Last June, Projar launched a study on the management of irrigation and fertigation in a tomato farm in Águilas, Murcia, which was burdened by problems of root asphyxia due to waterlogging, salinity and problems of soil compaction at the surface level, which significantly affected the productivity. The first results of this study have already been obtained. The company has achieved a significant increase in the production by adding coconut fiber to the agricultural soil and monitoring the environmental parameters and the crop itself, applying a fertigation strategy appropriate to the specific needs in each production phase.
"In 70% of the crops where coconut fiber was added to the horticultural soil, we found that the roots only colonized up to 40% of the total volume of the added coconut fiber, mainly due to improper handling of the fertigation,” says Juan Manuel García, Product Manager of Projar and coordinator of the study. "By becoming familiar with the crop's hydric and nutritional needs and adapting the parameters and the frequency of fertigation to the plant's physiological state, we have achieved a 40% increase in the production compared to the previous harvest," says García.
Providing the plant with water and nutritional resources at the time it needs them has been key to obtaining much more active plants with greater productive potential. As a result of the study, the roots of the plants colonized between 70% and 80% of the total volume of coconut fiber incorporated, solving the initial problem that Projar had detected when this technique was first tested, increasing the production and making the investment profitable.
This solution, called the Smart Hydroponic Grow System, was selected as a finalist in the Innovation Hub Awards 2020 at Fruit Attraction LIVEConnect from among more than 140 candidates in the Auxiliary Industry sector.
More information on the Smart Hydroponic Grow System is being supplied by Projar in the form of a downloadable guide with all the technical information related to the study and the keys to good agronomic management. It is available through its website.