Organic Vegetable Nutrient Management

Organic Vegetable Nutrient Management

Project Lead

Sean Smukler, Associate Professor, Department of Applied Biology and Soil Science, Sustainable Agriculture Landscapes Lab, Faculty of Land and Food Systems (PI)


Namratha Reddy, Postdoctoral Fellow, Faculty of Land and Food Systems;

Zia Mehrabi, Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute for Resources, Environment and Sustainability;

Derek Hunt, Biologist, Agriculture and Agri-food Canada Aggasiz Research and Development Centre;

Shabtai Bittman, Research Specialist, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Aggasiz Research and Development Centre


Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


About the Project

Nitrogen and phosphorus are the two nutrients that most often limit agricultural productivity. Organic amendments (e.g., composts and manures) recycle nutrients within agroecosystems, reduce the need for external nutrient inputs, and add carbon that contributes to soil organic matter. The objective of this project is to optimize the use of organic amendments and determine if hybrid systems (systems that combine organic amendments with other fertility sources) can help maximize nitrogen availability, prevent phosphorus over-fertilization, and provide carbon inputs to maintain soil organic matter. This project, which is being replicated at 20 other nearby farms in addition to the UBC Farm, specifically aims to improve the capacity of organic vegetable farmers to use nutrients efficiently and increase the economic and environmental performance of their farms. The project evaluates four different nutrient management strategies to see if they can increase crop yields, allow crops to take in nutrients more efficiently, help with crop soil carbon storage, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

External Links and Publications

Project Website

The Sustainable Agricultural Landscapes (SAL) Laboratory

Sean Smukler Bio, People of UBC


Banner Photo credit: SAL Lab