B3 - Computer tools

Technical Action B3

 Use of computer tools to aid decision in order to recommend fertilization in the initial stages of crops.

Rationalizing the practice of fertilization on crops is a key point to reduce over-fertilization of agrarian soils. The use of tools developed elsewhere is inappropriate without prior adaptation. In recent years, a computer tool has been developed in Catalonia, the FertiNext, which allows the realisation of recommendations of organic and mineral fertilizing in some extensive crops.

This tool is based on the use of nitrogen balance, and includes information about the different aspects of this balance obtained in different tests developed in several agrarian systems in Catalonia. The tool permits to include data from analysis of soil that represent a complement to the information generated.

In this action, farmers who manage a total of 1,200 ha in the irrigable area of Algerri-Balaguer are advised on aspects of fertilization. The main crops of the area are maize in monoculture, with productions that can reach 18,000 kg of grain per hectare, and the rotation of two annual crops of short cycle maize, usually combined with barley for grain, both under irrigation conditions.

In practice, 21 farmers are advised on the amount of fertilizer that they have to apply before sowing and when 3-5 leaves are raised. 

The recommendation ends with the production of an advisory report that is delivered personally to each farmer. In most cases, the type of fertilizer that the farmer uses is respected; in some cases, it is recommended to change strategy after evaluating all information collected.


Progress / Results

Objectives B3 Computer tools

  • Adapting and improving a computer tool to aid the decision on the fertilization.
  • Implementing the recommendations in the farming plots.
  • Improving the chemical parameters of the plots where the recommendations are implemented.
  • Adjusting the doses of fertilizer applied to crops.

Localization B3 - Computer tools