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Thresholds for carbon and nutrient budgets


Dr Gerard Ros

One of the talks at the ESNI Conference on September 20th was given by Dr. Gerard Ros (Wageningen University & Research). He focused on the results of the development of NutriKPIs (Key Performance Indicators).

NutriKPIs are important to show the actual performance of farms and regions in long-term objectives for agronomy, water quality (both groundwater and surface water), climate and biodiversity. They are especially useful for assessing the impact of novel management practices to increase the sustainability of agriculture.

Correlation to actual targets

While reviewing more than 40 tools being used in Europe, Dr. Ros observed that the majority of them use effect indicators to show the impact of measures on crop yield and nutrient losses to air and water. However, actual thresholds for desired carbon and nutrient budgets are missing in most cases. So, the current tools can quantify the changes expected when applying a measure but do not correlate these changes to actual targets that need to be achieved for a better nutrient management in agriculture.

Therefore, Nutribudget researchers have designed an innovative framework to derive these critical thresholds for carbon and nutrient budgets. The biggest challenge now is to bring these budgets together and translate them to tailor-made insights and opportunities on the farm level across Europe.

You can find Dr. Ros’ presentation below.