The eutrophication status of the Baltic Sea is still unsatisfactory, despite decreased nutrient loads in recent decades. Agriculture is one of the sources of nutrients eventually entering from surface waters to Baltic Sea. This problem is recognized by farmer’s organizations challenged to do the best to amend the situation. New restrictions in management of organic fertilizers will be established in Estonia and Latvia in 2015 because of the unsufficient implementation of EU Nitrates Directive. Capability of agricultural sector is not sufficient for implementation of new technologies and practices in everyday farming enabling to comply with new restrictions and maintain current level of production and competitiveness. Farmers need neutral information for implementing new innovative solutions most applicable for project area which reduce nutrient losses and benefit the long-term fertility of the soil at the same time.
Project objective is reduced nutrient losses from agriculture in Baltic States through introducing and testing innovative and efficient practices in management of organic fertilizers. 20 farmers from Est/Lat pilot areas invest to most appropriate technologies/methods using their own financial resources. Data about nutrient runoffs will be gathered from pilot areas and analysed by experts and researchers. Farmers receive well-founded information about the efficiency of different solutions demonstrating real results in reducing nutrient losses. It’s the first time when testing of different technologies in manor management will be arranged in wider area using financial resources and intellectual capital of Estonian/Latvian farmers, farmers organizations and research institutions.
Project creates working method for beneficial co-operation between farmers’, governmental and environmental organizations supporting the achievement of targets set for improvement of the eutrophication status of the BS and for addressing other environmental problems.
Expected Results (EN):
R2.4. The amounts of nutrients, hazardous substances and toxins inflows into the Baltic Sea
Expected Outputs (EN):
Project main result is reduced nutrient inflows from 20 pilot farms from Estonia and Latvia to surface water entering to the Baltic Sea. It will be achieved through implementation of innovative technology and methods in pilot areas in two countries. The impact of implemented measures to the nutrient content in the soil reveals during longer period of time. First results can be obtained from a minimum 18 months after implementing new measures and practices. Possible measures:works on the field (catch crops,drainage,tillage,nutrient balance etc) and outside the fields (wetlands,dams,drainage etc),buffer zones, ploughing, flooding fields,new technology in manure storage/treating/spreading,precision farming,fertilization planning,treating fields with fiber clay/gypsym/biochar etc. According the information from previous projects, literature an expert opinions the nitrogen inflow from fields can be reduced ca 30% in average.In general losses of phosphorus are not an issue in Estonia and Latvia.Long-term results of agricultural runoff monitoring show that on average only 0.20 kg/ha of phosphorus are lost annually. The sustainability will be ensured through dissemination of results and new knowledge received during the testing period to ca 300 farmers. The existing national rural advisory systems will be strengthened ensuring that project results have lasting effect beyond project duration. Advisors who receive sufficient knowledge and experience during implementation of GreenAgri project are able to support farmers from both side of the border.Project results support the achievement of targets set by the HELCOM Baltic Sea Action Plan in reduction of phosphorus and nitrogen input in Gulf of Finland and Gulf of Riga aiming at reaching good ecological and environmental status by 2021. Project contributes to the achievement of country-wise provisional nutrient reduction requirements set for Estonia (220t phosphorus and 900t nitrogen) and Latvia (300t phosphorus and 2560).