The 14th Dr. Dahlia Greidinger International Symposium 2023

The 14th Dr. Dahlia Greidinger International Symposium 2023

Conference Topics/sessions

Frontiers in plant nutrition to promote sustainable intensification of crop production

Shahar Baram, Hillel Magen, Uri Yermiyahu

Meeting the plant's nutritional requirements is a crucial step in the endeavor to reach its biological yield potential. Accordingly, plant nutrition has become one of the leading global challenges, threatening industrial and agricultural production, food security, and environmental health. This session aims to highlight recent findings and practices that demonstrate not only improved crop production but also improved sustainability indicators by using different products and practices. We welcome contributions related to measuring and assessing the nature, size, impact, and potential interactions of fertilization practices and other nutrient utilization strategies with other development goals of sustainability.

Precision agriculture and robotics for improved resource efficiency

Amir Degani and Tarin Paz-Kagan

Agricultural systems face several challenges of climate change and population growth, causing an increase in consumption and food demand. At the same time, future food systems must be resource efficient and sustainable. These challenges include efficient use of water, reduction of soil erosion and degradation, minimization of energy input, and maximization of yields under uncertain natural conditions. Precision agriculture (PA) and robotics have the potential to contribute to meeting the growing demand for food, ensuring the sustainability of production based on technologies that assist in managing spatial and temporal variability. The four PA technologies include location determination (Global Positioning System, GPS), computerized geographic information systems (GIS), computer-guided controllers and automation for variable rate application (VRA), and robotic and sensing technologies for automated data collection and mapping. This session will cover the four PA technologies for improving resource efficiency and suggest new technological alternatives to move toward more efficient and sustainable agriculture.

Advances in the estimation of carbon sequestration and emission in the agro-environment

Oz Kira and Yael Laor

Carbon dioxide is sequestered and emitted in the agro-environment by plants and soil. As agricultural practice intensifies, so does its role in the terrestrial greenhouse gas balance. The International "4 per 1000" Initiative, launched by France on December 1st, 2015, at COP 21, aims to show that agriculture, particularly agricultural soils, can play a crucial role in food security and climate change. Potential strategies to increase C sequestering may include Best Management Practices (BMPs), such as improved crop rotations and increased crop residues, cover crops, no-tillage, and other conservation tillage, and improved grazing land management. Other 'frontier technologies' may include biochar additions, deployment of perennial grain crops, or annual crops bred to develop deeper and more extensive root systems. For the proposed session, we seek new strategies for improving carbon sequestration and innovative techniques to measure carbon fluxes or reduce the uncertainty in existing measuring methods in the agro-environment.

Plastics in agriculture (impact and treatment practices)

Roy Posmanik and Ines Zucker

The use of plastic in agriculture (also known as "plasticulture") is crucial for food security due to many benefits, such as water saving and pest management. However, almost all plastic waste from agricultural use poses difficulties to current recycling processes. The primary barriers to the widespread recycling of agricultural plastic waste include technological limitations, legislative barriers, and a lack of economic incentives. As a result, agricultural plastic waste is often left in the fields after crop harvesting, contributing to water, soil, and air pollution. However, new technologies for valorizing agricultural plastic waste could change the current situation. This session will cover the environmental impacts of agricultural plastic waste along with suggestions for new technological alternatives to move towards a circular economy for more sustainable agriculture.

Addressing the agricultural water cycle

Adi Radian and Itamar Nadav

Water scarcity has become one of the leading global challenges, threatening industrial and agricultural production and food security. The agricultural sector alone is responsible for 70 percent of all water withdrawals, and up to 95 percent in some developing countries. The consequent escalating water demands and depletion of high-quality freshwater sources highlight the urgent need to develop and implement safe and sustainable water management strategies to ensure food production, water supply (quantity), and quality across the globe. The following session is dedicated to all aspects of the agricultural water cycle, from management and quality of water sources to treatment and reuse of wastewater. We welcome contributions related to sustainable water supply, reuse, and integrated water resource management, as well as innovative wastewater treatment and management technologies.

Soil Health: Towards closing gaps in both management and assessment

Gil Eshel and Tal Svoray

Soil health refers to the capacity and the resilience of the soil to function and provide various ecosystem services (e.g., provision of food and fiber for the growing human population, nutrients, and water for plans; regulation of soil erosion, floods, and temperature; storing and cycling carbon, nutrient and more). As climate is changing and the uncertainty on its impact on the environment is growing, improving the health of the soils we rely on is crucial. The session is open for studies and case studies on improving soil health by different agriculture management regimes (e.g., conservation /regenerative agriculture) and studies on indicators/indexes for evaluating soil health.

Adaptation to climate change and resulting environmental conditions

Yael Dubowski and Eran Tas

Attaining sustainable and productive agriculture under changing climate is a major challenge for modern agriculture. This is especially true for the Eastern Mediterranean area (a global warming hotspot according to the IPCC), where increasing temperatures and dryness conditions are expected to adversely affect crop and livestock productivity. Enhanced extreme weather events and changes in seasonal precipitation patterns are likely to pose additional stress for agriculture. In addition to these direct effects, changes in climatic conditions may result in enhanced concentrations of atmospheric pollutants (e.g., ozone and other oxidants), which are known to reduce agriculture productivity. Therefore, adaptation to climate change should include practices in all scales and ought to be integrated into future agricultural policy. The current session wishes to address technologies and practices that can help modern agriculture to adapt to the direct and indirect effects of climate change.

Advanced treatment of organic waste for sustainable use in crop production

Liora Shaltiel-Harpaz and Avi Shaviv

Considering the importance of applying organic waste for sustainable intensification of food production the following aspects are important for consideration: (i) Approaches of treating organic waste from various sources and their potential benefits for crop production and minimizing waste residues; (ii) Use of insects (e.g., Black Soldier Fly) for improving waste management and its residuals quality for sustainable use in agriculture; (iii) Approaches for evaluating/investigating the agricultural benefits of the treated waste (e.g., Plant nutrients availability, effects on soil biodiversity, Soil/root biological interaction; Plant resistance to pests and pathogens, Environmental efficiency); and (iv) Regulation of soil amendments/treated wastes and impact of requested treatments on contribution to soil and plant health. (Could be in this session or in a final panel discussion on regulation)

Environmental regulation in agriculture (panel)


General poster session, including all topics and any theme-related additional ones

Alex Furman

This session is open for poster contributions addressing all the above listed topics, and beyond. We see this session as the most important, as it allows proper discussion. Student presentations will be included in a competition with prizes, however, contributions from non-students are also encouraged.

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