Enrichment on the Farm
On the farm, there are research programs that also involve the students in the collection of research materials.
The research program includes a long-term experiment (5-10 years) on enriching carbon dioxide in the open field (called FACE - Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment). The goal is to simulate the environmental conditions that wheat crops will experience in the future (enrichment to the level of 500-550 ml of carbon dioxide, the concentration we expect in another two or three decades).
There are currently 7 such systems in agricultural fields in the world, but this system will be unique in terms of the dry climatic conditions in our region (all other systems are located in more temperate regions around the world). In general, this system will be the first to be installed in the entire region of the Middle East and Africa.
The experiment measures wheat-related parameters throughout the growing season, weather-related parameters, and those related to soil water conditions. In addition, we will use an integrated system of a hyper-spectral validator camera mounted on a skimmer, in order to obtain a spatial assessment of the various indices from the air (from above). Apart from monitoring, we are currently working in the laboratory to model (with the help of computer programming) the various processes.
The goal is to examine how climate change will affect wheat, in terms of growth and yield (quantity and quality), and to assess, with the help of a model, what is expected in terms of wheat growth in large areas of the world where conditions will be as dry as ours in the future. In addition, to check which varieties are resistant to these conditions and how the crop can be improved and the crop optimized in terms of proper use of resources in the future.
This project is intended to be a flagship project of the Faculty of Agriculture, and the Hebrew University in general, on a global scale.