usa2
 

Abstract - monitoring

 
 
 

Abstract - monitoring

 
usa2
 
 
In recent years extensive resources are being invested in an attempt to create crops which are less sensitive to environmental stress, in order to maximize crop yield under intensive agriculture practice, and to enable crop cultivation in harsh regions. However, despite partial success, for example in choosing resistant root stocks to salinity or to soil diseases, directing the irrigation interface towards efficient salt washing etc., at this point we do not have the tools which could enable us to determine the root zone conditions so that the full development and yield potential of the crop is realized. The optimal growth conditions in the root zone (soil solution composition, quantity and availability of water and fertilizers, temperature, aeration) are known to us in many cases for various crops. However, at present we do not have the appropriate tools for characterizing and monitoring the actual conditions prevailing within the root zone. There is difficulty to continuously measure as well as characterize the spatial and temporal changes of the various characteristics of the root zone. The working hypothesis of this project is that correct monitoring of the important parameters, at an educated level of spatial and temporal resolution, combined with a flow model which will be able to describe the changes in conditions in accordance with vital parameters (soil and irrigation water characteristics, plant demands), will constitute a basis for an interface that can maintain the root zone conditions within the optimal ranges for each parameter. This information can also constitute a basis for nurturing and selecting new genetic plant lines for various crops, since a substantial portion of the existing gaps between the vast available genetic knowledge and our ability to take advantage of it for crop development is due to the plant's response to the changing environment. The development of functional tools which will be able to monitor the plant's response to its environment (soil, atmosphere) in real time and under root zone conditions defined by the various parameters, is expected to: (1) be integrated as a supportive tool in seed companies for nurturing and selecting seeds, aiding in speeding up the discovery and development of species adapted to defined environments; (2) be integrated as a supportive tool for farmers for improving crop inputs and for specifically adapting the crop to its environment; and (3) be integrated in agrotechnological industries such as the fertilizer and disinfestation industries, as it will provide developers with an interactive optimization tool which can replace the trial and error methods which are in use at present.
 
Eran Tas