The first scientific findings from the control of the flooded lands in Thessaly, disprove the theories that the fertility of cultivated fields has been affected and for the need for five years to pass for the lands of the region to be considered suitable for cultivation.
This is stated in an announcement by the Ministry of Agricultural Development, stressing that in the same way, "speculations about the Pagasitikos are are rejected, as a possible bloom of phytoplankton has been observed in the past, however the completion of the investigations is expected to draw safe conclusions".
In particular, the Institute of Industrial and Livestock Plants of ELGO DIMITRA and the Institute of Fisheries Research published the first conclusions of their investigations, which are encouraging for the continuation of production in the affected areas.
The sediment load
According to the Institute of Industrial and Livestock Plants measurements in 281 points out of the 350 it has planned "most fields have received a load of sediment which can be integrated into the soil by cultivating the soil (cultivator or deep tillage depending on the height of the sediment). In these cases, from the first results of the analyzes carried out so far, it appears that the sediments present properties that are not expected to significantly affect the soil properties of the soils after incorporation. In the few cases where the height of the sediments is too high and it is not possible to incorporate them into the soil with deep tillage, soil restoration measures will be needed and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.'
As the Institute of ELGO DIMITRA clarifies, with the integration of a larger number of results, as well as the results of heavy metals, more secure conclusions will be drawn for the optimal management of soils affected by sediments.
What about flooded lands?
Of course, the soils that remain flooded their fertility is considered certainly affected and it is estimated that their traditional fertilizing tactics should be revised.
As far as the Institute of Fisheries' research ongoing research is concerned, so far scientists have been concerned about the transfer of large amounts of terrestrial sediments into the water column and the seabed, which contain nutrient salts of nitrogen and phosphorus, which, as estimated, can disturb the ratio of the two elements in favor of phosphorus, which is the main limiting factor. Therefore, depending on prevailing meteorological and oceanographic conditions, phytoplankton blooms may occur, which have been reported in the bay in the past.
The Minister of Agricultural Development and Food, Lefteris Avgenakis, receiving the first conclusions of the investigations, thanked the ELGO administration and the scientists of the two Institutes working in the field. He noted that the investigations are progressing at a fast pace and with full transparency, so that the final conclusions can be used to plan the next moves for the restoration of the lands and the Pagasitikos, pointing out, however, that the first data refutes the risk experts. He also emphasized that the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in every way continues to be on the side of farmers and breeders as well as fishermen, reminding that in the coming days the order will be issued to support the approximately 461 coastal fishermen of Magnesia, the Sporades and Larissa, with the aim of covering part of the income they lost.
It is recalled that within the coming week the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the leadership of the ministry have scheduled sectoral meetings per product in Larissa, in order to plan the next steps per product. There will also be discussions on the replacement of livestock with livestock farmers.
The conclusions of the studies
In conclusion, from field measurements of sediment height in fields, most fields have received a sediment load that can be incorporated into the soil by tillage (cultivator or deep tillage depending on sediment height).
In these cases, from the first results of the analyses carried out so far, it appears that the sediments present properties that are not expected to significantly affect the soil properties of the soils after incorporation.
In the few cases where the height of the sediments is too high and it is not possible to incorporate them into the soil by deep tillage, soil remediation measures will be needed and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The above conclusions concern only a small sample from the set of analysis results that we expect in the next few days. By incorporating a larger number of results, but also the results of heavy metals, more secure conclusions will be drawn for the optimal management of soils affected by sediments.
For soils that have been flooded with water for several days, it is certain that their fertility has been affected and the "traditional" fertilization tactic that many producers follow by applying specific amounts of fertilizers to each field, should be revised after a fertilization proposal from experts after proper soil sampling and analysis for each crop.