VegSyst-DSS software to calculate N and irrigation requirements for seven vegetable species grown with fertigation in greenhouses in SE Spain
The greenhouse-based vegetable production system of south-eastern (SE) Spain, has a limited water supply and is associated with appreciable nitrate (NO3-) contamination of aquifers. Most crops are grown in soil. These regions have been declared nitrate vulnerable zones, in accordance with the EU Nitrate Directive. Consequently, growers are required to improve nitrogen (N) and irrigation management in order to reduce NO3- leaching losses. This work presents the VegSyst-DSS software, operated on Windows computers, that calculates daily N fertilizer and irrigation requirements, and the N concentration in nutrient solutions applied by fertigation for the seven main vegetable species grown in this system. The VegSyst-DSS is based on the VegSyst V2 crop simulation model that has been calibrated for these species. The VegSyst-DSS calculates irrigation from estimates of crop evapotranspiration (ETc) made with the VegSyst V2 model, the uniformity of the irrigation system and the salinity of irrigation water. Nitrogen fertilizer requirement is calculated with a daily N balance that considers critical crop N uptake simulated with the VegSyst V2 model and various soil sources of N. The software has been designed to be intuitive for practical use by farmers and advisors. The use of the VegSyst-DSS can reduce the concentration of N in the fertigation nutrient solution leading to reduced N fertilizer application and reduced N losses to the environment.
Gallardo, M., Arrabal, F., Padilla, F.M., Peña-Fleitas, M.T. and Thompson, R.B. (2017). VegSyst-DSS software to calculate N and irrigation requirements for seven vegetable species grown with fertigation in greenhouses in SE Spain. Acta Hortic. 1182, 65-72
decision support system, models, nitrogen, fertilizer, evapotranspiration, management, nutrient solution