The local action group Leader and the company Secalflor join forces
The Leader local action group manages projects to support young farmers, as in the case of Jordi Serapio, owner of the farm on the Ca n'Andreu d'es Plamer estate.
Jordi Serapio planned to plant fig trees in the summer of 2021, "a tree I particularly like, from the land and with commercial possibilities". Leader suggested to the farm owner to test a new irrigation system that saves water and fertiliser, developed by the German company Secalflor.
Serapio "didn't even have to think about it". He finds any water efficiency plan interesting. The farmer's commitment to the Secalflor company is to report on the growth of the trees so he can assess the success of the Secalflor panels. To monitor soil moisture in real time, the company will work closely with the project.
Ca n'Andreu d'es Palmer is the first farm to test this system in the Balearic Islands. According to Agustí Fernández, a technician with the Leader Group, this system consists of panels/mats made of fully compostable plant and mineral fibres that function like a sponge that absorbs and stores water from both irrigation and rain and then gradually returns it to the soil. A technique that aims to maximise the use of water during these times.
Dagmar Grote, agricultural biologist at the company Secalflor, together with the inventor of the system, Dietmar Schmetsdorf, explained how the panels help the plant to better absorb nutrients and water from the soil and how the organic composition serves as fertiliser.
They hope to have results soon on this farm, the site of the first trial of this kind on Ibiza and Formentera. Beyond cultivation, the panels have other uses, as Grote explains: for example on green roofs or as a covering for erosion-prone areas.
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