Scientific Advisory Board on Fertiliser Issues

The Scientific Advisory Board on Fertiliser Issues (Wissenschaftlicher Beirat für DüngungsfragenWBD) is an interdisciplinary body that advises the Ministry with expert opinions on all issues regarding fertilisation. Its members are appointed by the Federal Ministry on the basis of the Fertiliser Act and the Ordinance on the Establishment of a Scientific Advisory Board on Fertiliser Issues. The WBD is independent and works on a voluntary basis.

The Advisory Board is assisted by an administrative office. The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE) is entrusted with the management.

The tasks of the Scientific Advisory Board are, in particular, drawing up:

  • opinions on fertiliser regulatory proposals at national and European level;
  • recommendations on the approval of new fertilisers, soil improvers, growing media and plant strengtheners, with particular emphasis on agronomic efficacy, environmental sustainability and consumer protection;
  • positions on particular fertiliser issues;
  • proposals for appropriate measures and instruments for efficient and environmentally-friendly fertilisation.


Upcoming meeting:

166th meeting: 16 – 17 February 2022


The WBD usually publishes its opinions and statements in German. Selected statements have also been published in English.

  • Opinion on “Anwendung von organischen Düngern und organischen Reststoffen in der Landwirtschaft”
    adopted at the 153rd meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board on Fertiliser Issues on 7 October 2015; also available in English: Application of Organic Fertilisers and Organic Residual Materials in Agriculture
  • Opinion on "Uran - Gesundheits- und Umweltrisiken durch den Einsatz von Phosphor (P)-Düngern in der Landwirtschaft" adopted at the 149th meeting of the Scientific Advisory Board on Fertiliser Issues on 1 October 2013, also available in English: Uranium – Health and environmental risks from the use of phosphate (P) fertilisers in agriculture

Contact persons

At the BMEL, the Division for “Crop Production and Grassland” (711) is responsible for all matters concerning the WBD. Please address all queries regarding requirements under fertiliser law, in particular questions on the placing on the market of new fertilisers, to this Division.


The Federal Office for Agriculture and Food (BLE), Division 324, Deichmanns Aue 29, D-53179 Bonn, is responsible for the WBD’s management.

Dr. Thomas Nessel
Telephone: +49 (0)2 28/ 68 45 33 72
Fax: +49 (0)30/1810 6845 3106

Members and permanent guests

The WBD is made up of ten scientists, who are experts in the fields of plant nutrition, fertiliser analytics, soil science, plant production, organic farming, human and ecotoxicology, and hygiene and sanitation for disease control. Further information


In 1952, the Advisory Board was convened for the first time as the “Scientific Committee on Fertiliser Issues” by the then Federal Minister of Agriculture Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wilhelm Niklas. While in the first decades after the Second World War the effectiveness of fertilisers for increasing yields and thus food security was the main focus, today the influence of fertilisers on the environment and consumer protection have been added as further focal points of the WBD’s work.


• 1952 to 1959: Prof. Dr. Karl Scharrer, Gießen
• until 1981: Prof. H. Kick, Bonn (start of office unknown)
• 1981 to 1993: Prof. Dr. Arnold Fink, Kiel
• 1993 to 2004: Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Wilfried Werner, Bonn
• 2004 to 2008: Dr. Reinhold Gutser, Freising
• 2008 to 2013: Prof. Dr. Walter J. Horst, Hannover
• since 2013: Prof. Dr. Franz Wiesler, Speyer

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