The revision of the German Fertiliser Ordinance in 2017

The Nitrates Directive is the core legislation to reduce nitrate emissions from agriculture to water bodies in the EU. In Germany, the directive is mainly implemented by the national Fertiliser Ordinance (FO) which aims, besides nitrate, at ammonia and phosphate losses. The FO has been currently revised as a reaction to infringement proceedings against Germany by the European Commission. The revision includes considerable changes, among others: a compulsory and clearly specified fertilizer planning, the inclusion of biogas digestate from plant origin in the organic nitrogen application threshold, a new methodology to calculate an obligatory nitrogen and phosphate balance, a reduction of legal nutrient balance surpluses, stricter blocking periods for fertilizer application in autumn, a stepwise introduction of reduced ammonia emission application techniques and the possibility to introduce additional measures in pollution hot spots. Research on the environmental and economic impact of the revision is still rare. The discussion paper at hand contributes a summary of the most relevant changes by opposing the FO from 2007 and 2017. A detailed scientific analysis on the revised FO is necessary to clarify the economic impact on farms and the contribution to reaching existing environmental targets.

Other Titles:
Till Kuhn
Issue Date:
Aug 16 2017
Publication Type:
Working or Discussion Paper
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
Q18; Q53; Q58
Series Statement:
Food and Resource Economics, Discussion Paper 2017:2

 Record created 2017-08-18, last modified 2018-09-13

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