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Prepare your next season: adapt to climate change

Climate change has the potential to increase both the frequency and the severity of extreme events, and this is particularly evident in the case of global temperature increases and drought episodes. In fact, the summer of 2022 was the third warmest on record globally. According to recent environmental studies, both the frequency and intensity of droughts are expected to increase due to global climate change. In addition, the earth's global temperature is predicted to rise by 1°C.

The scarcity of available water and extreme temperatures decreases water potential and cell turgor, while increasing the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which forces the plant to produce neutralising compounds to avoid oxidative stress (ethylene). This defensive response means that the plant allocates its resources to survival rather than production, resulting in a decrease in crop yields.

In Spain, strawberry cultivation has had to face a 2022-2023 season marked by bad weather conditions with episodes of:

  • Excessive heat in October.
  • Sudden drop in temperature at the beginning of January.
  • Lack of precipitation, which meant that the water supplied to the crop was of poor quality.
  • High temperature in winter-spring (20°C-30°C max).

All this has caused continuous stress on the crop, mainly due to the abnormal temperatures recorded.

Currently, there are several solutions to increase the adaptive capacity of the agricultural sector to adverse weather events and to promote resilience in agriculture. One of the most relevant practices in water stress situations is to improve crop resilience. This technical strategy focuses on improving soil health and structure to increase water retention, improve plant nutrient availability and strengthen crop resistance to extreme weather events. These measures contribute to making agriculture more climate resilient and enable it to cope more effectively with the challenges related to climate change.

Over the past decades, TRICHODEX has conducted extensive research that has shown the benefits of certain PGPR microorganisms (Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria) in improving plant tolerance to various types of abiotic stress. Our PGPRs stimulate root growth, improve nutrient availability, facilitate water and nutrient absorption, and trigger physiological responses that help mitigate the negative effects of stress on plants. Their presence in the rhizosphere and their symbiotic interaction with plants offer a promising solution to increase agricultural productivity and address the climatic challenges facing agriculture.

VIBACTER is a biofertiliser registered in Spain based on 4 PGPR microorganisms. The application of VIBACTER+BIOSOL A.M.C. at 4 stages of the strawberry crop under conditions of maximum stress (2022-2023 season), manages to mitigate the damage, leading to an increase in the harvest of 81.7% compared to the control.

In addition, the productive cycle of the crop starts earlier, with increases in the first harvest of up to 109%.

Figura 2. Producción (Kg/ha) de total en el cultivo de la fresa var. Leticia Campaña 2022-2023
Fertiberia - Actualidad. Blog Trichodex. 2023-07-07. Post "Prepara tu próxima campaña: adáptate al cambio climático", Figura 2, Producción de total en el cultivo de la fresa
Figura 3. Producción (Kg/ha) de 5 primeras recolecciones fresa var. Leticia Campaña 2022-2023
Fertiberia - Actualidad. Blog Trichodex. 2023-07-07. Post "Prepara tu próxima campaña: adáptate al cambio climático", Figura 3, Producción de 5 primeras recolecciones de fresa
Figura 4. Ingresos brutos (€/ha) y margen de beneficio (€/ha) de las parcelas testigo y Estrategia Trichodex.
Fertiberia - Actualidad. Blog Trichodex. 2023-07-07. Post "Prepara tu próxima campaña: adáptate al cambio climático", Figura 4, ingresos brutos y margen de beneficio

Conclusions

  • 81.27 % INCREASE IN TOTAL PRODUCTION
  • SIGNIFICANTLY EARLIER PRODUCTION
  • WE MITIGATE DAMAGE DUE TO UNFAVOURABLE WEATHER CONDITIONS
  • HIGH RETURN +30,800 €/ha OF PROFIT

References

  • Beillouin, D., Schauberger, B., Bastos, A., Ciais, P., & Makowski, D. (2020). Impact of extreme weather conditions on European crop production in 2018. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 375(1810), 20190510.
  • Van Oort, P. A. J., B. G. H. Timmermans, R. L. M. Schils, et N. van Eekeren. 2023. «Recent Weather Extremes and Their Impact on Crop Yields of the Netherlands». European Journal of Agronomy 142: 126662.
  • Feyen, J. (2022). ¿Podemos acabar con el hambre y la desnutrición y reducir el impacto de la agricultura en el calentamiento global? Maskana, 13(1), 1-3.
  • European Commission 2017. Study on risk management in EU agriculture.
  • AgroNews Castilla y León: Estado fenológico del cultivo de fresa durante el mes de abril.
  • Chandra, P., Wunnava, A., Verma, P., Chandra, A., & Sharma, R. K. (2021). Strategies to mitigate the adverse effect of drought stress on crop plants—influences of soil bacteria: A review. Pedosphere, 31(3), 496-509.
  • Phytoma.com: La fresa española defiende su modelo productivo frente a la campaña negativa de Alemania.

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