Every growth cycle removes nutrients from the soil. The nutrients must be replaced by fertilisers so that the soil does not become impoverished and thus inhibit plant growth. The type, quantity and timing are based on plant requirements and nutrient content of the soil.
The most important mineral fertilisers are nitrogen, phosphate, potassium and calcium. They contain the same nutrients that are found in nature. According to studies, the soil remains fertile even with mineral fertilisation alone. Mineral fertilisers contain nutrient quantities that are available regardless of the season. They allow low-loss fertilisation and can be spread evenly. In addition, mineral fertilisers can reduce the cost of the production of food, as the yield per field increases. On the other hand, mineral fertilisers favour concentration on a few types of crops, and nitrogen-collecting legumes are less favoured. If only mineral fertilisers are used, measures for maintaining the humus content are required. Intensive mineral fertilisation also promotes the growth of high-quality feed grass in pastureland. Less competitive species are left behind and diversity decreases.
In the case of farmyard manure, a nutrient cycle is created, which is both ecologically and economically sensible. Therefore, the recycling of the organic nutrients in your operation has always had priority. The organic substance also contributes to stabilising the humus content of the soil. However, the nutrient content fluctuates considerably, and exact fertiliser planning is difficult to use, especially since the nutrients are not always available in a timely and a quantity-oriented manner. The implementation in the soil is likewise difficult to calculate; the nutrient effect cannot be reliably predicted. The environment is contaminated by releasing the nutrients and through the escape of ammonia. Since farmyard manure can only be sensibly used at certain times of the year, it must be stored in a low-loss manner. However, storage space is often limited. Therefore, there is a risk that it is used at times that are not optimal for plant nutrition. In addition, over-use of fertiliser often occurs, since farmyard manure is generally easier to apply to nearby fields.
Despite need-based fertiliser application, nutrient loss cannot be completely avoided. Here, in particular, phosphate and water eutrophication, nitrogen washout in the groundwater and in surface water, ammonia volatilisation and nitrogen loss in the form of nitrous oxide must be taken into account.
Use of fertiliser according to good specialist practice can minimise nutrient losses and achieve high yields for the long term. In addition, the harvest quality can be improved through this, plant protection and resistance can be favourably influenced and the soil fertility can be preserved.