Ecologically sustainable nutrient management

Several innovative technologies will be deployed to reduce fertiliser use by at least 20% by 2030.

Our ECONUTRI project supports the EU’s Green Deal in its target to reduce fertiliser use by at least 20% by 2030. ECONUTRI means “Innovative concepts and technologies for ECOlogically sustainable NUTRIent management in agriculture”, aiming to prevent, mitigate and eliminate pollution in soils, water and air.

A consortium of scientific experts and researchers from different disciplines, private companies, farmers’ associations, and stakeholders is partnering with six Chinese Institutions, four from public research and two from industry, to complement activities and strengthen the scientific collaboration between Europe and China. The project will scientifically support the EU’s Green Deal in its target to reduce fertiliser use by at least 20% by 2030, thereby reducing by 50% losses of nutrients associated with negative environmental impacts.

More specifically, ECONUTRI will address water pollution caused by NO3 and P leaching and run-off from cultivated soils, manure/slurry and plant residues, as well as greenhouse gas (N2O, CO2, CH4) and NH3 emissions from cultivated soils, barns, and organic biomass during storage, composting, and land application.

ECONUTRI will optimise, validate, and demonstrate 24 innovative technologies. These technologies are integrated parts of a holistic concept based on recycling nutrients and organic material, novel machinery and fertilisers, novel decision support systems (DSS), and novel nutrient management plans incorporating nature-based solutions to reduce nutrient losses and increase nutrient use efficiency.

The expected results include hyperspectral analysis algorithms, advanced online DSS platforms to develop innovative nutrient management plans for organic and conventional crops, protocols for circular cropping systems in open fields and greenhouses, advanced emission monitoring feedback systems, novel manure spreaders, variable rate technologies for precision fertilisation, smart fertilisers, and biostimulants increasing N use efficiency.

ECONUTRI will establish eight demonstration sites and deploy a comprehensive range of dissemination, communication, and exploitation activities to maximise the impact of the expected results and technologies.

The main task of ESSRG in this consortium is leading the socioeconomic assessment and contributing to policy mapping, -codesign, and recommendations.


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Crop Wild Relatives utilisation for sustainable agriculture

Crop Wild Relatives can contribute to providing more diverse, sustainable, and nutritious food.


Validating the ecosystem benefits of legumes

Will legume cropping across Europe reach the minimum thresholds necessary to optimise sustainable production?


Joined-up land use strategies tackling climate change and biodiversity loss

Urgent and concerted action can stop and reverse unsustainable land use and the over-exploitation of land resources.


Towards resilient European forests

Building the ForestWard Observatory, a pan-European monitoring and evaluation tool, to demonstrate climate change impacts on forests and to guide decision-making for better forest management.