The main goal of the event (December 10, 2020) was to open the discussion about the applicability of alternative fertilizers which in this case was the mineral concentrate (ID:520) and several other kinds of fertilizers used in this region.
The main questions farmers had considering the applicability of these fertilizers where: ‘How does the mineral concentrate work exactly and where can you apply it best?’, ‘how can we replace the potassium fertilizer by using alternative fertilizers in potato crops?’ and lastly there was a general question about whether it was known how much nutrient consumers use in their garden and households. Because the discussion arose that farmers are always the ones being held responsible for the loss of nutrients, while consumers can use nutrients however they like.
Discussing the answers to one of the questions stated above, some of the farmers stated that the best option for using mineral concentrate is to store it separately and mix it with manure while at the field. In this way the mixing takes place off the farm. The farmer who asked the question asked about whether anyone used this alternative fertilizer without mixing it with manure. In this group farmers didn’t do this because they feared they would create acid conditions in the soil.
Subsequently the discussion continued about the use of potassium in potato crops. Currently a lot of fertilizer is used in the potato cultivation, and it would save a lot of expenses to replace this potassium with an alternative fertilizer. An option to try this next year is to apply the mineral concentrate while hilling the potatos. Mineral concentrate is an alternative fertilizer which has a high concentration of potassium. We showed this on the farmers platform. Applying mineral concentrate is tried next year in Brabant Bemest Beter.
Rembert van Noort answered the last question, he stated that nutrients can be measured in water. Which happens mainly for nitrate at the moment. But it might be able that in the near future other nutrients will also be researched by water companies. Because also phosphate and potassium are nutrients which are getting more ant more attention in the public eye.
On beforehand of the discussion Rembert van Noort presented the changes in EU Fertilising Product Regulation considering fertilizers and the Potential RENURE criteria as proposed by the Joint Research Centre. And showed the group the Nutriman farmers platform and its products and technologies.