Residue Zero: viable and phytosanitary-free agriculture

27 December 2021

Controlling the use of pesticides; ensuring that food reaches the consumer’s table without insecticides, fungicides or herbicides, and obtaining harvests completely free of phytosanitary products, taking a step forward compared to conventional agriculture.

These are the main objectives pursued by residue zero agriculture, a cultivation technique that limits the use of phytosanitary products according to the specific needs of each variety, applying them in a controlled manner and guaranteeing that, at the time of harvesting, the plants are completely free of such products.

Cultivating with this production model makes it possible to offer the consumer a product with the same characteristics as organic production, but, unlike the latter, it has more tools to control and increase its viability.

What is it?

Residue zero agriculture combines the use of low impact crop protection products with biological control techniques and enables regular, fully controlled and residue-free harvests when the product reaches the market.

The use of phytosanitary products in residue zero has two fundamental factors. On one hand, their typology, as there are products designed especially for these crops. On the other hand, the exact moment in the cycle when they are used, which are the same as those used in traditional agriculture. In both cases, the objective is the same, and that is to ensure that they perform their necessary function, but without leaving any residue on the plant when it is consumed.

To ensure care throughout the process, biological control techniques are also applied in zero waste. This involves using auxiliary fauna to combat insects and pests that damage certain varieties. In other words, in a controlled way, we introduce predatory insects into the plantations that become a natural defense for our crops, as they prevent those that attack the vegetables from achieving their objective.

Biological control is completed by placing insect-attractive host plants among the crop for the same purpose: that whatever we are producing develops without problems.

Residue zero cultivation has been made possible by advances in microbial agriculture, which have allowed a better understanding of how soil regulatory elements work.

In our case, we have started a test project at a courgette greenhouse with the aim of subsequently extending it to the rest of the production.

What reaches the consumer?

By applying residue zero, we obtain a vegetable that is totally free of phytosanitary products and with all the required guarantees. Therefore, it is a technique that helps to satisfy the current trend of consumers, who are more and more concerned about the production process of the food they consume.

So, what are the differences with organic products? For the consumer, none. The analysis of active substances is the same in both cases and shows that the vegetable does not contain any of them.

A step forward for the sector to guarantee production and offer increasingly healthier foods.