While nitrogen is a central component of proteins, an essential part of all living organisms and the motor behind all organic growth, reactive nitrogen compounds result in complex environmental impacts such as groundwater contamination with nitrate, eutrophication, release of nitrous oxide and ammonia, and a reduction in biodiversity.
Exposure to reactive nitrogen compounds exceeds the safe range of planetary boundaries to a greater extent than any other environmental issue. Even though nitrogen is a crucial nutrient for living organisms, we need to avoid unwanted release of nitrogen into the environment wherever possible. This has not yet been achieved. As a result, the nitrogen surplus caused by German agriculture amounts to around 100 kg per hectare of cultivated land per year.
There is a need for action to increase the efficiency of mineral and organic nitrogen fertilization and to reducelosses caused by reactive nitrogen compounds. This is only possible with a combination of measures that tackle all of the different sources of emissions.
Interested? Apply here! (in German)
In particular, the following measures are eligible:
Development of technology and processes to improve animal welfare while at the same time preventing nitrogen losses in livestock facilities as well as during storage and application of manures
Preventive approaches in the areas of protein supply, feed and feed technology with the aim of preventing nitrogen surpluses and nitrogen emissions
Improvement of methods for the temporally- and spatially targeted application of fertilizer depending on plant requirements
Measures for more efficient use of the nitrogen quantities already present in the soil
Agricultural approaches to reducing nitrogen emissions in vegetable cultivation/commercial horticulture
Recovery and recycling of reactive nitrogen from waste flows and during wastewater treatment
Communication of the latest findings to specific target groups (livestock owners, farmers, water conservation consultants, etc.)
Waste recycling or use of »new substrates« in the bio-economy
Take a look at the flyer for further information and exemplary DBU-funded projects.