An innovative approach to enhance resource efficiency and safeguarding by using biostimulants and innovative sensors in horticulture | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

Bio4safe

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An innovative approach to enhance resource efficiency and safeguarding by using biostimulants and innovative sensors in horticulture

Priority Axis

Resource Efficient Economy

Specific objective

Efficient Use of Resources and Materials

Lead partner

Proefcentrum voor Sierteelt

Contact

Begindatum

13/07/2017

Einddatum

31/01/2022

Project budget

3 176 266

ERDF amount

1 905 760

ERDF rate

60%

    Over

    Common challenge

    The 2 Seas area is known for its intensive horticulture which demands significant amounts of water and nutrients. Several EU directives aim to protect water quality by preventing N and P leaching, aim to enhance soil quality or anticipate on water shortage. Besides these legislative environmental pressures, also economic reasons force growers to reduce water and nutrient consumption. Biostimulants (BS) enhance nutrient and water use efficiency of plants. Today, every Member State has its own regulation on commercializing BS. By 2020, the EU will implement a common European legal framework for the commercialization of BS, but it remains unclear how they will implement the registration procedure and how technical information will be determined. Further, the majority of the growers does not know how to choose the most effective BS or how to use monitoring tools (Survey PCS). Thus, we need a consistent approach in assessing the performance of BS and we need to increase the use of BS and monitoring tools.

    Main Achievements

    The main goal of the Bio4safe project is to reduce water and fertilizer use in horticulture. To achieve this goal it is important to prove growers that lowering water and nutrient consumption during cultivation is possible without quality loss or yield loss. Within the Bio4safe project seaweed based biostimulants are tested and in situ steering of plants with innovative sensor tools is examined.

    During the project’s first year, the current seaweed biostimulant market and the potential of local seaweeds for application in biostimulants was investigated to create economic opportunities for local seaweed producers. A strategy for market penetration was developed through workshops with different stakeholders resulting in different business cases. North Sea Farm created a road map with clear information on the biostimulant market.

    As follow-up on the previous trials (2019), where drought and nutrient stress was applied, we decided to increase the amount of stress and adapt the trial protocol where needed. In our trials we examine the effectiveness of seaweed based biostimulants to increase the tolerance of plants to abiotic stress. Innovative sensor tools were used to measure specific plant characteristics such as water and nutrient use efficiency. Subsequent trials are still needed to get clear results on the effect of biostimulants and plant monitoring tools. Each partner published a report on their trial outcomes. The data of the trials were presented to the stakeholders in three webinars (EN, NL and FR), this to increase the adoption of biostimulants and sensor tools.

    Our free online biostimulant database (www.biosafe.eu) was also launched during this webinar, a user-friendly database for growers where scientifically proven effects of commercial biostimulant products are bundled. Next year, we will still need to finetune the content of the database and add additional scientific literature received from the different stakeholder partners.

    Through the collaboration of all the Bio4safe partners, we were able to reach over 150000 persons in total. All partners aim to spread as much information as possible through articles and presentations and to a lower extent (due to COVID-19) during open days. Since the start of the project, the partners held 27 open days and visits, spread 38 news items/articles and did 106 announcations via social media. Because of covid-19 we had to change the format of our observer partner meeting towards an online setting.

    Partnership

    Partners

    Universiteit Gent

    NIAB EMR

    Pôle Légumes Région Nord

    Yncréa Hauts de France, établissement ISA Lille

    Proeftuin Zwaagdijk

    Stichting Noordzeeboerderij

    Dove Associates

    Outputs

    Theme
    Type
    Target
    URL / Download
    31/12/2020

    Database for scientists on biostimulants and their effect on horticultural plants.

    Thema: Agriculture - Energy efficiency
    Type: Method/tool
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities - Universities and research centres
    01/06/2021

    App for growers and suppliers of horticultural and agricultural products on biostimulants and their effect on horticultural plants.

    Thema: Agriculture - Energy efficiency
    Type: Method/tool
    Target: Citizens - Local, regional and national authorities - Universities and research centres
    31/12/2020

    Visibility study and market research for producers of biostimulants, producers of seaweeds, policy makers and other stakeholders.

    Thema: Agriculture - Energy efficiency
    Type: Feasibility study
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities - SMEs /enterprises - Universities and research centres