How to future-proof agriculture?
Nazerke Amangeldy is a PhD student at Ghent University and studies precision-farming in combination with bio-based fertilisers. By providing farmers with accurate information about the characteristics of his or her field, farmers can optimise their fertilisation strategie. Optimal fertiliser application maximises plant growth and minimises nutrient leakages, which prevents hazardous effects on the environment (such as water pollution & harm to aquatic ecosystems, greenhouse gas emissions, etc.).
Department and Group: Department of Environment; Precision scoring Group
Supervisors: Abdul Mounem Mouazen (main), Erik Meers and Geert Haesaert (co)
Research focus: variable-rate bio-based fertilisation
Dissertation title (as for now ;D)
Synergy of Precision Agriculture & Bio-based Fertilizers
Most farmers these days manage their fields based on a single or few data points while disregarding the diversity of their soil. Precision-farming aims to advance this practice by considering a great range of soil and crop variability. For this, extensive and continuous data is gathered through satellites, drone imaging and soil sensors. The gathered data is turned into information via AI or other data management techniques. The resulting information enables farmers to communicate with their fields in a more direct way than they could otherwise.
In principle, precision-farming is not a new idea since farmers in the past often used tailor-made strategies for their fields as well. What is new, is the way in which data is gathered and processed: Direct observation and experience vs. sensors and computer-based data processing.
Bio-based fertilisers as opposed to mineral fertilisers are derived from organic (waste) materials such as animal manure, bone meal or plant-residues. While they promise to be more sustainable than their mineral counterpart, applying them correctly is crucial. Precision-farming might help find optimal ways to apply these fertilisers to the fields and thus reduce nutrient losses.
The Master’s program Nazerke talked about: Imsoglo
Nazerke’s joys and struggles
Joys: the feeling of being part of the change
Struggles: being patient
Nazerke’s fundings: Horizon 2020 NutriBudget; No 101060455
& listen to it whenever it suits you : )
or right here: