Published in the October edition of the Newsletter of Baltic Farmers’ Forum of Environment (BFFE). Read more about BFFE from here.
Over a thousand manure samples have been taken and analysed on 82 pilot farms around the Baltic Sea this year by the project “Advanced manure standards for sustainable nutrient management and reduced emissions” (Manure Standards). The information collected on farms is used to provide farmers, advisors, authorities and policy-makers with tools to determine manure quality and quantity more precisely and thus use manure more efficiently.
The varying methods for calculating manure nutrient content in the Baltic Sea region, and the plan to start a regional project to create joint guidelines were presented in previous BFFE newsletters in 2016 and 2017. The two-year Manure Standards project, coordinated by Natural Resources Institute Finland, was launched in autumn 2017. The project is co-financed by Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and has partners from all nine Baltic Sea coastal countries. HELCOM is one of the partners as well as BFFE members Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners in Finland and Latvian Farmers’ Parliament.
The large manure sampling campaign, conducted in 2018 is a basis for project outcomes that are already well on their way: instructions for manure sampling as well as guidelines and calculation tool for determining manure quantity and nutrient content.
Taking representative manure samples is often difficult and the aim of the instructions is to improve the quality of sampling. The instructions for sampling were put to the test during the sampling campaign and will be developed based on the samplers’ feedback.
The calculation tool for determining manure quantity and quality has been developed and it is currently tested. The tool will be validated with the vast number of manure samples, taken around the Baltic Sea region.
One of the project goals is also drafting the HELCOM recommendation on the use of national manure standards. The project updates have been discussed at the HELCOM Agri group and drafting the recommendation has been started.
For creating good and useful tools, the project is depending on the feedback from its stakeholders. A round of national events in the Baltic Sea countries will be organized in the end of 2018 or early 2019. The first results, including the sampling instructions and calculation tool, will be presented to the stakeholders to get their views on how to further improve the tools. An international workshop, aimed at authorities and policy-makers will be organized in November 2018. Also, an international event for farmer and advisory organizations is planned for winter 2019.
Susanna Kaasinen, Project Manager, HELCOM
Airi Kulmala, Expert, MTK
Sari Luostarinen, Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke)
Published in the October edition of the Newsletter of Baltic Farmers’ Forum of Environment (BFFE). Want to order the newsletter? Send your request to Airi Kulmala, airi.kulmala[at]mtk.fi