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Meta-analysis of nutrient budgets in organic farms across Europe

Reimer, Marie; Möller, Kurt and Hartmann, Tobias Edward (2020) Meta-analysis of nutrient budgets in organic farms across Europe. Organic Agriculture, 10 (Suppl), pp. 65-77.

[thumbnail of Reimer et al. - Meta-analysis - Supplementary Material.pdf] PDF - Supplemental Material - English
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.


Document available online at: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s13165-020-00300-8#Sec6


Nutrient supply to organic farms is a highly discussed topic in Europe, due to the restricted availability of external fertilizer resources and the use of contentious inputs. To optimize the flow of nutrients throughout the organic farming system, it is firstly necessary to obtain valid data on the nutrient status of organic farms. Nutrient budgets are a valid tool to investigate the nutrient demand or surplus of a system. However, there is currently no comprehensive overview of nutrient budgets of European organic farms. We therefore carried out a meta-analysis on 56 individual studies that reported either farm-gate or soil-surface budgets. The analysis showed an imbalance between nutrients, a general surplus of nitrogen (45 kg N ha-1 year-1 [95%-confidence interval (CI): 30, 61]), magnesium (16 kg Mg ha-1 year-1 [-9, 40]) and sulphur (45 kg S ha-1 year-1 [-29, 118]), a balanced phosphorus budget (0 kg P ha-1 year-1 [-2,2]), and a deficit for potassium (-12 kg K ha-1 year-1 [-21, -3]). We observed large differences between farms that could be partly explained by farm type and budgeting method. Arable and mixed farms showed lower nitrogen, phosphor, magnesium and sulphur budgets than dairy/beef farms or even vegetable farms, while all farm types besides dairy/ beef farms showed deficits for K budgets. Further, farm-gate budget studies yielded higher budgets than soil surface budgets. Variations between studied countries could also be detected, but the coverage and comparability is low due to differences in studied farm types and budgeting method.

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Nutrientbalance, Farm-gate, Metaanalysis, Soilsurface, Organicfarming, Europe, Farm type, RELACS
Agrovoc keywords:
nutrient balance
European Union
farm typology
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Crop husbandry > Composting and manuring
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > European Union
Farming Systems > Farm nutrient management
"Organics" in general > Countries and regions > Europe
Research affiliation: European Union > Horizon 2020 > RELACS
Germany > University of Hohenheim
Horizon Europe or H2020 Grant Agreement Number:773431
Deposited By: Reimer, Marie
ID Code:44372
Deposited On:24 Aug 2022 09:19
Last Modified:24 Aug 2022 09:19
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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