Farm nutrient and water mapping tools for local needs

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In Spain, EU-funded researchers developed new mapping tools and services to help farmers better manage the application of nutrients and water to their fields and promote sustainable agriculture.

Researchers worked with farmers, managers and agribusiness decision makers to develop a series of maps ranging from the farm to river-basin scale. The project developed precision farming tools using Earth Observation data and wireless sensor networks tailored to local needs and deployed them on the ground.

“We created high-resolution maps for determining nutrient and water requirements, so farmers can fine-tune the amount of inputs they actually need to avoid over-fertilization and save water,” says project coordinator Prof. Alfonso Calera. In arid La Mancha, Spain, partners focused on ensuring efficient water and fertilizer use; while in Marchfeld, Austria, a key concern was water quality problems due to intensive agriculture. Thessaly in Greece has been declared a vulnerable region due to groundwater nitrate pollution.