Manure Standards project has developed new instructions and tools to improve the precision of data on manure quantity and nutrient content. The data is the basis of fertilization with manure and affects how efficiently manure can be utilized. In the project, manure data generated with the new methods was compared to manure data currently used on pilot farms and in national context. The environmental and economic impacts of the changes in manure data are assessed in two separate reports.

Environmental impacts

Manure Standards carried out farm and regional studies to assess the environmental impacts of different manure data as the basis of manure management and fertilization.

A good knowledge base is a prerequisite for good practical decisions. Manure Standards project results indicate that more precise and updated manure data can have a big impact on the environmental impact of manure utilization including e.g. risk of nutrient runoff and success of carbon sequestration.

However, the project results also show that obtaining better manure data can be challenging. The heterogeneous nature of manure makes it difficult to take representative samples and the farm- and season-specific circumstances affect e.g. nitrogen losses to air.

Using different methods for checking manure nutrient content in parallel is possible and could reduce the risk of incorrect application rates of manure nutrients.

Read the report on environmental impacts of manure data precision here.

Economic impacts

The data from Manure Standards pilot farms was analyzed to evaluate the economic impacts of using the data on manure quantity and nutrient content generated in the project in comparison to the data the farms have used previously.

The change in manure data may hold both positive and negative economic impacts on farm economy. For instance, manure application rate per hectare and subsequent manure handling cost depend on the value of manure nutrient content used. More precise manure nutrient content could affect the need for mineral fertilizers and their expenses. Also, more precise data on manure quantity would assist in building correct manure storage capacity without additional costs related to them being too small or too large.

It is recommended that the national manure standards used by the farms should be checked regularly to make sure the data and methods to generate it correctly reflect the real manure quantities and properties in different production and climatic conditions.

Read the report on the economic impact of manure data precision here.


Share This