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Within EUCLID project, partner AgriNewTech has been carrying out some major research work in Year 1 within WP1 (Optimisation and adaptation of current pest management methods) and WP2 (Development of innovative pest management products and approaches). The work process is worth mentioning as it indicates the possibility to use good source of organic matter like compost to control soil-borne disease.

 Soil-borne diseases are one of the main problems in many modern plant production systems. Compost is a good source of organic matter and microorganisms that provides different soil functions and can be one of the strategies to reduce the impact of soil-borne diseases in agriculture. Composts can be used for improving crop production, soil health, nutrient levels, organic matter, and plant growth but they can also be used for the suppression of disease caused by soil-borne plant pathogens. The disease suppressiveness may be variable according to compost quality and can be guaranteed when composts are colonised by specific antagonists during composting.

The agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) of the European Commission has also included the use of compost as an IPM practice for soil-borne diseases suppression (link). The use of high quality suppressive compost is another innovative pest management method that EUCLID focuses on. AgriNewTech has produced different suppressive composts and they are tested in Italy and France on tomato and lettuce (two crops of analysis in EUCLID) against soil-borne diseases in WP1 and WP2. “ANT’s Compost V” showed to control Fusarium wilt of tomato and to have a higher enzymatic activity compared to peat and to soil.

EUCLID aims at developing and testing high quality suppressive composts developed through an innovative process based on the enrichment with microorganisms. AgriNewTech fortifies composts in WP2 with selected microorganisms to improve their efficacy on the control of plant pathogens. In the next months, the activities will continue testing compost effects also against foliar pathogens and transferring this IPM practice to farmers. Since farmers can also produce compost on-site, recycling crop residues, manure, food and green wastes, AgriNewTech can provide technical assistance for the production of compost at farm level.

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Compost ready to be used Lettuce trials with compost mixed to the growing media

 

AgriNewTech is a startup company in the field of agricultural and environmental biotechnologies. The company offers services and innovative products in the field of sustainable crop protection and valorisation of organic wastes and by-products, composts and horticultural substrates for their optimal use in agriculture.

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