Stakeholders engaged in several countries
How could the implementation of slurry acidification techniques (SATs) benefit the countries around the Baltic Sea? What policies could support their implementation? These are some of the questions that have been discussed in stakeholder sessions in different countries throughout the Autumn.
National stakeholder meetings have been organized in Finland in October, in Germany and Denmark in September. Articles about these events are linked at the end of this article.
The latest stakeholder meeting took place in Vilnius, Lithuania on November 7th. Lithuania is projected to stay below the target levels for ammonia for 2020 and 2030 set in the national emission ceiling directive, but nonetheless, implementing slurry acidification would have positive effects that are worth considering and accounting. Lithuania must also implement measures to reach the nitrogen reduction targets under the Helsinki Convention and reduce overall greenhouse gas emissions. The meeting in Vilnius convened stakeholders from the Ministry of Agriculture, EPA, Lithuanian Fund for Nature, in addition to the Lithuanian project partners the Agricultural Advisory Service and the University of Health Sciences and international project partners.
The meeting introduced the slurry acidification technologies, project activities and results, including the results of the field tests carried out in Lithuania. These tests hint at a positive effect on the yields compared to untreated slurry, however, without scientific significance. In the discussion, the stakeholders were generally most interested in the effect of SATs on emissions and the potential to introduce SATs in Lithuania where animal numbers are currently declining but farm sizes are increasing. Discussion also whirled about specific technical issues in SAT implementation as well as what effects acidified slurry could have on soil (i.e. could it increase the acidity or improve the quality? You can find some research on soil quality here). There seemed to be clear interest among farmers and authorities alike in slurry acidification technologies, but the willingness to invest and the administrative means to support the use of SATs are complex questions requiring further looking into.