NL: Research on reduction of emissions in pot orchids

This week the new research on reduction of emissions in pot orchids started. Since January 2013, the emission norms became effective for the discharge of kg N/ha/year. It is desirable to reduce the emissions of pot orchids. The study plan is aimed at the possibilities for the reduction of the emission of nutrients with the help of a new generation of controlled release fertilizers (Osmocote), specially designed for growing phalaenopsis.

In the research three treatments will be carried out:
  • At the first treatment a portion of the fertiliser will be added as controlled release at the start of the growing and the other fertilisers will be added with the watering. The drain water will be recycled in order to examine if, with the use of controlled release fertilisers, the emission of fertiliser will go down.
  • With the second treatment the fertiliser will be added as controlled release fertiliser at the start of growing and watering will take place with clean water. The drain water will not be recycled. The aim here is to see how far the emission can be reduced for companies which cannot recycle their water yet. All the water that falls beside or between pots on the mesh bottom will go to the environment as clean water and orienting field trials will show if the leaching from the bottom of the pots also will be reduced.
  • The third treatment is a control treatment without controlled release fertiliser or recycling of the drain water.
The three treatments will be carried out with the cultivars Salinas and Springtime in two repetitions. The cultivation will be on a mesh bottom and will be watered from above. During the research, the composition of the drain water will be monitored, when necessary the composition of the fertiliser will be adjusted, the effect on the growth of the crop will be measured and the effect on the quantity sluice and emission will be calculated. The research will be financed by the Gewascoƶperatie potorchidee, ICL Specialty Fertilizers (Osmocote), Stichting Programmafonds Glastuinbouw and Topsector Tuinbouw & Uitgangsmaterialen.

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