This page compiles background information concerning BIOFECTOR activities, and also external links for information related with Bio-Effector Research.
BIOFECTOR Project Overview
Reducing mineral fertilizers to improve soil and produce
Conventional agriculture relies on regular and liberal applications of artificial mineral fertilisers containing essential plant nutrients, especially nitrogen and phosphorus. Nitrogen fertilisers are made
from atmospheric nitrogen, which is converted to ammonium using the energyintensiveHaber-Bosch process, while phosphorus fertiliser is made by treatingmined phosphate rock with sulphuric acid. Apart from the high energy cost of producing these fertilisers with limited natural resources, harm is also caused to the environment by their application.Only about half of nitrogen fertilisers and 20 per cent of phosphate fertilisers are
taken up by crops. Most of the remainder is immobilised, runs off into waterways, isleached into groundwater or lost in gaseous form. The liquid leachate causes pollution of groundwater sources and leads to the
eutrophication of rivers, lakes and coastal zones, thereby reducing biodiversity and producing toxic algal blooms. Because of these damaging effects, many regions - including Europe - are introducing
legislation to reduce the use of mineral fertilisers.
In response to the need to maintain crop yields whilst reducing artificial inputs, a number of projects are being funded by the European Commission to investigate more natural ways of sustaining agricultural
production. BIOFECTOR (Resource preservation by application of bio-effectors in European crop production) is a major project investigating the use of bio-effectors (BEs) to improve the ability of crops to utilise nutrients from both artificial and natural fertilisers. Coordinated by the
University of Hohenheim in Germany and benefiting from the dedicated project management skills of consultancy company CMAST, the project comprises a consortium of 21 industrial and academic partners BIOFECTOR is now approaching the end of its five-year duration, in which it has tested the effects of 36 BEs in over 150 laboratory
As one of the first activities, BIOFECTOR starts the installation of a public data base, collecting information on commercially available bio-effector (BE) products, as an information guide for farmers and scientists and a platform for producers to present their products, including also independent evaluations concerning the efficiency of the respective BEs.
However, the ambitious goal of a complete and reliable database can only be achieved in close cooperation with producers and distributors of bio-effector products. Therefore, we would kindly like to invite all producers and distributors to participate in this project. More information and a questionaire required for the registration of BE products for the data base are available as downloads below.