Main research question/goal
In this project we study the relationship between soil- and substrate management and disease suppression. The EU directive 2009/128/EC, establishing a framework action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides, requires that by 14 December 2012, member states communicate their national action plan. The directive clearly mentions that “sustainable biological, physical and other non-chemical methods must be preferred to chemical methods if they provide satisfactory pest control”. Therefore, research on integrated control strategies is needed. One of the main principles of integrated control is: a healthy soil/substrate leads to a healthy plant with a high disease resistance. Research approach
We investigate which substrate- and soil parameters determine an increased resistance of plant and soil against diseases and pests. We measure to which extent disease resistance can be increased by variations/manipulations of the substrate or soil (e.g., soil cultivations, amendment with compost or biochar, substrate type, etc.). We conduct greenhouse- and field trials using pathogen inoculations under controlled conditions. We measure physico-chemical and microbiological properties and search for correlations with disease suppression. Relevance/Valorisation
Alternative plant protection strategies based on soil- and substrate management can be put quite quickly into practice. The results of this project contribute to a natural strengthening of the plant and soil, with a reduced risk to diseases and pests and a reduced pressure on the environment and the health of the consumer.
ILVO - Instituut voor Landbouw-, Visserij- en voedingsonderzoek