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Podcast / Inside Food science
Podcast / Inside Food science

Why everyone’s talking about nutrient use efficiency

How well crops take up and use nutrients from the soil is of vital importance, in terms of crop yield, soil health, and the wider environment.

In this episode of the Food Matters Live podcast, made in partnership with Anglo American, we investigate why nutrient use efficiency is taking on evermore importance in the world of farming.

The increased global demand for food and the depletion of many natural resources, including our soils, has posed a big challenge for farmers.

Namely, getting the right nutrients into crops to meet the ever-increasing demand in a way that is sustainable, whilst also being gentle on the environment.

Fertilisers play a critical role in making this possible by providing essential nutrients to the soil.

Previous episodes featuring Anglo American

Biodiversity in soil – why it matters to us all

How do we stop the rapid erosion of essential soils?

Can regenerative agriculture fix our food system?

What can be done to ensure that agricultural practices are sustainable?

As with anything, the incorrect use of fertilisers can also have negative effects on the soil and the wider environment too.

So finding a more sustainable approach is vital.   

And there is a big discussion in the industry about nutrient use efficiency.  Because increased nutrient efficiency could help improve crop yield and also move agriculture along the road towards net-zero.

But what exactly is nutrient use efficiency and how do we improve it?

POLY4 Fertilizer

POLY4 is the trademark name for polyhalite products from Anglo American. It is a naturally-occurring, low-chloride, multi-nutrient fertilizer certified for organic use.

It includes four of the six key macro nutrients that all plants need to grow: potassium, sulphur, magnesium and calcium, and a range of valuable micro nutrients.

It allows farmers to maximise their crop yield, increase quality and improve soil structure with one simple product.

Juergen Berwinkel, Commercial Agronomist, Anglo American

Juergen has been a Commercial Agronomist at Anglo American working on the market introduction of POLY4 in Germany, Poland, Austria and Southeast Europe since 2022.

He lives in North West Germany, running his own small farm with arable land and nature reserves (grassland for bird sanctuary).

He studied agriculture at the University of Applied Sciences in Osnabrueck and has worked in various areas of fertilization since 1995 (fertilization with organic residue products such as compost, sewage sludge, food production waste [1995 – 2007]).

He has worked in the fertiliser industry since 2007, and until 2021 was with EuroChem Agro in various research, consultancy and fertilizer sales positions in Central and Northern Europe.

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