Cork Institute of Technology is running an online survey to collect farmers' views on recycling-derived fertiliser, which includes processed animal manure, urban waste including household food waste, catering waste or green cuttings from recreational areas as well as human waste in the form of sewage sludge.
"Currently, crop production in the EU is heavily dependent on the import of P-containing [phosphoros] mineral fertilisers, while the production of mineral N [nitrogen] fertiliser requires large amounts of energy," the academics said.
"Paradoxically, however, there are several regions with a nutrient surplus in northwestern Europe," the academics said.
Technologies to recover nutrients from waste are available on the market
Their research is part of an EU-funded project looking into the potential of recycled fertilisers across Ireland, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Germany.
Technologies to recover nutrients from waste are available on the market, but researchers said that until now they have remained little-used by farmers.
"It is essential that the end product fulfils farmers’ requirements," said Cork IT lecturer Niamh Power.
"The objective of the survey is to determine the desired properties recycling-derived fertilisers are required to have, to encourage their use over mineral fertilisers.
"This is a great opportunity for the farming community to have their voice heard about what they consider important."
Click here to take the survey, which comprises of 29 questions and takes around 15 minutes to complete.
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