Integrated cropping systems : an answer to environmental regulations imposed on nursery stock in the Netherlands

A.A. Pronk, H. Challa

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Government regulations in the Netherlands are increasingly constraining and sometimes even banning conventional cultivation practices in nursery stock cropping systems. As a consequence, growers face problems concerning the use of manure, fertilisers and irrigation. In this study we analysed the production system and defined management options to improve input efficiency. Strategies based on results of small, preliminary experiments were then developed and tested in nursery stock production systems. Successful management tools included the use of alternative organic materials, such as black peat and compost of domestic and garden waste. The materials were applied after every harvest to maintain soil fertility. Split application of nitrogen and drip irrigation also proved to be successful. A prototype of an integrated nursery stock production system that meets the environmental regulations was developed for field-grown crops on sandy soils. Potential aspects for optimisation are pointed out and will be investigated in the near future.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)115-124
JournalActa Horticulturae
Publication statusPublished - 2000


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