To tackle the critical issues of the Nitrates Directive and Water Framework horticulturists urgently need to implement more sustainable strategies. To assist the horticulturists, a number of research programs in different horticultural regions have assessed the effects of nutrient management strategies for vegetables, potatoes, flowers and ornamental trees. However, focusing on only nitrogen or phosphorus to reduce nutrient losses might result in a reduction of soil quality or conflict with crop quality expectations.
To obtain a greater view of the effects of new nutrient management strategies of open air and greenhouse vegetable production NEV2013 (Torino April 15-17) and NUTRIHORT (Ghent September16-18) are organised in 2013. The scientific committees of both conferences agreed that nitrogen fertilization, crop residues management and crop rotation are topics of both conferences and that NEV2013 will focus on strategies to improve nitrogen and water use efficiency and on monitoring of the environmental pollution caused by nitrogen losses from vegetable crop systems. At NUTRIHORT the conflict between improving soil organic matter and legislative requirements is a major topic. As phosphorus content in European soils is high and the phosphorus stock becomes scarce, rational management of phosphorus creates new challenges for horticulturalist which will also be discussed at NUTRIHORT. The discussion on the different strategies to reduce the environmental pollution caused by nitrogen losses from vegetable crop systems started at NEV2013, will be presented and the proposed answers and remaining uncertainties further discussed at NUTRIHORT.
By attending NEV2013 (Torino April 15-17) and NUTRIHORT (Ghent September 16-18) the different expertises of the conferences can be captured to obtain an overview of the effects of new strategies for improving nitrogen, phosphorus and water use efficiency without jeopardizing soil quality and crop quality expectations.