Toward sustainable potato cultivation with drought

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleProfessional

Abstract

Precision farming can considerably increase the efficiency of crop water use. One suitable technique is underground fertigation, in which water and nutrients are dosed according to the measured crop needs.
The long-term precipitation shortfall due to drought in recent years has become an increasing problem in the Netherlands that places ever higher demands on Dutch water management. Every year, measures are taken to prevent the depletion of water reserves during the summer, but the steadily falling groundwater level is a growing bottleneck. The agricultural sector is experiencing a heightened risk of loss of earnings.
The government has made efforts to expand water storage. In search of speedy solutions, the minister made €7 million available to improve the storage capacity of sandy soils – a measure to increase the water supply. But can we do something to reduce the demand. for water? It is possible. Precision farming can significantly improve the efficiency of crop water use.
Given the agricultural sector’s substantial water needs, precision farming may even become crucial for the Netherlands to become water-robust in the future and to protect the economy against the negative consequences of climate change. Water-saving technologies have been deployed for years in arid and semi-arid areas. With regard to the Netherlands, can we learn from these technologies and use this knowledge to tackle the increasing aridity?
Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Matters : Knowledge Journal for Water Professionals
VolumeEdition 2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019

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