Forecast of food farming and fertilizer use in the European Union 


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Fertilizer Europe publishes each year the forecast of food farming and fertilizer use in the European Union. The publication has been independently recognized as one of the most trusted inputs into the development of agricultural policy in Europe.

The publication gives an excellent overview of the expected changes in arable farming, cropping patterns and fertilizer consumption in the European Union and its Member States for the coming 10 years.

Over the season, fertilizers containing an average of 11.1 million tons of nitrogen, 2.8 million tons of phosphate, and 3.1 million tons of potash were applied to 133.9 million hectares of farmland. 46.0 million cultivable hectares in the EU were not fertilized.

Consideration of the economic outlook and the anticipated evolution of Europe’s cropping area has led Fertilizers Europe to expect annual nitrogen, phosphate and potash fertilizer consumption to reach 10.5, 2.7 and 3.1 million tons respectively by the 2030/2031 season, applied to 132.9 million hectares of farmland.

Fertilizer Consumption in the European Union

After several years of recovery, annual fertilizer consumption over the next 10 years is expected to decrease. Nitrogen is experiencing the biggest reduction. Phosphate and Potash consumption will continue a downward trend, especially Phosphate. 

Agriculture land use in the European Union

Within the total agricultural area of the European Union, the fertilized area comprises 133.9 million hectares. A further 46.0 million farmable hectares are not fertilized, of which 35.3 million are unfertilized grassland and 10.7 million idle or set-aside land.

Changes in regional fertilizer use

2021 – 2031

Increased consumption of Nitrogen is foreseen in half of the member states in Central and Eastern Europe (EU-13), while significant decreases are foreseen in the Western European Union countries, with the highest decreases in Belgium, France, Austria and Italy.

For Nitrogen, the average growth in consumption in Central and Eastern countries remains still positive at 0.2%. For Western countries, the expected decrease is of -8.3%.

For Potash, the slight growth of the past is now expected to slightly decrease over the next 10 years (-1.4%) with those European countries with the highest reduction of Nitrogen consumption driving the downturn.

For phosphate, the decrease foreseen over the next 10 years is -3.8%, driven by EU member states with high Nitrogen use reduction.

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