“What’s in it for the farmer?” was the very relevant question asked by an audience member in the Manure Standards seminar presenting project results on 24th April 2019 in Tartu, Estonia. The audience consisting mostly of Estonian and Latvian farmers and farm advisors as well as other stakeholders from the Baltic Sea region was especially interested in the differences of the analyses results in determining manure nutrient content.
Susanna Kaasinen from HELCOM answered the audience’s question about what farmers get from the project. The farmers will benefit from the project results that include more harmonized methods for manure data collection and updated data on manure quantity and quality as well as clear guidelines for good practices in manure management. It is important that farmers can make most of their valuable manure. Equal practices throughout the Baltic Sea region will also increase the equality of farmers in the common market.
Allan Kaasik from the Estonian University of Life Sciences presented problems and bottlenecks on manure sampling and chemical analysis. One of the results of the Manure Standards project activities has been that different laboratories can have quite different results for analysing the same manure sample. To solve this, Manure Standards project aims to create guidelines for a more harmonized sampling approach and will also discuss with laboratories to find out why there can be differences in the results. An alternative option for laboratory analysis was presented as well – Manure Standards project develops a calculation method to estimate the quantity and quality of manure. At the seminar, Allan Kaasik gave an overview what information is needed for precise calculations.
Equal practices throughout the Baltic Sea region will also increase the equality of farmers in the common market.
Manure Standards seminar was organized jointly with GreenAgri project as part of the Agroforum Mare Balticum conference in Tartu on 24th-25th April 2019. The theme of the conference was “Agroecology as a driver for sustainable food systems” and it gathered 211 participants from 18 countries. After the conference it was possible to visit the agricultural fair Maamess, which is the biggest agricultural fair in the Baltic states.
Manure Standards and GreenAgri project will continue cooperation in the SuMaNu project platform that will promote smart manure management and nutrient recycling. As the moderator of the Manure Standards seminar Roomet Sõrmus from EPKK concluded: “Manure is a very interesting topic”.