The Sustainable Agriculture session at the International DDD Conference (November 2023, Sede Boqer campus) examined how thought paradigms once unique to deserts and drylands affect food production and regenerative agriculture in arid and non-arid regions across the planet.
Dr. Shahar Baram from the institute of Soil, Water and Environmental Science (Volcani Institute) gave a great talk regarding adaptation of new perspective for nitrogen use in agriculture.
Tap into the free N-pool – treated effluents are a major water and nitrogen source for agriculture. Due to the lack of continuous reliable data on the reactive N concentrations (nitrate and ammonium) in the irrigation waters, most farmers do not take it into account in their fertilizer applications. This practice leads to crop and environmental damage. Hence, the development of a real-time N monitoring system that accounts for the N in the irrigation water should be indorsed by the Israeli establishment. Such systems would be a win-win, reducing the operational costs for farmers without hampering yield, and reducing the flux of reactive N into the environment.