A new EU-Project IMPROVE-P has started in June 2013 in the frame of the research network CORE Organic II. Six countries (Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Switzerland and UK) launched a call to study the challenges linked to phosphorus (P) in organic farming systems.

Organic farming systems rely on the efficient use and recycling of available resources.  Currently, some mineral nutrients like phosphorus are used only once to produce food. Subsequently, they are lost due to poor recycling of organic wastes back to farmland.

There is an urgent need to improve the recycling of P from urban areas and the food industry, back to cropland.

The selected project is IMproved Phosphorus Resource efficiency in Organic agriculture Via recycling and Enhanced biological mobilization (IMPROVE-P) with partners from all funding countries.

The project is coordinated by Kurt Möller from the Universität Hohenheim in Stuttgart, Germany.

IMPROVE-P will summarize the state of the art concerning P status in organic farming, assess the suitability of currently allowed (e.g. urban-waste digestates) and not allowed recycling P fertilizer (e.g. cleaned sewage sludge ashes, food-waste digestates, etc.) for use in organic farming, modeling the risks of soil accumulation of pollutants, investigate the effects of P mobilization by cover crops and plant growth promoting rhizobacteria on P availability in soils. Last but not least stakeholder perceptions about the use of currently not allowed recycling P fertilizers will be evaluated in each of the participating countries. The project’s dissemination activities will target stakeholders, consumers and policy makers.

A project summary and links to the partners in the participating countries can be found on the website of CORE Organic 2 or on the project website.

More information in BOKU's research database FIS.


Jürgen K. Friedel, Working Group Soil Fertility and Cropping Systems

Address: Gregor Mendel Strasse 33 (top floor)
tel.: (+43)1/47654-3757
fax: (+43)1/47654-3792
e-mail: juergen.friedel(at)boku.ac.at

Project coordinator: Kurt Möller
Fertilisation and Soil Matter Dynamics, Institute of Crop Science
University Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany
e-Mail: kurt.moeller(at)uni-hohenheim.de