Posted on: 24/05/2023

The INSA-UB research group, Sòl-Microbi-Planta led by Dr. Joan Romanyà, joins a new project of agriculture and food production adaptation. This participatory project, called REGENSÒL, is a demonstration project for the construction of productive systems of soil-less agriculture based on the regeneration and management of soil fertility with the use of plant residues and the promotion of the biological fixation of nitrogen.

This project is based on the valorization of pruning residues from parks and gardens or woody crops. Waste from the forest industry can also be considered. These wastes are not currently used in agriculture. The incorporation of these carbon rich materials into agricultural systems will lead to an improvement in the quality of the soil and, in turn, in the services provided by soil organisms. Expected benefits include reduced use of fertilizers and pesticides, more efficient use of water, and improved vegetable quality.

A dozen commercial farms are involved in the project and will implement the proposed practices in some areas of their farms. In addition, the project has the collaboration of the ADV Horta of Baix Llobregat to monitor the proposed practices and disseminate the results among farmers of the area. Dissemination days will be organized and brochures and videos will be produced.

In the agricultural areas where this new technology is applied, important changes in the soil-microbe-plant system are expected. These changes will be studied from a scientific point of view in the HORTBIOSOL project, which will characterize the microbial communities and their main functions for plant production. Emphasis will be placed on the retention of organic matter in the soil, the fixation of atmospheric nitrogen and the recycling of organic nitrogen strongly retained in the soil and on the quantity and quality of the vegetables.