Large amounts of nitrogen are applied to intensively managed land where field Large amounts of nitrogen are applied to intensive
vegetables are grown. Concerns about high nitrate levels in produce and large amounts of potentially Teachable nitrogen from such intensive land use demand careful research to maximise sustainability of the industry, maintaining produce quality without the risk of ground water pollution.
Research into the nutrition of field grown vegetable crops across Europe has distinct constraints to deal with such as:
1. The complexity created by the large number and diversity of cropsgrown.
2. The thin distribution of research institutes dedicated to research and development in this area.
3. Minor funding for research compared with vast income from production of such crops.
These constraints cannot easily be overcome by the action of researchers in individual countries but needs a concerted approach, pooling knowledge and expertise to benefit individual member countries and the community as a whole. Therefore a large dynamic network will be set up which will allow free exchange of research information between partners representing 15 countries within Europe. Such a network will help to identify gaps in knowledge that need further research, This in turn will lead to more focused national research and the possibilities of setting up new programmes of collaborative work involving more than one nation. The action will identify the techniques in experimentation which will provide data that is most likely to be useful in devising and directing the implementation of EC directives aimed at improving water quality.
The results of the work will be widely publicised to an audience including policy makers, research scientists, crop extension officers, fertiliser manufacturers and key producers and wholesalers of field vegetables. Steps will also be taken to investigate the continuance of data exchange beyond the life of this concerted action.
The proposed work will lead to the improvement in production systems within the reformed common agricultural policy, satisfying community needs of quality field vegetables whilst minimising the risk of nitrate leaching into ground or coastal waters.
Funding SchemeCON - Coordination of research actions
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