Newsletter about nutrient stewardship - European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP).
Events and conferences
Waste water phosphorus removal tomorrow: ambitions and reality
Call for papers ESPC4
Horizon Europe public consultation
EU Circular Bio-Economy public consultation
EU public consultation: CAP agriculture policy and soil
Netherlands nitrogen policy cancelled by Council of State
EU publishes regulation on sewage sludge spreading information
EU tender for risk assessment of contaminants in fertilisers
Preparation of a “Guidance” for German P-recovery regulation
Assessment of EU detergent phosphate ban
Netherlands “Circular Agriculture” vision
Cooperation and perspectives
Fertilizer Focus magazine features organic fertilisers perspectives
The future of water
Global alliance for “regenerative farming”
Canada Nutrient Platform development
Dutch Nutrient Platform members meet-up, March 2019
H2020 calls on Critical Raw Materials
Horizon Europe “Missions” and cluster themes defined
Sweden: sewage and manure nutrient recycling geo-distribution challenges
Cost-effective phosphorus management on arable farms
Biochar and compost tested as fertilising products
Struvite recovery uses less “emergy” than mineral fertiliser production
Nitrification inhibitor impacts struvite plant availability
Different phytases show varying benefits for poultry
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In partnership with / supported by: IWA (the International Water Association), Eureau, CIWEM (Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management), Université de Liège and ECSM’19 (European Conference on Sludge Management), Liège 6-8 October 2019 https://events.uliege.be/ecsm2019/ for information on the phosphorus removal workshop, contact
call for abstracts and posters is now open (closes 31/12/2019) for the 4th European Sustainable Phosphorus Conference (ESPC4), Vienna, 15-17 June 2020. Abstracts are invited for presentations for the six parallel sessions, for plenary success story mini-presentations, for posters or for stands. The parallel session themes are: economy (of phosphorus sustainability and nutrient recycling), enhanced efficiency fertilisers, sustainable phosphorus removal from waste streams, R&D cooperation and platforms, taking R&D developments through to the market and phosphorus sustainability perspectives. Proposed success story mini-presentations (3 minutes, plenary) should present company, local authority (city, region …) or stakeholder successes in implementing phosphorus recycling or phosphorus management. Posters and stands can address any subject related to nutrient sustainability.
Full details and more information about ESPC4 www.phosphorusplatform.eu/ESPC4
See more upcoming events at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/upcoming-events
proposed “Orientations” document which will define the content of Horizon Europe (thematic funding, Missions, Partnerships …). The consultation aims to define the general research and innovation challenges to be addressed by Horizon Europe, citing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and questioning priorities (Europe to be Protective, Fair, Sustainable, Competitive or Influential?) and opens the possibility for detailed comments on the thematic objectives, targeted impacts and R&I orientations which will define the content of future R&D calls (‘Second Pillar’).
Public consultation open to 8th September 2019 (Horizon Europe Co-design 2021-2024 consultation) introduction https://ec.europa.eu/info/news/have-your-say-future-objectives-eu-funded-research-and-innovation-2019-jun-28_en
Orientations document for comment (Orientations towards the first Strategic Plan implementing the research and innovation framework programme Horizon Europe) https://ec.europa.eu/research/pdf/horizon-europe/ec_rtd_orientations-towards-the-strategic-planning.pdf
Online survey and submission form https://ec.europa.eu/eusurvey/runner/HorizonEurope_Codesign_2021-2024
Public consultation open to 27th August 2019 https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2019-4972449
Public consultation open to 27th August 2019 https://ec.europa.eu/info/law/better-regulation/initiatives/ares-2019-3760776_en
“Dutch nitrogen policy in violation of European nature legislation”, 29 may 2019 www.tellerreport.com/life/2019-05-29---judge--dutch-nitrogen-policy-in-violation-of-european-nature-legislation-.Hyh8XHn6V.html and also: www.nos.nl/artikel/2289778-tientallen-projecten-dreigen-te-sneuvelen-door-stikstof-uitspraak-raad-van-state.html
Netherlands Ministry (LNV) letter to Parliament, 29 May 2019 (in Dutch): www.rijksoverheid.nl/binaries/rijksoverheid/documenten/kamerstukken/2019/05/29/eerste-reactie-op-uitspraak-raad-van-state-inzake-het-programma-aanpak-stikstof/Eerste_reactie_op_uitspraak_Raad_van_State_inzake_het_Programma_Aanpak_Stikstof.pdf
European Court of Justice, decision of 7 November 2018, cases C-293/17 and C-294/17 – search by case number on http://curia.europa.eu 25 and 27. Current EU legislation (art. 10 of the EU Sludge Directive 86/278) already obliges Member States to maintain a register of data on quantities of sewage sludge produced, quantities used in agriculture, treatments, identification of farms and fields where the sludge is used. The new regulation additionally requires that this information be made available to the public “in a consolidated form”.
EU Regulation 2018/1010, 5th June 2019, “on the alignment of reporting obligations in the field of legislation related to the environment …” https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX:32019R1010
EU Commission tender, open to 26th August 2019, ENV/2019/OP/0001, 2019/S 132-323039 “Contaminants in fertilisers: Assessment of the Risks from their Presence and of the Socio-economic Impacts of a Possible Restriction under Reach” https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-display.html?cftId=5131 and Tender Specifications https://etendering.ted.europa.eu/cft/cft-document.html?docId=56624 NOTE: thank you to Fertilizers Europe for alerting ESPP to this information
German Phosphorus Platform (DPP) submitted detailed comments. DPP called in particular to clarify the calculation of the specified P-recovery level based on concentrations: the sludge mass may be lower after the P-recovery operation and this should not impact the recovery rate calculation. Furthermore, DPP called for a clear definition of the legal areas of wastewater and waste so that users know exactly to which legal area a P-recovery technology belongs. In Germany, phosphorus recovery is only mandatory in the AbfKlärV (waste legislation, applicable to sewage sludge). However, there are also processes that recover P during wastewater treatment. Publication of the Guidance is expected in spring 2020.
Summary of German P-recovery legislation, see SCOPE Newsletter n°129
German Phosphorus Platform www.deutsche-phosphor-plattform.de
published an assessment of the 2004 EU Detergents Regulation (648/2004), which banned phosphates in domestic laundry and domestic dishwasher detergents (in 2013 and 2017). The ban does not concern industrial and institutional detergents. The assessment concludes that there is no evidence of any environmental benefit from the phosphates ban, because the ban only entered into force recently, because the contribution of detergents to eutrophication was already “relatively small” compared to agriculture before the ban, and because many sewage works in any case remove phosphorus so that detergent P was not reaching the environment. The political nature of the detergent phosphates discussion is demonstrated by the fact that the European Commission website title states the contrary to the assessment conclusions, saying that it “shows environment protection”. COM estimates that the ban has resulted in 55 000 tonnesP/year less being used in detergents. The total cost of Regulation implementation (including other aspects, such as labelling) is estimated to be 0.7 – 1.8 bn€/year (around 0.5% of detergent industry turnover). Overall, the COM assessment considers that the impact of the Regulation has been positive.
“Review of the detergents regulation shows improved consumer and environment protection”, European Commission, 10th July 2019 ec.europa.eu/growth/content/review-detergents-regulation-shows-improved-consumer-and-environment-protection_en and “Evaluation of Regulation (EC) No 648/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 31 March 2004 on detergents”, SWD(2019) 298 final = summary and SWD(2019) 299 final = full assessment 10th July 2019
Netherlands vision for circular agriculture: “Agriculture, nature and food: valuable and connected”, English version www.government.nl/ministries/ministry-of-agriculture-nature-and-food-quality/documents/policy-notes/2018/11/19/vision-ministry-of-agriculture-nature-and-food-quality---english
summarises the first Summit of the Organic Fertilisers Industry in Europe (SOFIE, organised by ESPP) and a discussion of the organic-based fertilisers market by ECOFI. It is underlined that most fertilisers used in Certified Organic Farming are organic-based (based on natural materials containing organic carbon), but that most organic-based fertilisers are not Organic Farming Certified. Both articles state that sales of organic-based fertilisers in Europe are estimated to be around 2.5 bn€ (source: Allied Market Research 2016). ECOFI underline the complementarity between mineral and organic fertilisers (including with organo-mineral products), as was also emphasised by Fertilizers Europe at SOFIE. ECOFI indicate that EU organic-based fertiliser producers are increasingly developing high-value export markets, and the SOFIE conference article highlights a number of companies innovating in this market: ILSA, Veolia, Fertikal, 4R Group, Biolan, Soilfood, OvinAlp. The SOFIE conference conclusions are summarised, including recommendations for clarifying new products, data on agronomic performance and on industry, importance of ensuring consistent quality and tailor-made, added-value products for continuing development.
Fertilizer Focus (Argus Media) www.argusmedia.com/en/fertilizer/fertilizer-focus
This article, and also full summary of SOFIE conference in ESPP SCOPE Newsletter n°130, at www.phosphorusplatform.eu/SOFIE2019
“The future of water”, essays by G. Daigger, N. Voutchkov, U. Lall, W. Sarni, IDB (Inter-American Development Bank) Discussion Paper n° IDB-DP-657, April 2019 (75 pages) http://water.columbia.edu/files/2019/04/FINAL_The_Future_of_Water_28March2019.pdf
“Global alliance Farming for Generations launches to transform dairy farming towards regenerative agriculture” 26 June 2019 www.yara.com/news-and-media/news/archive/2019/global-alliance-farming-for-generations/ and www.connecterra.io/about-us/press-media/press-release-farming-for-generations held in Toronto and hosted by the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) Inc., which brought together more than 80 participants from government and academic sectors. The Platform intends to work collaboratively with the European Sustainable Phosphorus Platform (ESPP) and the USA based Sustainable Phosphorus Alliance (SPA). The development of the CNRR Platform was a key recommendation in IISD's report from the Toronto Forum, titled “Nutrient Recovery and Reuse in Canada, Foundations for a national framework”. This proposes to base the CNRR Platform around stakeholder communication strategies / programs, public policy, industry practices and technology improvements and development, and market based incentive development and to focus initially on phosphorus recovery and reuse from urban and rural point and non-point sources. Work is currently underway to develop a multi-year funding proposal to build and lead the CNRR platform and allow it to transform to a self-sustaining platform.
Toronto 8 March 2018 Canada Nutrient Reuse an Recovery Forum, including presentations and report: www.iisd.org/event/national-nutrient-reuse-and-recovery-forum here (in Dutch). The program started with a presentation from Wageningen UR about circularity in agriculture and the Next Level Manure Valuation project. The new SusPhos company showed how they are actively working on recovering phosphate from ash and Van Iperen shared their insights from the fertilizer side about the use of recovered nutrients. After these introductions it was time for real matchmaking. During three different round table discussions, the participants looked at products from waste water streams, animal waste streams and organic waste streams. Agro America, BMC, SusPhos, IRS (Royal Cosun / SuikerUnie) and the water boards presented their products to the Nutrient Platform members and to the producers and distributors of Meststoffen NL. For some members this immediately resulted in follow-up agreements. The discussions provided the secretariat of the Nutrient Platform with new action points and suggestions to facilitate the use of recovered nutrients.
Netherlands Nutrient Platform www.nutrientplatform.org/ and meeting video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXUAwWUcJ2A
RMIS. Actions can include: processing of primary or secondary raw materials, recycling from end-of-life products. The second call is for expert network(s) to cover all EU Critical Raw Materials (current list and/or under evaluation and/or future lists).
Call: “Raw materials innovation for the circular economy: sustainable processing, reuse, recycling and recovery schemes” CE-SC5-07-2020 https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/ce-sc5-08-2020
Call: “Raw materials policy support actions for the circular economy - Expert network on Critical Raw Materials” CE-SC5-08-2020 https://ec.europa.eu/info/funding-tenders/opportunities/portal/screen/opportunities/topic-details/ce-sc5-08-2020
Horizon Europe “Missions” announced (4/7/19)
“Political agreement” on Horizon Europe (reached between Council, Parliament and the Commission), April 2019: statement http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-19-2163_en.htm and full document as adopted by Parliament (17/4/2019) www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/TA-8-2019-0396_EN.html
European Commission proposal published FP9 regulation proposal published (7/6/18)
“Enhancing nutrient recycling from excreta to meet crop nutrient needs in Sweden – a spatial analysis”, U. Akram, N-H. Quttineh, U. Wennergren, K. Tonderski, G. Metson, Scientific Reports volume 9, Article number: 10264 (2019), https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-46706-7
* calculated from Supplementary Table 2. ** the figure for K is corrected, the number in the study abstract was missing 16% UK Sustainable Arable LINK study (AHDB) concludes that phosphorus (P) management in arable farming should become “crop focused” rather than targeting only soil P status, with grain P content a much more reliable management tool than soil P analysis. Results are based on field trial data from twelve site-seasons (9 sites) and from soil P data over seven years in the UK. Field tramline trials confirmed that crop yields were significantly affected by soil P status in soils with low P, but showed that new P applications in soils with low or variable P status, generally increased crop yield, but were not necessarily cost-effective (cost of fertiliser), whereas crop yield was significantly impacted by long-term soil phosphorus. Grain P content showed to be a good indicator of crop responsiveness to P (i.e. of whether or not P fertiliser application was necessary) and was more reliable (but more expensive) than soil Olsen P analysis. Routine soil Olsen P results were so variable as to be very unreliable unless several analyses were taken nearby, probably because of inherent variability of P fixation within soil. Annual grain P analysis is recommended to both calculate P offtake with harvest and to predict future P fertiliser requirements. For a given soil P status, soil P rundown was significantly faster where soil P status had been recently built up to Index 2 (compared to soils where it had been maintained at Index 2 for some time). Whereas current agronomic recommendation is to maintain soil P at Index 2, it was cost effective for some crop rotations to maintain soil P at Index 1 only (for other rotations, Index 2 should be maintained). The report underlines that initial take-up of P fertilisers by arable crops was only 4% and overall <8%, showing “massive scope for improvement”, whereas the cost of P fertilisers used in the UK is over 100 M€ per year. Nonetheless, around one quarter of cereal crops in the UK are P-deficient and would benefit from increased P fertilization. A table of revised default values for P-removal from soil by different crops is proposed. The report proposes the establishment of a farm “Phosphorus Efficiency Network” and recommends further R&D into: testing products and practices for P efficiency, improving P monitoring (analysis, standards, benchmarks …) and dissemination of best practice and science.
“Final Project Report. Cost-effective Phosphorus Management on UK Arable Farms” (includes the report on “Work-Package 3: Improving the efficiency of fresh P applications”), R. Sylvester-Bradley et al., March 2019, 66 pages, AHDB (UK Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board) project report n° 570 https://cereals.ahdb.org.uk/media/1487193/pr570-final-project-report-wp3.pdf
FERTIPLUS (7th FP) project are now published in “Agronomy”. Biochar (from oak tree biomass) and composts from olive mill by-products, green waste and biowaste (municipal solid organic wastes) and from sheep manure were tested at 20 – 100 tonnes/ha in one to three year field trials in four crop systems: olive groves in Spain, greenhouse tomatoes in Spain, arable rotation in Belgium and vineyards in Italy. The biochar alone had no fertiliser effect (because of its very low nutrient content) but both biochar and composts, and the two together, showed in most trials to increase soil organic carbon, water retention and nutrient availability and to improve soil pH. They showed no negative impacts on crop yield and in some cases led to improved crop qualities. The conclusion is that biochar and compost can contribute to support and maintain soil fertility.
“Agronomic Evaluation of Biochar, Compost and Biochar-Blended Compost across Different Cropping Systems: Perspective from the European Project FERTIPLUS”, M. Sánchez-Monedero et al., Agronomy 2019, 9, 225; http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/agronomy9050225
“Nutrient Recovery from Municipal Wastewater for Sustainable Food Production Systems: An Alternative to Traditional Fertilizers”, Env. Eng. Science 2019 http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ees.2019.0053
“Plant availability of magnesium and phosphorus from struvite with concurrent nitrification inhibitor application”, C. Watson, J. Clemens, F. Wichern, within the Interreg Food Pro.tec project, Soil Use Management 2019, 00:1-8 https://doi.org/10.1111/sum.12527
“Comparative effects of two phytases versus increasing the inorganic phosphorus content of the diet, on nutrient and amino acid digestibility in boilers”, Y. Dersjant-Li, C. Kwakernaak, Animal Feed Science and Technology 253 (2019) 166–180, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anifeedsci.2019.05.018
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