Objectives

Previous efforts to improve the quality of ground and surface water have resulted in improvements, but in several regions in Flanders, the 50 mg nitrate per litre norm from the European Nitrate Directive (91/676/EEC) and water phosphorus quality norms for different water types from the Water Directive (2000/60/EG) have still not been achieved.

As part of the policies in MAP IV meant to help farmers, the research and advisory board on sustainable fertilisation was created. The advisory board consists of research centres, universities, university colleges, research institutes and government agencies. The goal of efficient research, demonstration and awareness actions, will be achieved through structured meetings and interaction between the members of the advisory board. These activities make it possible to:

  • gather all knowledge and expertise (both fundamental and applied) from Flanders,
  • avoid overlap between different research projects, and
  • promote an optimal transition from research to extension.

The specific tasks of the advisory board are:

  • to make an inventory of priority research needs,
  • to record research and extension themes,
  • to develop a research strategy for sustainable fertilisation that enable translation into practice, and
  • to advice the policy planning agency from both the agricultural and environmental points of view.

Since 2011 various research projects were started by order of the Flemish Land Agency (VLM). The newly obtained research results are combined with the existing expertise to help the farmers and horticulturists to maintain the profitability of their enterprise while operating within the maximum fertilisation rates and preconditions and without jeopardizing the environmental goals.

Coordination

Chairman: Em. Prof. Dr. ir. Georges Hofman
Secretary: Dr. ir. Kristiaan Van Laecke
Coordinator: Dr. ir. Karoline D’Haene (Karoline.DHaene@ILVO.Vlaanderen.be)

© ILVO