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Phosphate use per ha - Derogation farms

Decreasing phosphate application
20/07/2022

Phosphate application on farms in the derogation monitoring network has come almost entirely from livestock manure since 2015, while almost 3 kg/ha was also derived from inorganic phosphate-containing fertilisers in the preceding years. Total phosphate application shows a decreasing trend in the period 2006-2018.

Phosphate application decreased
The total phosphate application for all farms in the derogation monitoring network shows a decreasing trend (-24%) in the period 2006-2018, from an average of 98 kg/ha in 2006 to 75 kg/ha in 2018. This trend is visible in all regions, except in the Loess Region. In the Loess Region, total phosphate application fluctuates in the period from 2006 to 2015 between 80 and 92 kg/ha, but fertilisation was at a lower level in the years 2016-2018 with 70 to 77 kg/ha. The decrease in phosphate fertilisation is the result of a decrease in permissible phosphate fertilisation per hectare by lowering the phosphate application standards and because the phosphate application standards are dependent on the phosphate status of the soil since 2010 (for grassland measured as mg of P2O5 per 100 grams of dry soil and for arable land measured as mg of P2O5 per litre of soil). In the period 2009-2014, the phosphate application of farms from the derogation monitoring network consisted on average for 96% of livestock manure. In 2006, this share was on average 89%. The reason for this is a decrease in inorganic phosphate-containing fertilisers from 10 kg/ha in 2006 to 3 kg/ha from 2009. Since 15 May 2014, inorganic phosphate-containing fertilisers can no longer be used on derogation farms. The proportion of phosphate manure from livestock manure has therefore increased further to an average of 99% from 2015 onwards. The phosphate application from other organic fertilisers is very limited on farms in the derogation monitoring network and averages half a kilogram of phosphate/ha over the years.

Phosphate use approaches remaining phosphate margin available
The average phosphate use standard on farms in the derogation monitoring network fell from 108 kg/ha to 84 kg/ha from 2015 onwards. As a result, the difference between the phosphate application standard and the phosphate fertilisation decreased from about 10 kg/ha in 2006 to about 4 kg/ha in the period 2010-2014. Since 2015, the difference between the phosphate use standard and phosphate fertilisation increased again. This is probably because the nitrogen application standard for livestock manure on farms in the derogation monitoring network is, on average, more restrictive than the phosphate application standard. In contrast to previous years, the remaining phosphate margin available cannot be filled in with inorganic phosphate-containing fertilisers.




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