International Research on Plant Nutrition Takes Off
Press release of 2012-05-03
A new joint institute of the University of Göttingen and K+S KALI GmbH is dedicated to practice-oriented research in the field of plant nutrition. The Institute of Applied Plant Nutrition - IAPN will investigate topical, practical questions arising at the interface between science and economics, pool existing knowledge, and transfer the latest findings to agricultural practitioners. The Institute premises were inaugurated on May 3, 2012 with guests from all walks of life. “IAPN offers work opportunities for up to six researchers. The new labs are currently being equipped with exceptionally high-end modern analytical technology,” says the Scientific Director of IAPN, Prof. Dr. Klaus Dittert. “This is an important step for research and teaching in applied plant nutrition at the Department of Agricultural Sciences which strengthens internationally directed research and study opportunities at the University of Göttingen.”
The IAPN is already the third facility at the Göttingen Department of Agricultural Sciences to be run as a public-private partnership. “Co-operation with partners in industry is becoming increasingly important for the university in the effort to make the findings of basic science useful for society,” says Prof. Dr. Ulrike Beisiegel, president of the University of Göttingen.
Prof. Dr. Andreas Gransee, Head of Applied Research and Advisory Service (AFB) Agro at K+S KALI GmbH, explains the company’s scientific commitment as follows: “Given scarce research funding and priorities that favour other topics, research projects in applied plant nutrition are, unfortunately, currently in decline. This is despite increasing global challenges in the production of food and agricultural commodities.”
Dr. Ernst Andres, Managing Director of K+S KALI GmbH, emphasised the changing conditions of agriculture. “A growing world-population, changed dietary habits, climate change, and the decline in arable land available per capita make finding locally appropriate ways to optimise yield levels around the world urgently needed. Relatively large crop reserves can still be achieved through improved fertilisation, particularly in emerging countries and for smallholdings,” said Dr. Andres.
The internationally oriented IAPN wants to work against this backdrop, particularly in contributing solutions in the areas of food security, resource efficiency, and turning knowledge into practice. An important question will be how plants can use limited water supplies more efficiently in future while still achieving high yields under dry conditions. The IAPN studies the role and the supply of nutrients to form economically useful connections.