Fertilizers in sustainable land use
In agriculture, fertilizers are needed to give good crop yields and to maintain soil fertility. Animal manure, artificial or inorganic fertilizers, compost and natural fertilizer products have diverse properties. The challenge is to apply the proper fertilizer at the right time in the right form and in the right amount to give an optimal production and minimal losses. We achieve this by using our extensive knowledge of soil processes, cropping systems and fertilizers.

Waste products as fertilizer
Within the biobased economy more and more waste product sources are becoming available and nutrients are recovered as much as possible from waste materials. These nutrients may be byproducts of the food processing industry or are waste products and residues from nature and agriculture. They could also include phosphate from water treatment plants, nitrogen and sulfur from air purifiers and many kinds of products from the processing of animal manure. The market prospect for these products is strongly influenced by the agricultural value of these substances. The NMI can establish the agricultural value of these products by using our considerable expertise on fertilizers supplemented with field and pot experiments and laboratory analysis. We are currently involved in the exploration of diverse routes for the reuse of reclaimed phosphate in the form of struvite or incineration ash.

Legislation on manure and fertilizers
Based on years of expertise in the manure and fertilizer branch, we are able to advise on the possibilities and conditions for the marketing and use of manure and fertilizers. We can conduct an agricultural and environmental assessment for the use of waste or a product of fermentation as a fertilizer and, where necessary, establish documentation for approval of a new fertilizer.

Manure processing
Manure treatment and modification is well-suited for closing nutrient cycles on a regional scale. The final products should be beneficial for agriculture and horticulture in The Netherlands or abroad. Therefore the composition of these products must meet the requirements and live up to the expectations of the farmers. NMI is currently commissioned by Essent (Dutch electricity company) to explore the optimal composition of the solid fraction of processed pig manure for export purposes.

Fertilizer Database
NMI manages the Database Fertilizers. This provides a comprehensive overview of the composition and properties of most fertilizers marketed in The Netherlands. The data are derived from the fertilizer producers, importers and suppliers of the products.

Contact: Laura van Schöll
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