Leaching of nitrogen (N) under the form of nitrate to groundwater and surface water remains in Flanders a problem (above 50 mg nitrate per liter water) at specific measuring points. However, often the source of the nitrate is unknown, while N fertilization of ‘Conference’ pear trees that are abundantly present in the Haspengouw region in the South of Limburg is necessary to guarantee a yield of sufficient quantity and quality for the grower. In the first part of this project the aim is to locate the source of the high nitrate concentration in one measuring point with several surrounding pear orchards. The effect of less N fertilization of ‘Conference’ trees on pear production and fruit quality as a possibility to help reduce the nitrate concentration in the water is being investigated in the second part of this project.

Control of nitrogen (N) leaching to ground and surface water

PDPO III Leader (HAS16-03)

Contact: Kim Koopmans (kim.koopmans@pcfruit.be); Ann Gomand (ann.gomand@pcfruit.be); Wim Verjans (wim.verjans@pcfruit.be) and Serge Remy (serge.remy@pcfruit.be)

Timing: 01/01/2017-30/06/2019

Financing: PDPO III (EU (Europees Landbouwfonds voor Plattelandsontwikkeling), Leader PG Haspengouw

Partnership: vzw PIBO-Campus en  Bodemkundige Dienst België