WHAT IS VALUABLE IN MANURE?
On February 9, 2018, the Farmers’ Parliament and the State Plant Protection Service invited to attend meetings by farms interested in efficient manure management, as well as representatives of institutions and educational institutions with competence in the use of organic fertilizers.
The first seminar “What is Valuable in the Manure?” in the framework of the project Manure Standards – Advanced Manure Standards for Sustainable Nutrient Management and Reduced Emissions, was held at the Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre in Ozolnieki gathered altogether 47 participants. The seminar was organized by Union “Farmers Parliament” (ZSA) and the State Plant Protection Service (VAAD).
Both, the responsible persons of the Ministry of Agriculture Republic of Latvia and the project partner the State Plant Protection Service (VAAD) informed about the topicality of the project. The project consultant Andris Kārkliņš (a professor of Latvia University of Agriculture), informed about previous studies in Latvia on the use of manure. Professor emphasized the lack of reliable information in the recent years that could be used for improvement of current manure standards. Manure analyses are carried out by separate farms as well as by individual projects. However, the data are not comparable and interpretable. The professor emphasized that manure analysis is a resource-intensive process and, therefore more often calculations are used, which are based on the movement of nutrients.
Skaidrīte Rulle, director of Agrochemical Department of VAAD, introduced legal requirements regarding manure management. S.Rulle emphasized also problems of the control actions. Then VAAD expert Lauris Leitāns informed about the whole project, highlighting specific activities which will be carried out on the farms. Farms, which will be involved in the project, will have to complete a questionnaire, to provide comprehensive information about the manure management.
Agricultural expert of the Farmers Parliament Iveta Grudovska, informed the participants about other union activities and perspectives concerning manure management processes on farm level. To illustrate situation, results of projects Green Agri and Baltic Slurry Acidification where presented and discussed. The expert pointed out that analysis results under the GreenAgri project are different from the standard information. Also, significant loss of nitrogen is observed, if manure samples from barn and from to storage are compared for the same farm.
Head of the Livestock Care Unit, Latvian Rural Advisory and Training Centre Silvija Dreijere, reminded the audience about the basic principles of cattle feeding, in order to minimize the emissions of both methane and ammonia emitted by animals. Expert pointed out, that the more productive animals produce lower emissions per unit of output (milk for dairy cows).
In the discussion farmers received explanation main objectives and potential benefits from the project, which will be:
- united methodology for sampling of manure (also video tutorials) will be developed, which will help the owners to take a correct sample and to get an idea of the nutrients in the manure.
- Improved manure standards, based on the selected farm (26 farms from Latvia) manure analysis results. From ZSA perspective, it is essential to upgrade existing standard by adding separate groups for high-yield dairy cows (milk yield over 10 000 kg per year), suckle cows and sheep.
The updated manure standards will allow Latvian farms to perform manure analyses not every year, but to perform their calculations according to the standard information. It will be good support for more accurate planning of nutrient management on the farms. As the main outcome of the actions, improved positive environmental and economical performance of the all farming sector is expected.
Project “Manure Standards” (Advanced manure standards for sustainable nutrient management and reduced emissions) # R057.