Communication

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Review of the 19th Meeting of RUENA (Network for Efficient Nitrogen Use in Agriculture)

Fecha: 28/05/2024

R. Isla1, N. Mateo1, J.L. Gabriel2
– 1. Centro de Investigación y Tecnología Agroalimentaria de Aragón (CITA)
– 2. Instituto Nacional de Investigación y Tecnología Agraria y Alimentaria (INIA-CSIC)

Participants of the XIX Meeting of the RUENA Network
Participants of the XIX Meeting of the RUENA Network

The Network for Efficient Nitrogen Use in Agriculture (RUENA) held its 19th Annual Meeting at the facilities of the Mediterranean Agronomic Institute of Zaragoza (CIHEAM) on May 25 and 26, 2024 with the support of the Interprofessional Association for Agricultural Development (AIDA-ITEA) and the coordination of the Center for Agri-Food Research and Technology of Aragon (CITA). This meeting, focused on this occasion on the “Challenges and advances in improving the efficiency of nitrogen use from manure and organic sources”, was again a national meeting point between fertilizer manufacturers, researchers, public administrations, farmers and other interested groups, in which the latest advances in the sector of nitrogen as a plant nutrient were exchanged.

The conference was inaugurated by the director of the CIHEAM of Zaragoza, Raúl Compés, by the Coordinator of the Organizing Committee, Ramón Isla, and by the coordinator of the Network, José L. Gabriel. Dr. Alberto Sanz-Cobeña, researcher at CEIGRAM-UPM and coordinator of the REMEDIA Network, gave a keynote speech entitled “Ammonia emissions in fertilized agricultural soils: measurement and estimation methods and volatilization reduction strategies”. This presentation was followed by a block of thematic talks delving further into the importance of the circular economy as a potential tool to further increase the sustainability of the sector. Dr. Dolores Quílez (CITA) presented her work entitled “Ammonia emissions in organic fertilization, examples of techniques for their reduction”, followed by Dr. Ángela Bosch (University of Lleida) with her work entitled “Effects of organic application on soil quality” and Dr. Raúl Moral (University Miguel Hernández) with his work entitled “Effects of organic application on soil quality”. Raúl Moral (University Miguel Hernández) with his work “Recirculation of N from waste sources in agriculture and development of new biofertilizers”, and Dr. Pilar Bernal (CEBAS-CSIC) closed the block with her work “Agronomic use of nitrogen from compost and digested materials”.

Alberto Sanz-Cobeña (CEIGRAM) during his lecture at the XIX Meeting of the RUENA Network
Alberto Sanz-Cobeña (CEIGRAM) during his lecture at the XIX Meeting of the RUENA Network

In the afternoon, it was the turn of the final phase of the I RUENA Young Researchers Award. On this occasion, the 7 finalist papers were presented and the jury, composed of a representative of each of the 8 sponsoring companies, decided to award the prize (worth 1000 €) to Aitziber Calleja, a PhD student at the Public University of Navarra, supervised by Idoia Ariz, whose work was entitled “New nitrogen fertilization practices for the production of healthy leafy vegetables”. In any case, the voting was very close, demonstrating the high quality (and variety) of all the papers presented.

The 26th was dedicated to the usual field visit, on this occasion visiting the facilities of the Slurry Management Center and one of the farms participating in the Life ClimFarm project (both in Ejea de los Caballeros), where we were updated on the numerous activities and trials that are carried out there on the sustainable management of slurry produced in the region, covering both direct emissions on farm, the management of slurry in ponds to reduce volatilization losses and the direct application of slurry to crops through adapted fertigation systems. A good summary of this visit can be found in the report broadcasted by Aragón TV in its program Tempero, available in this link.

Noemí Mateo (CITA) during her presentation of the Life ClimFarm Project.
Noemí Mateo (CITA) during her presentation of the Life ClimFarm Project.

For more information on this and other past and future RUENA conferences, please visit the RUENA web page (http://www.ruena.org/). As a foretaste, the 20th Meeting is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2025 in Valladolid, organized by the researchers of ITACyL, to whom we are very grateful for accepting the challenge and welcoming us with open arms in their facilities.

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