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Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI)
Federal Research Centre
for Cultivated Plants

Prof. Dr. Jörg Michael Greef and
Prof. Dr. Dr. Ewald Schnug

Bundesallee 58
38116 Braunschweig, Germany

Office (Building Soil Science)
Ms Sabine Wichmann and
Ms Angelika Kunde
Tel: +49(0)531 596-2102/-2104/-2105
Fax: +49(0)531 596-2199
pb@  julius-kuehn.  de

Office (Building Crop Science)
Ms Sigrid Ehlers and
Ms Angelika Dölle
Tel: +49(0)531 596-2302/-2303
Fax: +49(0)531 596-2399
pb@  julius-kuehn.  de

Institute booklet

Fertilization and fertilizers

Sustainable and targeted use of fertilizers is an important prerequisite in order to produce high-quality food while at the same time reducing environmental burdens. The identification and characterization of major and minor components of mineral and organic fertilizers are necessary to predict their impact on the environment.

The Institute evaluates methods and criteria to assess the nutrient status of agricultural soils and the nutrient availability for plants. Based on this, the need for fertilization will be determined. Rock phosphate resources for example are limited and a sustainable use is therefore crucial for future generations. Furthermore, the loss of phosphorus from agriculture needs to be avoided and recycling of phosphorus from human use will be necessary to ensure a sustainable nutrient cycle in agriculture.

Currently, "novel" phosphorus fertilizers are developed from waste materials such as sewage sludge, slag or meat bone meal. The Institute investigates the plant physiological effects of primary and secondary constituents of such recycling fertilizers and their influence on soil fertility. Evaluation criteria are developed for recycling fertilizers to assess their nutrient availability for plant nutrition and the avoidance of soil contaminations caused by undesirable substances.