fischkai 1
D-27572 Bremerhaven
Tel.: +49 (0)471 48 32 -124
Fax: +49 (0)471 48 32 – 129
ccolmer@ttz-bremerhaven.de
http://www.ttz-bremerhaven.de
http://www.facebook.com/ttzBremerhaven
https://twitter.com/ttzBremerhaven

Christian Colmer | idw
Further information:
http://www.ttz-bremerhaven.de/
http://www.optifert.eu/

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cereals use chemical defenses in a multifunctional manner against different herbivores
06.12.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für chemische Ökologie

nachricht Can rice filter water from ag fields?
05.12.2018 | American Society of Agronomy

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

Im Focus: Substitute for rare earth metal oxides

New Project SNAPSTER: Novel luminescent materials by encapsulating phosphorescent metal clusters with organic liquid crystals

Nowadays energy conversion in lighting and optoelectronic devices requires the use of rare earth oxides.

Im Focus: A bit of a stretch... material that thickens as it's pulled

Scientists have discovered the first synthetic material that becomes thicker - at the molecular level - as it is stretched.

Researchers led by Dr Devesh Mistry from the University of Leeds discovered a new non-porous material that has unique and inherent "auxetic" stretching...

Im Focus: The force of the vacuum

Scientists from the Theory Department of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) in Hamburg have shown through theoretical calculations and computer simulations that the force between electrons and lattice distortions in an atomically thin two-dimensional superconductor can be controlled with virtual photons. This could aid the development of new superconductors for energy-saving devices and many other technical applications.

The vacuum is not empty. It may sound like magic to laypeople but it has occupied physicists since the birth of quantum mechanics.

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

Expert Panel on the Future of HPC in Engineering

03.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Small but ver­sat­ile; key play­ers in the mar­ine ni­tro­gen cycle can util­ize cy­anate and urea

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

New method gives microscope a boost in resolution

10.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Carnegie Mellon researchers probe hydrogen bonds using new technique

10.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>