Circular fertilisers for healthy soils
FER-PLAY is working to protect ecosystems, decrease EU dependence on fertiliser imports, and improve resource efficiency through the promotion of alternative fertilisers. The project will map and assess alternative fertilisers made from secondary raw materials and highlight their multiple benefits to foster their wide-scale production and application.
Conventional fertilisers are made using finite, often imported, resources and employing in some cases energy-intensive production processes. To ensure high yields, these fertilisers are optimised for the fast release of nutrients, making them an attractive choice for farmers but a threat to soil and ecosystem health.
Crops cannot absorb all the available nutrients – with plants absorbing just 25-50% of the available Nitrogen(N), 17% of phosphorous (P), and 50% of potassium (K). The excess nutrients leach in the soil, leading to the degradation of ecosystems and water and soil quality, including the reduction of the soil’s capacity to sequester CO2.
FER-PLAY is promoting alternative fertilisers as a promising solution to this environmental challenge. These fertilisers offer an opportunity to reduce the environmental impact of fertilisers and close the loop between domestically available resources and required nutrients to be used in fertilising products.
Produced using nutrients recovered from locally sourced secondary raw materials, these fertilisers provide an alternative to incineration or landfilling that offers multiple potential benefits.
Alternative fertilisers can provide yield benefits while minimising the risks associated with fast-acting conventional fertilisers, protecting the soil and water from nutrient enrichment.
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