Research Project

Improvement of nutrient efficiency and soil fertility in agriculture - Practice-oriented integrated assessment and advisory procedure for rapid assessment of soil structure in the field


The conservation and development of soil fertility in agricultural soils is one of the central issues with regard to sustainable land use systems. Soil fertility is not only an important influencing factor for the yield level and quality of agricultural products, but also determines nutrient and nitrogen efficiency. In the future, only in the presence of intact soil systems will make it possible to reduce nutrient and nitrogen emissions and thus prevent negative environmental effects (e.g. eutrophication, ground and drinking water quality). As in other federal states, Schleswig-Holstein does not have any reliable and systematically collected results on the soil fertility status of agricultural soils. There are only few approaches in the framework of long-term observation studies where chemical and biological soil properties were monitored.

With this research project, this knowledge gap will be closed and taken as example for Schleswig-Holstein and Northern Germany. The applicants, scientists from the University of Applied Sciences of Kiel (Prof. Dr. Wiermann), the Christian-Albrechts-Universität of Kiel (Dr. Fleige), the University of Kassel (Prof. Dr. Peth) and the State Office for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas of the State of Schleswig-Holstein (Dr. Cordsen), therefore intend to investigate representative arable sites with regard to their soil fertility status. Not only classical soil chemical and physical methods are to be used, but also optical investigations at different resolution levels (2D and 3D). This innovative approach will be used with the aim of providing the farmer or consultant with precise assistance for a fast assessment of the structural condition of his land. This additional knowledge will enable the farmer to take concrete measures to improve soil fertility and thus optimize nutrient and nitrogen efficiency. Optimizing soil functions thus improves the utilization of available nutrients in the soil and thus reduces the impact on adjacent ecosystems. In accordance with the funding guidelines of the Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (German Federal Foundation for the Environment), the research project is classified under the priority topic 10 "Reduction of nitrogen emissions in agriculture".

Project Leader

Dr. Daniel Uteau Puschmann


01.05.2019 - 31.03.2023



Project partners

  • Forschungs- und Entwicklungszentrum FH Kiel GmbH
    Prof. Dr. Conrad Wiermann
    Schwentinestr. 24
    24149 Kiel
  • Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
    Dr. Heiner Fleige
    Institut für Pflanzenernährung und Bodenkunde
    Hermann-Rodewald-Str. 2
    24118 Kiel
  • Landesamt für Landwirtschaft, Umwelt und ländliche Räume des Landes Schleswig-Holstein
    Abt. Geologie und Boden
    Dr. Eckhard Cordsen
    Hamburger Chaussee 25
    24220 Flintbek

Doctoral student

MSc Jocelyn Ormeno Alveal