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ISHS Acta Horticulturae 852: IV International Symposium on Ecologically Sound Fertilization Strategies for Field Vegetable Production

THE FUTURE OF RESEARCH INTO THE NUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS OF FIELD VEGETABLE CROPS

Author:   C.R. Rahn
Keywords:   strategy, environment, recommendations
Abstract:
A questionnaire was circulated to research scientists to identify knowledge gaps and stakeholder concerns in the area of the nutritional requirements of field vegetable crops. It also attempted to identify the ability of researchers with expertise in this field to service such needs and the tools available to do it. The case for further research to grow field vegetable crops without causing diffuse pollution remains important especially as the World population increases with concurrent demands for higher and more effective production. The appropriate balance between yield and quality, increasing concerns over global warming, the balance between supply and demand for fertiliser serve to strengthen the case for further research. The ability of researchers in many countries to meet these needs is poor – dominance of biotechnology without applied agronomy is a concern. With such a diversity of crops research for any single crops may appear patchy. An example of a strategy for future research was presented which took this seemingly patchy information and provided a framework for a national fertiliser recommendation system. This framework also provided a structure around which future research effort could be focused. The need to share crop data between researchers for optimally fertilised crops throughout their growth was suggested. The role of models to integrate research between researchers and for those models to be used as decision support tools for farmers and by upscaling to assist in policy decisions was identified. No research is successful unless it is conveyed to an end user whether that be an applied scientist for practical development or directly to the industry. The input required for knowledge transfer cannot be regarded as trivial.
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