Nitrogen efficiency in Germany’s agriculture

We are introducing you to one of the many projects presented at the Agri Innovation Summit 2017 in the good examples sharing section at AGROHUB.BG. It is a project of the German Operational Group and is dedicated to increasing nitrogen efficiency in arable land in the Schleswig-Holstein district of Germany.

Agri Innovation Summit 2017, Europe’s largest innovation agri-food event, was held on 11 and 12 October in the Portuguese city of Oeiras, bringing together over 500 representatives of the agri-innovation community from the EU Member States.

The aim of this innovative project is to identify and demonstrate measures that contribute to reducing nutrient loss in cereals. The main focus of the project is on the impact of the sowing turnover on nitrogen transfer between crops as well as on adapted nitrogen fertilization.

The idea of the project comes from the specific needs of agricultural practice for redesign and development of innovative concepts of sowing turnover and fertilization in conventional agriculture under changing conditions. This is expected to be an important contribution to a more sustainable and efficient use of agricultural resources. Within the framework of the project, regional action recommendations are being developed, in particular for agricultural production in the Schleswig-Holstein region of Germany, to show how legumes can be integrated into sowing turnover, reduce nitrogen losses and optimize the recommendations for fertilization.

As a result of the implementation of the three-year project, it is expected that advice and measures will be developed for nitrogen-efficient farming when comparing the combinations of the sowing turnover systems. From the acquired knowledge and from the applied experience will be adapted and tested in practice model-based recommendations for fertilization of arable land of Schleswig-Holstein.

The project of the Operative Innovation Group “Nitrogen Efficiency in arable Land Systems” is particularly promising with its Combined approach of research in agriculture (On-Farm Research) and the classical pilot studies. In-house research tests are conducted on farms with practical conditions to verify the concept of model-based fertilization guidelines for wheat in the context of Schleswig-Holstein’s environmental and sowing turnover. To do this, band tests are applied to the operating areas where the previous fertilization practice has been tested according to the recommendations of the model-based system. In these activities, farmers were assisted in the experimental procedure by the Agricultural Chamber and the University of Christian Albrecht in Kiel, Germany, also among the participants from the Operative Group. The implementation period of the project started in August 2016 and will continue until August 2018, with a budget of 670 thousand euros.

In order to preserve and consolidate knowledge, sowing turnover systems are being tested in the three natural regions of Schleswig-Holstein. For research in the eastern suburbs is used the Hohenshulen research farm at Kiel University. In the other two areas is used land, acquired near the experimental sites of the Agricultural Chamber. The rotation system tests have been designed as pilot studies in order to achieve the broadest possible evaluation measures.

The design of the samples includes a total of 13 different crops, including intermediate crops in 10 different sowing turnover plans and thus covers almost the whole range of agricultural production of Schleswig-Holstein.

The publication is based on EIP – AGRI materials

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