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Enhancing nitrogen use efficiency of arable crops and reducing nitrogen fertilizer losses by optimizing the structure of agricultural soils by liming

Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU)
Project number:
DBU 33068/01
Project director:
Martin Kaupenjohann
Wilhelm van Husen
CAU Kiel, Agrartest GmbH, Bayrisches Landesamt für Landwirtschaft, Düngekalk-Hauptgemeinschaft, Landesbetrieb Landwirtschaft Hessen, Landwirtschaftskammer Nordrhein-Westfalen, Landwirtschaftskammer Schleswig-Holstein, Thüringer Landesamt für Landwirtschaft


The utilization of the production factor nitrogen (N) is currently unsatisfactory in agricultural crop production. This causes avoidable environmental impacts (including eutrophication, nitrate pollution of groundwater, emissions of nitrous oxide and ammonia), but also unnecessary costs for the farmer. By optimally treating the soils with lime, essential chemical (pH, nutrient sorption (CAC), biological (soil life) and physical (soil structure) properties could be enhanced, especially in clayey soils, resulting in a significant increase of nitrogen utilization efficiency and a reduction of N losses. The aim of the project is to quantify this potential and to describe the optimal lime supply in relation to the soil and to transfer this new knowledge into practice.

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