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Recovered organic materials and composts for precision fertilization of apple orchards and vineyards


The proposed solution aims to apply organic fertilizer (mainly solid fraction of slurry) in vineyards at variable rate, complemented, if needed, with VRT application of mineral fertilizers. Based on digital maps related to crop status (NDVI, leaf nutrients), soil fertility (apparent electrical conductivity, pH, organic matter, N, P, K, Ca, Mg, Na) and crop needs, VRT fertilization recommendations will be established in order to maximize the organic fertilizers use, but avoiding over-application of nutrients. Based on organic fertilizers VRT application, VRT fertilization with mineral fertilizers will be established for the nutrients whose needs were not fulfilled by the organic fertilizer. The first aspect to be studied will be the microvariation of soil due to the difference between line and row in permanent crops.

In order to test other sources of organic materials, a trial in an apple orchard at areas inside the Instituto Superior de Agronomia will be installed. Two types of fertilization will be compared (mineral and organic materials). Gas measurement will be quantified and to close the loop assessment in plant tissues and in soil will be held. Soil penetration resistance and humidity before and after the effect of the treatments will give a physical parameter. Soil samples will be collected before and after the treatments aiming to study the DNA of the soil, to understand the influence of organic materials in soil microbial biomass and biodiversity and it will provide a biological aspect. Combining all chemical, physical and biological attributes of the soil an overall of soil health and soil quality will be possible to discuss.

Till now, soil survey of areas, some bibliographic review and first soil sampling and soil analysis were performed.

Henrique Pose Guerra
PhD student ISA Portugal

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