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Fertilisation

Term for the practice in agriculture of compensating for a deficiency in the soil by adding nutrients of a mineral and organic nature. The name is derived from "manure" (excrement of herbivores, especially ungulates). This oldest form of fertiliser was already used six millennia ago. Targeted fertilisation began in the 18th century with wood ash, lime and marl. Around 1840, the German chemist Justus Liebig (1803-1873) proved the growth-promoting effect of potassium, phosphorus and nitrogen. In his book "Organic Chemistry in its Application to Agriculture and Physiology" he wrote: " The soil must regain in full what is taken from it by harvesting.

Reasons for fertilisation

Of course, these principles also apply to viticulture. During the annual vegetation cycle in the vineyard, large amounts of nutrients are removed from the soil. Losses occur through leaching (on light soils especially of boron, potassium and magnesium), erosion (soil erosion especially on slopes), gaseous loss (especially nitrogen) and fixation (binding of nutrients in forms not available to plants), as well as through grape harvesting. A vine with about 200 leaves produces about half a kilo of dry matter, i.e. shoots, leaves and grapes, in the annual vegetative cycle. Within the EU, there are legally defined fertiliser regulations for agriculturally used areas.

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