The effect of diferent N fertilization sources on the soil and meal quality of three varietes of Camelina (Camelina sativa Crantz)

Crop diversification is a key element in the integrated management of crops because it provides soil and crop management variations, and contributes to maintain pest populations (weeds, pest and pathogens) under threshold levels. Unfortunately, crop diversification in semiarid rainfed Mediterranean Ebro Valley areas is limited by the water availability. For this reason, drought tolerant crops, also resistant to winter cold temperatures, like camelina (Camelina sativa Crantz) are valuable options to be considered for using in rotation with winter cereals. Camelina seeds contain high oil and protein levels, with unique fatty acid composition and important quantities of antioxidants. Its main use has been for biofuel production, but the oil has been demonstrated to be very healthy for human consumption, and the meal has been successfully included for animal feed. But the limited Camelina average yield of 1500 kg/ha, prevents farmers from sowing it more frequently. A solution for its wider implementation would be the increase of the yield price, for which more oil and meal could be destined for other purposes than biofuel, and among these animal feeding rises as the most promising option. On the other hand, despite its interesting characteristics, this crop still is understudied in our climatic conditions and there is little knowledge about the different agronomic managements that could be applied, and about the effect of these managements in the final seed quality. The objective of the present research proposal is to study different forms of providing N fertilization –inorganic, pig slurry and cattle manure- on the yield and seed quality of three different Camelina cultivars, in order to evaluate the best agronomic performance providing higher quality final products for including them as components for feed. This Project proposal pretends to give continuity to the already existing Operative Group n 561101320183A, and is based on its preliminary results.

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