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About the project

Reducing nitrogen loss from livestock production by promoting the use of slurry acidification techniques in the Baltic Sea Region.

Reducing the loss of nitrogen from agriculture is key to reducing eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. Most of the airborne eutrophication of the Baltic Sea is due to ammonia emissions almost all of which come from livestock manure. Ammonia emissions also threaten human health through the formation of particulate matter. Slurry acidification has long been known to effectively reduce or even stop ammonia from evaporation from animal manure slurry.

 

Background

The Baltic Slurry Acidification project aimed to promote the implementation of slurry acidification techniques throughout the Baltic Sea Region. Slurry acidification techniques (SATs) reduce the ammonia losses from livestock manure and thus reduce airborne eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. The use of SATs also benefits farmers by increasing the nitrogen use efficiency of their manure fertilizers and thereby decreasing their dependency on mineral nitrogen.

Slurry acidification techniques can be used to reduce ammonia loss from livestock manure in livestock housing, manure storages and from the fields during the application of manure. The three main types of SATs are:

  • In-house acidification of livestock slurry
  • In-storage acidification of stored livestock slurry
  • In-field acidification of livestock slurry during field spreading

Slurry acidification technologies have been developed for commercial use in Denmark over a decade ago. These technologies have been tested under Danish conditions and are approved by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency as BAT technologies that Danish farms can utilize to reduce ammonia emissions with up to 70 %. The project was set in motion because of a genuine need to spread awareness, build knowledge and exchange experiences in the Baltic Sea Region concerning the practical implementation and the benefits of SATs. Many potential end-users in the region were not aware of SATs, while those that had heard of them needed information on whether differences in local agronomic conditions would give in the same positive results as in Denmark. Therefore the feasibility of implementing SATs was analysed impartially and objectively on a regional level. Pilot installations connected to field trials and local demonstrations increased awareness and knowledge and helped to promote the use of SATs throughout the Baltic Sea Region.

 

Activities

The project had the following objectives:

  • To set up pilot installations and use them for demonstration of SATs
  • To carry out field research to register any influence of acidification on crop yields and on different soil types. The field research programme was carried out for two years.
  • To clarify technological aspects of SATs feasibility as an instrument for achieving cleaner waters in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • To communicate and make the resulting information available to end-users, farmers, agricultural advisers, machine stations and others that are interested in SATs.
  • To analyse environmental legislation in each of the covered countries, support schemes, barriers, and market analyses of the potential use of SATs.
  • To give out policy recommendations based on the mentioned analyses of legislation, support schemes and markets, as well as on the results of the tests and demonstrations of pilot installations and their environmental and economic effects in the different countries.

 

Timeframe

The project started on March 1, 2016, and ended on February 28, 2019.

 

Flagship status

Baltic Slurry Acidification was a flagship project of the Policy Area Bioeconomy under the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

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