Research conducted in this thematic subject refers to sustainable agriculture by proper use of chemical fertilizers, organic manures and water, considering the preservation of soil fertility and natural resources, as well as environmental protection with production of high quality agricultural products.

Many projects are underway in the research units of N.AG.RE.F. dealing with these complex research objectives which usually have a great regional growth impact. This research is mainly referred to soil classification and proper use of fertilizers, if possible at the same time. Research projects and results are quoted briefly as follows.


Soil survey - Evaluation and classification

Soil survey and classification projects in the areas of Thessaly, Macedonia, mainland Greece and islands for proper use of soils are underway. Use of remote sensing methods with aerophotographs and satelite pictures as well as Geographic Information System (G.I.S.). The thematic maps which were produced can help in the proper use of fertilizers and sustainable soil management especially in ecologically sensitive areas.


Soil Fertility - Plant Nutrition

Regional studies, in the context of sustainable agriculture, aiming at the proper use of fertilizers, high soil productivity and good quality of crop production. As well, soil and crop nutrient balance and other soil parameters such as soil aeration, pH and organic matter are under study.


Agricultural use of sewage sludge and other solid and liquid wastewaters

The reason for the use in agriculture of recycled solid and liquid wastewaters after proper treatment, is the introduction of low cost organic matter, nutrients and water, taking also into account environmental problems.


Pollution of soils - plants and irrigation waters

Under study are projects on heavy metal and nitrate physiochemical behaviour and contents in vegetables.


Biochemistry - Microbiology - Zoology - Bioindicators

The effect of endomycorrhiza in vine production on phosphorus deficient soils was studied. It was found that endomycorrhiza protects the vine from lead and cadmium toxicities, achieving thus better plant yields.


Soil erosion - Landslide - Fertility improvement of pathogenic and degradated soils

The land slides and especially the factors influencing the water movement, the soil erosion, soil cracking and landslide soil surfaces, were studied.

The examination of the raining water’s effusion starting time on inclined areas in combination with other factors affecting the soil erosion and subsquent desertification, is under study too.

Improvement studies on acid soils in different areas of Greece are in progress. Furthermore, the suitability of calciferous silt by-products, calcium oxide and sewage sludge for the improvement of acid soils are under study.


Use of new technology in Agriculture

A project is undertaken for creating the appropriate infrastructure for use of space development and technology and its applications in agriculture.

Pilot projects in the prefectures of Evros and Kilkis for the assessment of damages in crop production due to natural causes (e.g. frost, Gail etc.) by using satelite pictures and Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.) are under way for the needs of the Hellenic Agricultural Insurance Organization.

A system of information exchange was also developed for disseminating special information used from two meteorological satelites (METEOSAT and NOAA/A VHRR) has proven the ability of earth observation for supporting agricultural and environmental practices.

Moreover, the project for developing two agrometeorological models for determining the production yield of the same year and for the years to come is under progress.

Under study is also the development of an acceptable and simultaneously applicable method for the proper and prompt prognosis of hail-stone.


Land Reclamation

In recent years the amount of water used for agricultural reasons is increased, whereas the available water is decreased. For this reason, the proper use of surface and ground water is the main objective in many projects. The reuse, mainly of urban liquid sewage and industrial effluents as well as its desalination is also under study. In many projects during the proper use or reuse of wastewaters in agriculture, special emphasis is given on the quality of the water. In almost all projects, emphasis is given on the production of know-how and the quality of water for environmental protection.


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