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Sensors a new ally at sustainable vegetable farms

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

WAGENINGEN Sensors in the fields supported by computer technology offer the vegetable growers and greenhouse operators the possibilities to reduce their water requirements by up to 60 percent and fertilizers by approximately 30 percent. Tests in five countries besides the Netherlands were all successful. The results have already been presented to the European Commission. Scientists from eight countries are searching for ways to create a sustainable way of producing vegetables without sacrificing the extent of harvests and product quality. All growers will be facing much more stringent European controls on water consumption and fertilizer usage. While growers use much water, in some countries the commodity is in short supply and in others is very expensive. With generous use of water, fertilizers are flushed away, as well. With the aid of sensors, growers are able to fine tune water and fertilizer requirements. The tests were carried out in some Middle Eastern countries.