Reducing the dose of applied fertilizers is a crucial theme in today’s agriculture, given on one hand the product shortage and sky-high prices and on the other hand the need to use less chemical inputs to ensure more healthy, fair, and sustainable food systems.
In Europe, the Farm to Fork strategy is at the heart of the European Green Deal aiming at fastening the transition towards more sustainable food systems. The Farm to Fork strategy puts forward the ambition for 2030 to reduce the use of fertilizers by at least 20%, reducing nutrient losses by at least 50%, while ensuring no deterioration of soil fertility.
In this scenario, sustainable fertilization management is essential to increase the overall performance of cropping systems by providing economically optimum nourishment to the crop while minimizing nutrient losses from the field and supporting agricultural system sustainability by increasing Fertilizer Use Efficiency (FUE).
HELLO NATURE, a leading company in the research and production of sustainable solutions in agriculture, is focusing on how to make the use of traditional fertilizers more efficient, showing that there is a sustainable way to reduce reliance on synthetic fertilizer applications without compromising yield, quality, and farmer profitability.
What is FUE?
FUE = Yield/Nutrient supplied by fertilizers
Fertilizer use efficiency (FUE) can be simply defined as the ability of crops to take up and utilize nutrients in order to maximize the yield. Therefore, it is a measure of how well plants use the mineral nutrients supplied through fertilizers during crop cycle. In this case, FUE is generally defined as the yield of harvestable product per unit of nutrient supplied by fertilizer.
Increasing FUE means firstly to reduce environmental impact of cropping systems. This is particularly true if we talk about nitrogen which is the main limiting nutrient for the growth and development of plants. Worldwide high nitrogen fertilizer applications result in extra consumption of resources, water eutrophication, and high rate of greenhouse gas emissions along with potential leaching.
Moreover, the increase of FUE allows a reduction of nitrogen fertilizer rate and cost-saving for farmers.
How to enhance FUE?
Among the levers to enhance FUE, there are agronomic recommendations on top, like the identification of the right timing and method of fertilizer application to avoid losses, and the use of the right amount of fertilizer needed by the crops. Nowadays it’s urgent to revolutionize agricultural practices to successfully overcome the challenges agricultural sector is facing, and for doing this we can count on Plant Biostimulants.
Biostimulants are able to improve directly and indirectly FUE, enhance plant metabolism and nutrients absorption and utilization to valorize the applied fertilizers. Plant biostimulants have the capacity of improving FUE of crops especially under low nutrient availability which means that less chemical fertilizers can be applied to obtain same or even better yield. Hello Nature, pioneer in new biotechnologies, has developed unique biostimulants based on Vegetal Protein Hydrolysates (VPH) and containing Plant Stimulating Peptides (PSP).
Hello Nature’s Vegetal Protein Hydrolysate products are made exclusively from the highest quality, non-GMO vegetal sources and are guaranteed to contain no animal by-products. They are produced using an exclusive and proprietary Enzymatic Hydrolysis process. Unlike free amino acids, PSP have a more prominent, assured, and natural biostimulant effect to enhance nutrient absorption, mitigate the effects of abiotic stress and increase fertilizer efficiency.
Hello Nature studies have shown that by using biostimulants based on 100% vegetal protein hydrolysates, it is possible to reduce the application dose of fertilizers securing at the same time a profitable level of yield for the farmers.
Proven efficacy with scientific trials
Scientific trials performed in several crops showed that Hello Nature’s Vegetal protein hydrolysates are an innovative and valid tool to improve nitrogen use efficiency and allow to reduce the application dose of fertilizers, without reducing crop yield and quality.
CONCLUSION: TRAINER increased the total yield, without compromising protein content and quality, compared to untreated also with the reduced nitrogen fertilization level of 35%. Better yield can be obtained reducing nitrogen fertilizer dose and applying TRAINER as foliar treatments. Besides, TRAINER applications increased FUE on average by 13,25% compared to untreated (only fertilizer).
CONCLUSION: CERBERO GREEN allowed to increase the yield (+12,8%) and at the same time reduce the amount of fertilizers applied by 30%. These results also confirm that PSP contained in CERBERO GREEN directly or indirectly improve nutrient use efficiency of crops.
The urgent need to reduce the use of synthetic fertilizers while increasing the NUE and maximizing crop productivity is a great challenge for modern agriculture. Furthermore, the increase of commodities prices, which is occurring globally, opens up the need to implement agronomic strategies to reduce the application dose of fertilizers safeguarding, at the same time, food security and the profitability of farmers. Hello Nature’s plant biostimulants based on vegetal protein hydrolysates represent an innovative and alternative strategy to design new protocols for crops cultivation aimed at reducing Nitrogen inputs, minimizing pollution and increasing environmental and economic sustainability.