What: Salt farm Texel
Who: Marc van Rijsselberghe, prof. dr. Jelte Rozema and dr. Arjen de Vos
Source: Salt Farm
Tested on Texel
Water salinisation is a growing problem in the world. Due to the subsidence and the rising of the sea level the valuable farmland is increasingly salinated. Every day agricultural ground is spoiled by salt water, which is in total already one and a half billion acres. If that can be used again for food production, hunger is largely out of the world. Only 2% of the water in the world is fresh water, which is half stuck in the icecap. From the other half 70% is meant for agriculture and 50% will be threatened by salt. In the Netherlands, especially the former sea areas suffer from salinisation, such as Zealand and the northern Netherlands.
Since 2010 Salt Farm Texel is engaged in testing on cold ground and scientifically monitoring the salt tolerance of existing, conventional crops. Think of potatoes, beets, lettuce, barley, strawberries, onions and cabbage. These crops grow on a mixture of fresh water and sea water which is seeping through the dike to the test site.
Most of the research is performed at the research station, covering an entire hectare. Here, a fully automated irrigation system can provide any salt concentration while maintaining constant soil salinity. The irrigation is controlled by numerous sensors which monitor soil salinity and moisture. The irrigation water is applied by means of drip irrigation and the soil consists of sand containing about 4 % organic matter.