Political and economical changes at the end of the 80's, and at the beginning of the 90's made it obvious that the previous practice of rather intensive fertiliser use can be maintained in the country no longer. Experts of the Research Institute for Soil Science and Agricultural Chemistry of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Budapest, and of the Agricultural Research Institute of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Martonvásár, elaborated a new, environmentally friendly fertiliser recommendation system, based on the correlations found in the dataset of the Hungarian long-term field trials published between 1960 and 2000.
Differences between the philosophies of the intensive and environmentally friendly advisory systems are discussed in the paper. The new fertiliser recommendation system for the 33 main crops usually recommends sometimes 40-60% lower NPK doses than the former intensive system, without risking the reasonably high yields, and providing sustainable and economically sound NPK nutrition for the crops. The first two year results of the test trials, set up on the main soil types of Hungary (Brown forest soil, Chernozem soil, Meadow soil) with the two main crops, winter wheat and corn, were very promising, proving that the approach used at elaborating the new system was both agronomically, environmentally and economically sound. The new system is being used for the farmers nationwide in the Agro-Environmental Program of the European Union.