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Campus de Excelencia Internacional

  UAL Crop Nitrogen and Irrigation Lab


Vegetable production in greenhouses in the south-east (SE) coast of Spain has been a remarkable success story. However, this intensive and highly concentrated production system is associated with substantial nitrate contamination of underlying aquifers, a rising water table and over-exploitation of deeper aquifers. Our research program aims to (a) quantify and fully understand how the greenhouses cause these problems, and (b) develop crop management practices for N fertilizer and irrigation to reduce these problems.

In this vegetable production system, 80% of crops are grown in soil, mostly with drip irrigation and fertigation that supplies nutrient solution in all irrigations. Combined high frequency drip irrigation and fertigation forms a delivery system capable of spoon-feeding N and water to crops. We are developing the tools to take advantage of this “spoon-feeding” capacity.

The lab's research program focuses on the following lines: