Sustrato como material de última generación
Rapid population growth has made food production a priority. Then, the importance of Innovative techniques that allow greater control of the factors of the environment oriented to the intensive production is growing. In this sense, the use of substrates leads to take care of the correct use of natural resources. The production of seedlings requires large quantities of substrates which are mostly organic. This widespread use encourages technological dependence and increased production costs, which has become a drawback for its use. There is currently a growing trend towards the search for materials that can replace it, because of the high cost of quality peat, and above all because of the environmental consideration of peatlands in Europe. Physical characterization of substrates using the method proposed by the University of Florida (Dilger, 1998) and modified by Pire and Pereira (2003) using the use of porometers is considered reliable. The optimization process is useful to determine the percentages of coconut fiber and vermiculite for different mixtures, being the granulometry essential for its direct influence on the physical characteristics. Of the eleven mixtures resulting from the optimization process only three were evaluated, chosen considering density. All physical characteristics of the three substrates were in the range considered as desirable. Coconut powder is a naturally occurring material with potential to replace peat on substrates intended for the production seedlings using containers.