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24-11-2014: New publication: Scandinavian Biogas Handbook

Get the Scandinavian Biogas Handbook here

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A new handbook about biogas in Scandinavia called “Scandinavian Biogas Handbook” is now published.

The Scandinavian handbook describes the main elements in the planning of biogas plants in Norway, Sweden and Denmark and compares strategies, status and legislation in the three countries.

The publication is produced in the project Implement.nu, which has been a common Scandinavian project, which has set production and utilization of biogas on the agenda in the three countries.

Get the Scandinavian Biogas Handbook here

06-11-2014: Baltic Communication Navigator for Agri-Enviro-Solutions

www.agri-enviro-solutions.eu) provides a navigation tool that gives access to these findings in a structured way. Currently the web application only provides information of particular relevance to farmers. Although as such, this is useful for also other participants of agri-environmental projects, there are plans to tailor the website also for  other user-groups.

Such a tool can never be finalized and all stakeholders are invited to comment and participate in the future development of the website. Planned enhancements include:
  • An alternative method of accessing the information is under construction, based on what kind of problem you may have.
  • Checklists are under development to identify your project specific communication challenges, and link you directly to relevant solutions.
  • This website focuses on the communication aspects of your agri-environmental project.
  • Links for sourcing new technology, information or contacts who may have dealt with similar practical challenges will be provided.
  • For questions about technology, legal matters, financing etc. links to external services, websites and sources of information will be provided.
The tool was presented at GABBS and it received good feedback. Further feedback can be sent to Uwe Rammert, uwe.rammert@llur.landsh.de.

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The projects Baltic Compass and Baltic Compact developed a communication concept for bottom-up project planning and for the improvement of farmer´s involvement in agri-environmental projects and policy. As a project output, Baltic Compact has delivered a prototype of an interactive web-based tool would be more useful for the stakeholders. The aim was to create a place to connect people and share information through communication in the Baltic Sea Region.

In Baltic Compact the State Agency for Agriculture, Environment and Rural areas of Schleswig-Holstein (LLUR), Germany and Kiel University led a process of compiling experiences. Information on bottom-up organisation and communication was gathered at project, implementation and policy-making level via case studies, literature reviews, interviews and questionnaires conducted with Baltic Sea region farmers.

The Communication Navigator has two entries: as a farmer and as an advisor. It describes 10 steps toward solving the problem or the challenge in mind of the farmer or the advisor – formulated as ‘a project’. The project timeline includes a step-by-step guide to planning an agri-environmental project. Each step for planning a project is described, with an explanation of its communication challenges, followed by solutions to overcome these challenges. Communication solutions may be methods, tools or useful tips, many can be applied to more than one step and communication challenge.

The Baltic Communication Navigator for Agri-Enviro Solutions (www.agri-enviro-solutions.eu) provides a navigation tool that gives access to these findings in a structured way. Currently the web application only provides information of particular relevance to farmers. Although as such, this is useful for also other participants of agri-environmental projects, there are plans to tailor the website also for  other user-groups.

Such a tool can never be finalized and all stakeholders are invited to comment and participate in the future development of the website. Planned enhancements include:

  • An alternative method of accessing the information is under construction, based on what kind of problem you may have.
  • Checklists are under development to identify your project specific communication challenges, and link you directly to relevant solutions.
  • This website focuses on the communication aspects of your agri-environmental project.
  • Links for sourcing new technology, information or contacts who may have dealt with similar practical challenges will be provided.
  • For questions about technology, legal matters, financing etc. links to external services, websites and sources of information will be provided.

The tool was presented at GABBS and it received good feedback. Further feedback can be sent to Uwe Rammert, uwe.rammert@llur.landsh.de.

06-11-2014: Discussion Paper: More of agriculture – testing concept and practise of locally driven environmental initiatives

Do farmers themselves decide on how to use the land, the landscape?

Yes, says the farmer, we own the land and we have the right to cultivate and produce food and energy.
No, says the taxpayer, the neighbour, the authority – we pay you to produce food and to protect the environment.

This fight between the farmer and the authorities is changing – mediation is increasingly replacing conflicts in many BSR countries. This requires new approaches both from the farmers and from the authorities, which are expected to lead to win-win solutions.

Basically, the farmer has the assume responsibility of more that just farming in the narrow sense, and the authorities have to give the responsibility to the farmers - more trust should replace control.

- In Baltic Compact, we have aimed to open pathways to increase the role of the active farmer and groups of farmers in managing the farm and the environment. Through more and better communication, which builds mutual trust we can move from control driven approach to an   approach which builds on responsible management. We have many encouraging examples that farmers will assume the responsibility and take the role as managers of delicate ecosystems, says Kaj Granholm, Project Manager of Baltic Compass from Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.
 
- We believe, that in selected situations participatory multi-stakeholder planning can be fully applied in a way that economic and environmental aspects can be combined in a constructive dialogue with the local citizen and authorities, says Kaj Granholm and continues that, this can lead to resilient and sustainable solutions for landscape management.

The current control oriented approach in agri-environmental governance responds poorly to the environmental issues on the local, but also on the regional and macro-regional scale. Furthermore, it contributes to the existing mistrust between the agricultural and environmental sides, partly due to the inefficiency of the implemented measures in delivering the expected outcomes, partly due to the frustration among the farmers who feel that the policy is not addressing the right issues and is not taking the situational specifics on the farm into account. Recent experiences in participatory agri-environment management projects and initiatives in the Baltic Sea Region suggest strong motivation and willingness of farmers to assume responsibility and engage in actions concerning the environment, if they can do it paying respect to the conditions and needs of the local stakeholders.

Thus, a paradigm change to a more management-oriented approach is needed. Key steps in the paradigm change are the farmer’s self-image as a joint producer of food, and ecosystem services as an integrated outcome of good and sustainable land and water management in farming. For the administrative system, the paradigm change means perhaps more fundamental transformation to understand better the overall efficiency through local engagement and locally adapted comprehensive approaches which are better suited to implement more integrated policies.

The discussion paper presented to GABBS is undergoing further editing, incorporating also relevant outcome from the conference. It will be published in late 2014.

06-11-2014: Targeted measures bring the greatest benefits for environmental protection in agriculture

www.ymparisto.fi/tehoplus and some materials also as printed guides. The TEHO Plus project has published its final report in English entitled Targeted measures bring the greatest benefits for environmental protection in agriculture. The final report describes project experiences and outcomes including environmental advisory services, training of agri-environmental advisers, farm visits and the feedback received from farmers on agri-environmental advice, development of water quality monitoring, experiments and project work.

You can find the report by inserting the link below into your browser: http://www.ymparisto.fi/download/noname/%7B5C6955EE-5461-4E6A-A12C-F737CB59EA35%7D/103704

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The TEHO Plus project was finalised in October 2014. The implementers of the project were Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment, MTK-Satakunta and MTK-Varsinais-Suomi.

Materials on various themes were prepared for national use during the project. The materials were published on the project website at www.ymparisto.fi/tehoplus and some materials also as printed guides. The TEHO Plus project has published its final report in English entitled Targeted measures bring the greatest benefits for environmental protection in agriculture.

The final report describes project experiences and outcomes including environmental advisory services, training of agri-environmental advisers, farm visits and the feedback received from farmers on agri-environmental advice, development of water quality monitoring, experiments and project work.

You can find the report by inserting the link below into your browser:

http://www.ymparisto.fi/download/noname/%7B5C6955EE-5461-4E6A-A12C-F737CB59EA35%7D/103704

06-11-2014: Ripples on Baltic Waters

www.balticcompass.org and on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Xxx24y2cQ) .

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Baltic Compact film premiere at GABBS by Jenny Jewert, Michael Eriksson and Enno Ladwig.

Juris Cïrulis, from Latvia, Jan Christer Carlsson from Sweden and Gerd Schumacher from Germany are the ‘movie stars’ in this film produced by Baltic Compact of practical solutions for positive change in the relationship between agriculture and environment in the BSR.

The three farmers show their ways of sustainable solutions for the future. Solutions such as biogas for electricity and heat, using the heat and nutrients from the biogas plant in green houses for growing vegetables, and intelligent drain water management are examples shown from Latvia. In Sweden, in addition to precision fertilizing, we see recycling of toilet sludge from a vacuum toilet to farm fertilizer, utilizing patented wet composting technology to break down all pharmaceutical residues. In Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, the film shows us recreation landscapes and restoration of wetlands, nutrient trapping ponds and re-meandering of water courses, and intelligent drainage solutions in cooperative associations with other farmers as integrated solutions.

The film was produced in Baltic Compact by SLU and Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management, with financial support from Interreg BSR, and is available at www.balticcompass.org and on You Tube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2Xxx24y2cQ) .

06-11-2014: Baltic Compact test of dams in drainage ditches as agri-environmental measure

Baltic Compact partner Latvia Agriculture University Research and Training Farm Vecauce in the scope of project is testing and demonstrating controlled drainage measure – dam with constructed wetland on the drainage ditches. Similar systems are recognized as efficient measure for nutrients run-off minimization, while particular measure still is innovative idea for local conditions in several countries.

Latvia Agriculture University Training and Research Farm Vecauce in cooperation with Latvian Fund for Nature and Latvia Agriculture University at 2013 established 12 small dams on the drainage ditches to test them as water protection measure. First year measurements were started rather late and did not give full information about measure efficiency, management issues, etc. Baltic Compact decided to follow up the demonstration activities to obtain more precise information about measure.

After first season, the predicted problems with beaver activities were confirmed. The beavers improved the dams and used them as nest. Their activities increased water level in ditches up to uncontrollable level in several dam sites, causing problems to the drainage systems and flooding risk for the fields. Therefore, it was decided to follow measure testing activities in 2014 only on 7 dams/wetlands, with bi-monthly water manual sampling.

Baltic Compact project partners recognized that for true situation control and demonstration, automatic water sampling with water flow measure is strongly recommended. Therefore, it was decided to go on with the measure testing and also improve the measurements quality by installing monitoring equipment on site. By project support following set of measuring equipment was obtained:

  • EPH-data logger + solar panel + accumulator
  • Sensors for data logger: (pH, electrical conductivity, temperature)
  • Controlled drainage well, with water flow meter
  • Automatic water sampling unit

After the project the investment will be used for training and demonstration purposes at farm Vecauce, which serves as practical education, research, demonstration and training farm for agriculture students and farmers from Latvia and other countries. The location will be available for guided tours, managed by professionals from farm Vecauce of Latvia Agriculture University.

06-11-2014: SCIEN drainage investment – Hofmansgave

www.sorbisense.dk) and the end of the drainage tubes for monitoring of nutrient discharges from agricultural fields. The aim was to demonstrate a cost-effective method for continuous sampling of both concentrations and loads (accumulated mass) of nitrate and phosphorous, while measuring the discharge of drainage water in the tile drains simultaneously.

The installation uses SorbiCell passive sampling capsules together with the FlowCap weir, which has been tested and documented under controlled conditions. The mounting units demonstrated at this site were designed for the tile drain and flow conditions at the Hofmansgave site. The demonstration plot showed a linear relationship between the accumulated flow though the SorbiCell versus the total flow in the drain tube under controlled conditions.

The investment has proved that it is possible to measure the concentrations and the flow on nutrients in the field with this cost-effective methodology. A demonstration at the site at Hofmansgave were held in September 2014 and agricultural organisations in Denmark have shown increased interest in this technology, as the legislation is changing toward more individual regulation of nutrient discharge from farms. Sorbicells can be an important step forward to regulate the nutrient discharges into the Baltic Sea and inner Danish waters.

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SCIEN (acronym for Sustainable, Controlled, Intelligent, Environmentally friendly and Nutrient loss mitigating) drainage technologies were identified in Baltic Compass as prosperous innovative technologies for the Baltic Sea Region. Agro Business Park invested in controlled drainage at a field at the Hofmansgave Foundation, Denmark, in Baltic Compass. Agro Business Park has in Baltic Compact expanded the exploration, demonstration and promotion of SCIEN drainage technologies by investing in passive water sampling on Hofmansgave.

The general purpose of the tendered investment is to contribute to our knowledge to the applicability, cost-efficiency and effects of SCIEN drainage technologies, and thus to the understanding of the role they could have in future farming, regulated on basis of emissions. In the Baltic Compact project the SCIEN drainage activities at the Hofmansgave Foundation has been equipped with technology for robust and passive sampling of drain water, which has the potential to serve as a model for future measurements of emissions from drained farmland.

The Baltic Compact investment at Hofmansgave is with Sorbisense, aiming to develop and demonstrate a robust and cheap passive sampling technology (Sorbicell – see www.sorbisense.dk) and the end of the drainage tubes for monitoring of nutrient discharges from agricultural fields. The aim was to demonstrate a cost-effective method for continuous sampling of both concentrations and loads (accumulated mass) of nitrate and phosphorous, while measuring the discharge of drainage water in the tile drains simultaneously.

The installation uses SorbiCell passive sampling capsules together with the FlowCap weir, which has been tested and documented under controlled conditions. The mounting units demonstrated at this site were designed for the tile drain and flow conditions at the Hofmansgave site. The demonstration plot showed a linear relationship between the accumulated flow though the SorbiCell versus the total flow in the drain tube under controlled conditions.

The investment has proved that it is possible to measure the concentrations and the flow on nutrients in the field with this cost-effective methodology. A demonstration at the site at Hofmansgave were held in September 2014 and agricultural organisations in Denmark have shown increased interest in this technology, as the legislation is changing toward more individual regulation of nutrient discharge from farms. Sorbicells can be an important step forward to regulate the nutrient discharges into the Baltic Sea and inner Danish waters.

06-11-2014: Biogas investment – Vecauce

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The research and training farm ‘’Vecauce’’ built the first experimental biogas plant in Latvia in 2008. Unfortunately the plant was designed and constructed as “a catalogue plant” without any tailoring to meet the needs of the farm and its location. Five years of operation clearly indicated that improve¬ments were required to enhance its operation and the subsequent environmental services provided by the plant.

Manure-based biogas has many advantages and consequently Baltic Compact has made investments into the improved design and operation of the Vecauce Biogas Plant. Investments have been planned have and partly im¬plemented with support from the project Baltic Compact and the EU Baltic Sea Programme.

Baltic Compact has invested in the following aspects to improve the environmental performance of the biogas plant:

  • increased storage capacity,
  • addition of a macerating pump for more homogenous feed,
  • pre-treatment as a new biomass feeding system with integrated chopping system,
  • a new spreader with trailing hoses.

In addition, investments are planned for storage covers and a post-digestion tank to further improve the environmental performance.

The improvements will increase the production of renewable energy from the substrate, as they have enabled choosing a more environmentally friendly co-substrate, such as perennial grass instead of maize. Further increased storage capacity can improve the timing of digestate spread and the investment in trailing hose slurry spreader improves the utilisation of the digestate nutrients by the crops.

As Vecauce is a training and research farm of the Latvia University of Agriculture, the investments create optimal opportunities for disse¬minating environmental issues to students in agricultural, engineering and biological sciences. In addition, the experiences from the investments will reach farmers and policy makers through numerous delegation visits at Vecauce, thus having a maximum positive impact on biogas technologies used in Latvia.

Read more in the folder here

06-11-2014: Biogas policy recommendations

Please find the policy recommendations here

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Baltic Compact has continued the attention to manure based biogas. At the GABBS conference Baltic Compact distributed policy recommendation to promote manure based biogas production in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR).

Manure-based biogas offers significant benefits for the environmental services in agriculture. Thus, its implementation needs to be supported in the BSR. Baltic Compact summarizes recommendations for targeted promotion of manure-based biogas based on the previous projects Baltic Compass and Baltic Manure:

  • Incentives for increased biogas use of solid manure should be created, such as:
    • Funding for technology development of dry fermentation.
    • Funding for technology development of increasing degradation of solid biomasses via efficient re-treatments.
    • Support for co-digestion of slurry and solid manure.
  • Manure-based biogas plants utilising wastes and by-products as co-substrates should be given priority in subsidy systems and permission processes.
    • Energy crop utilisation should be regionally justified so as to avoid harmful consequences for the environment and competition with food and feed production.
  • Manure-based biogas plants with clear plans to optimise the entire manure management chain before and after the plant should be given priority in subsidy systems and permission processes. 
    • Proper solutions for substrate collection, plant design and operation, and storage, spread and potential post-processing of the digestate require development to avoid pollution-swapping between different steps.
  • Energy efficient use of the biogas produced should be a key criteria for the environmental permit and the financial support system.
    • The best local utilisation of the biogas energy needs to be determined already in the planning phase of the biogas plant.

Please find the policy recommendations here

06-11-2014: 5th GABBS conference in Warsaw was a success

The conference report can be found here

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200 participants met in Warsaw late September for the 5th conference Greener Agriculture for a Bluer Baltic Sea (GABBS). The theme this year was Shared sea – shared challenges – shared solutions.

Six parallel sessions and the plenary discussed many themes, such as legal frameworks for water protection, the potentials of cooperation between agri- and aquaculture, and the role of landscape management. Further, effectiveness of agri-environmental programs and innovation systems were discussed to set the future of agri-environmental cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region. Local cases, new tools and strategic projects gave new inspiration for conference participants in the sessions.

The involvement of farmers and all stakeholders is crucial and WWF announced their Baltic Farmer of the Year Award as in previous years. The regional winner of 2014 was Juris Cīrulis and family from Latvia, who has transformed an old state farm into a modern agricultural estate with biogas, green houses and water management measures.

Baltic Compact and WWF co-organized this year’s event with strong Polish partners: The Polish National Advisory Centre for Agriculture and Rural Development, Polish Association of Research and Applied Agriculture Specialists, the Institute of Technology and Life Sciences under honorary patronage of the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development of Poland and the Minister of the Environment of Poland.

The conference report can be found here

06-11-2014: Baltic Compact newsletter 14, November 2014

This will be the final newsletter in the series started by Baltic Compass in 2010 as the project funding supporting the production of the Newsletter has expired. We hope that you as reader have learned something, have reflected and used some of the knowledge we have distributed.

The basic intention has been to increase understanding and cooperation of the links between agriculture and the environment in the Baltic Sea Region and ultimately to contribute to promoting regional development through transnational cooperation. The strategy for Baltic Sea regional cooperation aims to save the sea, connect the region and increase prosperity and we hope to have contributed to this effort. Agri-environment cooperation in the Baltic Sea Region will continue in various ways and more specific communication activities will be resumed as additional financing is available.

06-11-2014: WikiSCIEN database for sharing research results

www.agro-technology-atlas.eu).

The database contains already over 40 study sites (e.g. wetlands, controlled drainage or sub-irrigation systems, 2-stage ditches, and nutrient removal structures).
A short description of each case study is available that includes mitigation of nutrient leaching from agricultural areas, external links to project website, reports of the results, and a list of published articles.

The database is open to anybody who is interested in to get or share information on the protection of the Baltic Sea. To view existing study cases or add your own study site, click the following link: http://mapserver.mtt.fi/geoserver/www/bc.html. The users of the database should note that only Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer 8 Web Browsers are accepted.

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WikiSCIEN is an existing database for demonstrating SCIEN drainage technologies in the BSR further developed through Baltic Compact. SCIEN is an acronym for Sustainable, Controlled, Intelligent, Environmentally friendly and Nutrient loss mitigating technologies (www.agro-technology-atlas.eu).

The database contains already over 40 study sites (e.g. wetlands, controlled drainage or sub-irrigation systems, 2-stage ditches, and nutrient removal structures).
A short description of each case study is available that includes mitigation of nutrient leaching from agricultural areas, external links to project website, reports of the results, and a list of published articles.

The database is open to anybody who is interested in to get or share information on the protection of the Baltic Sea. To view existing study cases or add your own study site, click the following link: http://mapserver.mtt.fi/geoserver/www/bc.html. The users of the database should note that only Firefox, Chrome or Internet Explorer 8 Web Browsers are accepted.

28-02-2014: 12th International Drainage Workshop (IDW)

12th International Drainage Workshop (IDW) will be arranged in St Petersburg, Russia, 23–26 June 2014.

Click here for more information

28-02-2014: Regulating emissions from animal housings

Emission-based environmental permits for animal housing are under development in Finland and Denmark so that the number of animals is not the only criterion. The emissions matter.

By Sari Luostarinen, MTT Agrifood Research Finland
Juha Grönroos, Finnish Environmental Institute SYKE

The environmental permitting system for animal housing is under revision both in Finland and in Denmark.

The Danish system is currently based on animal numbers with no direct relation to potential emissions and their environmental impacts. A Danish committee is seeking alternatives for regulation of animal husbandry. The Nature and Agricultural Commission recommended in 2013 that also Denmark would create an emission-based environmental permitting system for animal housing. In order to promote this, a survey of the systems in other countries has been made for the Danish Environmental Protection Agency by Agro Business Park. The idea is to learn from other countries and to create a new emission-based system for Denmark using the best practices already available. At the time of writing (February 2014), Denmark has not yet decided how to implement the emission based environmental permits.

Three permission types in Finland
In Finland, the current system divides farms into three categories: no permit requirement, environmental permit from municipal authority, or environmental permit from regional authority. The actual threshold for environmental permit and the threshold for division between the two authorities are based on animal numbers.  

However, in case a farm is close to the threshold value and has multiple different animal species, livestock unit coefficients based on the average phosphorus (P) excretion of each animal species are used. In that case also the threshold values are expressed as livestock units. Fattening pig is used as a reference animal. After the animal numbers are converted into livestock units, they are summed up and compared to the respective threshold value.

New indicator needed
Because phosphorus excretion value is a very limited indicator for the environmental impacts of livestock farming, a new suggestion for the coefficient was made by SYKE and MTT for the Finnish Ministry of the Environment in spring 2013. Several optional coefficients were calculated, and SYKE and MTT finally recommended the animal-specific environmental impact indicator (EII). This indicator takes into account the potential impacts of nitrogen (N), P and ammonia (NH3) on aquatic and terrestrial eutrophication, acidification and particle formation. In the EII, only the emissions causing local or regional environmental impacts were considered, omitting global impacts, such as global warming.

The EII coefficient is versatile and able to combine all the emissions and environmental impacts of the other coefficients suggested. The researchers also suggested that the EII coefficient should be further developed with respect to odour emissions, though ammonia is one of the odorous compounds in manure and thus adds also odour into the coefficient.

At the time of writing (February 2014), a working group for the Finnish Ministry of the Environment is debating the threshold values and their basis in environmental permitting of animal housing. The group is also considering the possibility of having a registration method for small farms in order to ease the administrative burden and to shorten the period for handling the permit applications.

Other regions
The system proposed for Finland deviates from the emission-based systems e.g. in the Netherlands and in Belgian Flanders. Both of these countries have separate emission factors for ammonia, odour and particles. The factors are animal-specific, depend on the housing type and are summed up according to the amount of animals in the farm. Additionally, spreading models are used to estimate the local impacts.

The factors limit the farm size, although by using technologies to diminish emissions, the factors can be decreased and thus the farm size enlarged. Both countries also have separate rights for producing manure / nutrients. The farms need to process the manure they cannot use in their own production. In this context, processing means direct export to other farms / regions, removal of nutrients (e.g. biological N removal) or technological processing into new products which are then exported out of the farm for use in other farms / regions. 

28-02-2014: Baltic Manure results

A major ’sister project’ of Baltic Compact – Baltic Manure – finalized its activities in December 2013. During three years we have had close cooperation between a family of projects concerned about agriculture and the Baltic Sea Environment with different focus.

Baltic Manure has – of course – had focus on manure and all major results can be found in a final project brochure with short articles. This brochure can be found here.

Project recommendations
The major recommendations of Baltic Manure on how to improve manure handling in the Baltic Sea Region are the following:

  • Close the nutrient cycling
  • Get the energy out of the manure
  • Increase the knowledge on manure quality
  • Stimulate innovation and give incentives for cooperation between farmers, business and knowledge institutions
  • Communicate manure handling technologies for farmers and advisors

The major project recommendations are many and cover the whole manure nutrient handling chain, from animal fodder, the housing systems, the choice of manure handling technologies. Furthermore, biogas is recommended for manure handling if the digestate is covered and treated properly afterwards, including soil injection, acidification and the use of precision farming with the optimal timing and dosage for plant growth.

Selected results
A major finding is that protein import for livestock fodder is the most severe environmental impact of livestock production in Baltic Sea Region. Therefore focus on optimal use of the fodder protein and phosphate is crucial. Several recommendations are presented to improve the resource utilization.

The specific LCA’s in Baltic Manure has analyzed a number of manure handling pathways of which manure based biogas should be highlighted here. Environmentally biogas I highly recommended – based on manure. Many co-substrates were compared and energy crops (maize, sugar beets) are not recommended as co-substrate due to the extra land demand required. But solid fraction of separated slurry and solid manure types are very beneficial co-substrates.

Handling chains
When a farmers makes his choice of manure handling technology he needs to consider the whole chain from animal to field. Many technologies are available, and a proper analysis of the farm business plan is needed to make the right investments – to balance the economy and the environmental benefits. Housing system, storage, pretreatment, acidification in field, biogas, and field application technology are all costly investments, and the right combination to the specific local farming conditions should be carefully selected.

In addition, a whole system approach of farming system in relation the land use system, energy system and organic waste systems - and manure based biogas is an excellent approach to concretize this approach. The farmer makes a waste into resources – fertilizer, energy – this was one of the overall goals for Baltic Manure.

We hope that the results of the project can be used also in the context of Baltic Compact and by policy making and farm advisory systems in the Baltic Sea Region.

Please find the final project result magazine here and the reports behind it can all be found at www.balticmanure.eu

28-02-2014: ManuREsource conference

The first ever ManuREsource conference was held in Brugge, Belgium on December 4-6, 2013. At least 210 delegates from 25 countries gathered to the historical Provincial Court with 75% of them from research and industry and the rest from policy making and NGOs.

The keynote presentations presented examples of the challenges with manure management and the importance of Nitrates Directive in steering manure management. All countries presented had the problem of regional surplus manure, but the solutions differed. In the Belgian Flanders and the Netherlands much of the manure processing was nitrogen removal (nitrification-denitrification to gaseous nitrogen), manure combustion (e.g. 1/3 of Dutch poultry manure) or export of manure into other regions with great cost due to the heavy nutrient surplus. In most other countries, the surplus was less immense and the need to process manure into transportable products to spread the nutrients more evenly within the country and manure use on arable farms was more of the challenge to realise. An important issue all-round is also to decrease feed import, increase local feed production and thus improve regional nutrient balance.

The message from EU Commision was that the enactment of the Nitrates Directive calls for solutions on manure processing, integrated with preventive measures also in the other steps of the manure management chain. Scientific data from feeding and excretion to application of manure and manure-based fertiliser products is required to implement the Directive. Still, the research was urged to move forward without policy interference.

The solutions proposed in ManuREsource were tightly in line with Baltic Manure recommendations, including:

  •     less import of animal feed to improve regional nutrient balances
  •     manure standards to be created to ensure synchronised manure quality data
  •     manure processing to be developed
  •     business and market around manure utilisation to be supported
  •     the entire manure chain to be considered in all solutions

With respect to the Baltic Sea Region, the time to act is now. The intensifying animal production must not result in such surplus areas that nutrient removal and thus loss from the nutrient cycle is the only solution to meet the requirements from the legislation. Policy makers, researchers, farmers and businesses need to work together and find different solutions for different cases.

28-02-2014: The 7th International Phosphorus Workshop (IPW7)

The 7th International Phosphorus Workshop (IPW7) was held in Uppsala, Sweden, in 9–13 September 2013. The book of abstracts and ppt presentations in pdf form can be downloaded from http://www.slu.se/ipw7. Many presented posters are also easily accessible from www.cost869.alterra.nl/IPW7/poster.htm.

The workshop provided information on transport pathways of P from soil to water, importance of manure and cropping systems for P management, implementation of mitigation strategies to reduce P losses, monitoring, modeling and risk assessment at different scales, identification of appropriate mitigation measures for reduction of P losses, and P management in a changing world. These topics were discussed in 32 presentations and in 91 posters as well as in workshop discussions.

Professor Andrew Sharpley from the University of Arkansas, USA, gave a large overview on Future Agriculture with Minimized P loss to water. He outlined critical knowledge gaps, managing risk, transferring science to the farm and adapting to the demands future climate change as well as population increases on P sustainability. Arable farming has recently concentrated in other areas than cattle farming, and thus P fertilizers are used in regions for arable farming whereas too much manure exists in regions for cattle production. The 4Rs Nutrient Stewardship for management of manure and other nutrient sources was presented: Right source at right rate, right time and right place. Several management practices are useful in reducing P losses. Professor Sharpley also reminded that in future predicted population growth will need 50–100% increases in crop yields on same acreage. The importance of cooperation with scientist and farmers was also greatly emphasized in his presentation.

28-02-2014: A new WikiSCIEN database for sharing research results

WikiSCIEN is a new database for demonstrating SCIEN drainage technologies in the BSR. The database is a scientific forum for sharing information on leaching of substances from agricultural areas into waterways, and above all, about means to diminish leaching by SCIEN Drainage technologies.

SCIEN is an acronym for Sustainable, Controlled, Intelligent, Environmentally friendly and Nutrient loss mitigating technologies. Such technologies are e.g. wetlands, controlled drainage systems, two-stage ditches and nutrient removal structures (read more here.)

The database contains short descriptions of case studies concerning mitigation of leaching losses from agricultural areas, and references to further information of the study, e.g. external links to project website, reports of the results, list of published articles etc.

The database is open to research groups, institutions etc. which are willing to share their knowledge with other parties interested in the protection of the Baltic Sea. The web-based database application, where you can save your data, can be found here.  All interested parties in the BSR, please add your case studies into WikiSCIEN preferably prior to its release on the 7th March 2014. For further information, please feel free to contact Jaana Uusi-Kämppä (jaana.uusi-kamppa@mtt.fi).

The database is a product of Baltic Compact project (2013-2014) (read more about the project here), and produced by the MTT Agrifood Research Finland (www.mtt.fi/english).

28-02-2014: Invitation to Baltic Compact Conference 13-14 March, 2014

Invitation to the Baltic Compact Conference: 'Water Resources Management Technologies and Practice – New Opportunities and Challenges for Farmers and the Community'

13-14 March, 2014 Latvia

Latvia Farmers Parliament in cooperation with project Baltic Compact partners has the honor to invite you to the Conference „Water Resources Management Technologies and Practice – New Opportunities and Challenges for Farmers and Community”. The conference is organized in frame of the Baltic Compact project.

Farmers all around the Baltic Sea Region are experiencing the effect of malfunctioning field drainage, It’s visible by excess water on the fields which hinder soil management and affects soil structure. This in turn leads to lower yields. At the same time there is increased focus on water quality, nutrient recycling and climate change mitigation. This has brought about attention to responsible water drainage technologies in advise to farmers. However, existing information on sustainable drainage and drainage water management practices is scattered and not efficiently communicated between different countries and between farmers. Also water management actions requiring cooperation between land owners, advisors are not yet properly understood so expertise and learning is needed in both the implementation process as well as the technical solutions.

The conference aims to share experiences, and results on the technologies demonstrated and applied in different countries, different locations on different conditions, but all related to smart and responsible water drainage solutions for agriculture land – controlled drainage, wetlands, ditch dams, etc.

Target group for the conference involves farmers, advisors and experts in water management and drainage systems design. Also environmental NGO’s, authorities and other interested stakeholders are welcome.

The conference will serve as information exchange and knowledge platform for participants. Focus will be placed on presentations by experts from different countries, who have gained expertise through demonstration, testing or studies of technologies and/or cooperation models.

At the second day – March 14, visits to the two farms will be offered, to see and discuss practical solutions on site. We will see technologies implemented on the farms as well as hear presentations of responsible farmers about the farms challenges, reality and future vision.

Technical information:

  • Event place - Riga, Islande Hotel, Kipsalas street 20, www.islandehotel.lv
  • Working languages - English and Latvian
  • Participants of the conference are welcome to coffee breaks and lunch, as well as to the reception at 7.30 p.m. on March 13
  • Room reservations for international guests: reservation@islandehotel.lv , to make reservation please indicate that you are participant for Baltic Compact conference. Prices offered: SGL 38,00 EUR, DBL/TWN 40,00 EUR

Click here to find the invitation and the registration form

28-02-2014: NJF Seminar 462 – Does climate change demand a new approach to drainage design?

NJF Seminar 462 – Does climate change demand a new approach to drainage design? was arranged by Nordic Association of Agricultural Scientists (NJF) in Sarpsborg, Norway, 23–25 September 2013.

Over all 31 presentations on the condition and functioning of current drainage systems as well as their effects on plant production and environment in Nordic and Baltic regions were given at the seminar. The seminar summary can be downloaded here. The summary contains a link to pdf presentations.

A book of abstracts can also be found here.  Some presentations will also be published in a special issue in Acta Agriculturae in near future.

01-12-2013: Algae Harvester

The demand for agricultural products is increasing since several decades, also in the Baltic Sea States. In turn this results in a steady rise of nutrient input into the Baltic Sea from farming activities. A high amount of nutrients leads to algae growth due to eutrophication. Possible consequences are low oxygen contents in marine ecosystems or hypoxic areas. Even now 7 of the 10 largest dead zones of the oceans can be found in the Baltic Sea. The reduction of the use of fertilizer is one starting point to deal with that problem. Another approach is to get the nutrients out of the drainage water which is collected in drainage ponds before it flows into the Baltic Sea. Within the project Baltic Compass and in cooperation with the State Agency of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas Schleswig-Holstein in northern Germany the working group of Prof. Dr. Schulz, Botanical Institute at the University of Kiel developed a method to reduce the nutrient load in water bodies. In a case study microalgae, which assimilate the nutrients, were introduced into drainage ponds. Later the algae were harvested by using protein skimming. In addition to a reduced nutrient load in the surrounding water another advantage is that the harvested algae biomass might also be used for regenerative energy production and other purposes.

The following images show skimmer constructions for harvesting of microalgae:



This small plastic island harvester (figure 1) uses the basic principle of extracting microalgae by pearling bubbles of air through the water and extracting the microalgae swimming at the surface afterwards. It has mainly been tested in marine water, but it also functions under freshwater conditions. The harvester island is powered by solar panels, so it can work entirely autonomous for a while, until the collecting bags are full.



Figure 2 shows industrial size microalgae harvester that can be used from a bridge or rack built into a lake, or from a larger swimming ponton. This is the main development for the Baltic Compass project. The functional principle is the same as with the test device shown in figure 1, but in this case the device is built for use on larger ponds and lakes.



Function of a protein skimmer

The prototype skimmer used in this project was originally developed for water treatment in freshwater aquariums

  • Proteins adsorb to surfaces and are able to bind dirt particles and cells (eg. microalgae) according to the principle of flotation
  • Bubbles generated by a compressor represent an enormous surface for protein absorption
  • Adhesion processes make microalgae bind to the bubble surface, bubbles rise in the riser pipe and form a concentrated foam, which is collected in the sump

Application
So far the water skimmer island has not been used outside the project. It was tested (with good results) in a drainage pond in the pilot region of the project and in brackish water in the Kiel fjord. Unfortunately for the latter no sampling took place.

References
A. GRÖNING, O. MUDIMU, P. WIENERS, R. SCHULZ (2013) Harvesting of Microalgae Biomass for Nutrient Unloading of Water Bodies Using an Innovative Flotation Method; Poster

25-10-2013: NS Active reduces ammonia emissions from slaughter pigs with 23%

NS Active, a slurry additive, based on a rock mineral containing silicon, derived from zeolite, has been tested by Agricultural Technology Research Institute (VUZT), who found that the use of the slurry additive reduced ammonia emissions from the pig house with 23%.

The ‘Manure additive” section of the AgroTechnologyATLAS, found under http://agro-technology-atlas.eu/techdescs.aspx?techgroup=500, is in this connection updated with the descriptions found in the current second draft of the BREF document, found at http://eippcb.jrc.ec.europa.eu/reference/. From here you also find the VUZT test report for NS Active.

22-10-2013: Training course on drainage system management

Training course for Latvia farmers „Drainage system management” is organized in cooperation of Latvia Agriculture Advisory and Training Centre and NGO Farmers Parliament. Training will be implemented at 29-30 October in Jelgava and Eleja. Program will include theoretical and practical activities. The main objective of the training is to raise awareness of the farmers about drainage system operation, management, reconstruction and environmental issues. Training will be provided by  the experts from Latvia Ministry of Agriculture, Latvia University of Agriculture, Latvia Agriculture Advisory and Training Centre and Farmers Parliamnet. Training is partly supported by BSR Programm Project Baltic Compact.

More information in Latvian is available at: http://www.zemniekusaeima.lv/lv/aicinam-uz-kursiem-melioracijas-sistemu-ekspluatacija/

/Zanda Kruklite, Zemnieku Saiema, Mob. +371 2948101

05-10-2013: Inventory report: Techniques for Nutrient Recovery from Digestate

The European Nitrates Directive puts restrictions on nutrient application on agricultural fields. These restricitions, combined with the presence of intensive livestock implies that anaerobic digestion plants in certain areas have no other choice than to invest in expensive digestate processing techniques. More recently, the focus in the development of manure and digestate processing techniques has switched from mere processing towards techniques that recover a maximal amount of nutrients (N, P, K) and produce dischargeable or re-useable water. This report gives an overview of techniques that achieve optimal recovery and recycling of nutrients in a sustainable way. It was made in the framework of the Interreg IV.B ARBOR project. 

You can download the report from the homepage of the ARBOR project - http://arbornwe.eu/downloads

/ Viooltje Lebuf, viooltje.lebuf@vcm-mestverwerking.be, Flemish Coordination Centre for Manure Processing (VCM)

02-10-2013: Nutrient management discussed by 300 friends of agriculture and the Baltic Sea

The theme in this year’s Baltic Sea Region Agro-environment Stakeholder Conference “A Greener Agriculture for a Bluer Baltic Sea” was ‘Visions for nutrient management’. Nutrient inputs to the Baltic Sea continue to feed eutrophication in the Baltic Sea, but on the global level the situation is more dramatic. Depleting phosphorus reserves and limited availability and poor condition of other key factors of food production, like nitrogen, energy, water and arable land bring about one of the biggest challenges in the near future: How to feed the projected 9 billion people in 2050 and how to make it in a sustainable way in long term?

Read more - here.

27-09-2013: SyreN Estimater - economic consequences of acidification during field spreading

BioCover, the company behind the SyreN+ technology for acidification and balancing of liquid manure with macro and micro nutrients during field spreading, has developed a web-tool for estimating the economic consequences of using the technology under different conditions, such as livestock manure type, crop, weather conditions, estimated yield effect, and consumption of sulfuric acid.

You find the tool under 'Economic indicators' after selecting one of the technologies 'Acidification and balancing of liquid manure with macro and micro nutrients during field spreading' or 'Slurry acidification during field spreading' here.

26-09-2013: Pre-treatment technology for 'Vecauce' biogas plant in Latvia envisaged

Latvia Agriculture University Training farm Vecauce (Vecauce) is official partner of the Baltic Sea Region programm project Baltic Compact. The main objective of the Vecauce within project is to implement and demonstrate the investment projects with aim at demonstration of sustainable biogas production from animal manure as win-win measure for agriculture, farm economy and the environment. The specific task is to upgrade the existing biogas plant at Vecauce Farm, Latvia.

Technology and/or technological solution for pre treatment of solid biomass for the bioreactor feeding is requested. Three types of biomass are planned: grass silage (also low quaity), feed residues from the dairy farm and solidmanure with the straw bedding.

The details about the envisaged technology and how to submit a bid is found in this document - Tender Specifications Vecauce.

25-09-2013: Baltic Compact film project

Baltic Compact project (www.balticcompass.org/balticcompact) launches a film production process to attract decision-makers’ and stakeholders’ attention of to the synergies between environment and economy in the rural setting. In particular, the film attempts to raise awareness on how one can adopt a long term vision for management of agricultural production and landscapes and maintain a competitive business. To find the most interesting and filmable examples of innovative farms and local projects, Baltic Compact project welcomes all stakeholders in the Baltic Sea Region agro-environment network to come forward to nominate innovative examples of existing environmentally motivated local initiatives, which extend the traditional agro-environment measures and bring value added to the farm and the local economy.

Read more about the film project here.

24-09-2013: Tender concerning establishing of pasive water sampling at Hofmansgave

Agro Business Park has in cooperation with Knowledge Centre for Agriculture established controlled drainage at four drain pipes in a 16 ha field at Hofmansgave, Funen, Denmark. The drains are sampled every week and the water analysed in conventional ways at a laboratory. The water flow is measured by a meter, and data logged and transmitted hourly to Knowledge Centre for Agriculture. The water flow etc. Can be seen from here - news.aspx - look under news from 23 June 2013 - click the open button to see drain flow, precipitation and the water table.

We now wish to establish passive water sampling at the 4 drains in order to to prove that passive water sampling is both more cost-efficient, convenient and sufficiently accurate in relation to conventional ways to determine N and P concentrations, as well as water flow in farmland drains.

The details about the tender is found in this document - Tender Specifications Hofmansgave.

23-09-2013: Presentations from 'A new start for green growth - how and when?

The seminar was attended by app. 90 persons, representing a triple helix of business, research and innovation, and authorities (especially from municipalities).

The semianr programme is available here.

Click on the presentations (all in Danish language) listed in the following in order to download them:

16-09-2013: The ATLAS extended with new biomass types and biogas pre-feasibility tool

The ATLAS of biomasses is now extended with 5 additional tables, showing typical values and chemical compositions of energy crops, industrial wastes, household wastes, blue biomass and catering wastes. It is now possible to include these biomass types when the 'Tool for mixing organic material and biomass' is used.

Also, the 'Pre-feasibility calcuation tool for biogas projects' (found here - scroll down) has been finalised and tested. It is with the tool possible to configure a biogas plant with the technologies described in the ATLAS, dimension it to handle a biomass mixure that has been calculated with the biomass mixing tool, and in this way to get an estimate of economic, environmental, and climatic effects.

29-08-2013: New loan facility for agricultural projects in Ukraine

The Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO) has opened for a new loan facility for Ukrainian farming.

Read more here.

27-08-2013: Baltic Compact Policy brief: Subsidisation of biogas from maize silage not justified

Baltic Compact has issued a policy brief that through calculation of environmental services from biogas production, based on examples of using maize silage or cattle slurry as substrate, clearly shows, that biogas on basis of maize silage deteriorate nature and environment, while the opposite is the case if biogas is produced on basis of a waste material like cattle slurry.

You can download the policy brief here.

14-08-2013: Second draft of BAT Reference Document for intensive livestock published

The European Commission's Seville-based IPPC bureau has released the second draft of revised EU guidance on best available techniques (BAT) to reduce pollution from pig and poultry installations.

Stakeholders have until 21 October to comment.

The new draft specifies BAT techniques and their associated emission levels (AELs) from which limit values will be derived in pollution permits determined by national authorities, taking into account local conditions. This information, contained in chapter 5 of the document known as BREF, was previously not included in the original current version from 2003, neither in the first draft from March 2011.

BAT-AELs for emissions of ammonia, one of the most problematic air pollutants for the agriculture sector, are proposed for different categories of animals. Poultry for example is divided into four categories: laying hens, broilers, ducks and turkeys. For all categories of pigs and poultry, the lower end of the emission ranges recommended is associated with the use of an air cleaning system.

BAT techniques are also proposed to reduce ammonia emissions from manure storage and the application of solid manure and slurry to land. Other recommendations in the draft revised pig and poultry BREF include AELs for dust and odour emissions and BAT-associated environmental performance levels (AEPLs) for excreted nitrogen and phosphorous.

You can download the second BREF draft here.

05-08-2013: A new start for green growth - how and when?

Baltic Compact organises on 18 September to get a presentation of the report from the Commission on Nature and Agriculture by some of those who have been involved in formulating it, and furthermore to enable authorities, companies and researchers to discuss which technologies, frameworks and solutions appropriate to use in order to implement the report's broad recommendations, and when this can happen.

The report from the Commission on Nature and Agriculture will be presented by Søren Frandsen, Pro-Rector at Aarhus University and member of the Commission on Nature and Agriculture, and commented by Martin Merrild, Chairman of Danish Agriculture & Food Council. The speaker list includes furthermore experts from research, business and municipalities.

The seminar project is organised in cooperation with Agro Business Park, Aarhus University, Innovation Network for Biomass (INBIOM), and the IMPLEMENT project.

The seminar will be held in Danish language - click to download the full program here.

15-07-2013: Innovation competition

If you have a good business idea within the bio-based society (agriculture, food, bioenergy and environmental technology), you can participate in Agro Business Park’s Innovation Competition 2013. The competition gives you the chance to win DKK 50,000 and receive coaching on how to turn your idea into reality. Requirements and assessment criteria To particpate in the competition, you must have a good business idea which has not yet been commercialised. Your idea will be judged on the basis of four criteria: Topicality, Technological and knowledge-based news value, Business potential, and Opportunity to realise the idea commercially. The Innovation Competition is a competition that aims to encourage entrepreneurship. The assessment will be carried out by a competent panel of representatives from Agro Business Park’s network.

Competition rules can be found here.

08-07-2013: Consultative Communication on the Sustainable Use of Phosphorus

The European Commission has adopted a Consultative Communication on sustainable phosphorus. This document sets out the main issues around the supply and demand of this crucial resource, and underlines the environmental impact of wasting phosphorus. It also runs through some of the main options for more sustainable use.

You can find it in all EU languages at http://ec.europa.eu/environment/natres/phosphorus.htm and http://ec.europa.eu/yourvoice/consultations/index_en.htm.

DG ENV would now welcome your views on the way forward. The Consultative Communication puts forward a number of questions on different aspects of the issue, and a stakeholder consultation is open until the 1st of December 2013. You can send your responses to the questions, as well as any additional evidence that you might want to make us aware of to: env-use-of-phosphorus@ec.europa.eu.

24-06-2013: 11th newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

Download the 11th newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'here. The newsletter features for instance results of monitoring four drains at Hofmansgave during the winter 2012/13.

23-06-2013: Large, daily variations in flow of drainage water

The Baltic Compass project invested in a field with controleld drainage at Hofmansgave Stiftelsen, at the northern part of Funen in Denmark. The drainage water form the field is lead out into Odense Fjord, which has a sensitive nature and environment.

As part of a larger GUDP financed project, Knowledge Centre for Agriculture is in cooperation with Hofmansgave monitoring the flow of drain water (In Danish: Drænafstrømning) from the field, which shows large, daily variations, and quick responses to precipitation:

Follow the daily updated registrations of water flow and other parametres for the controlled drainage field at Hofmansgave Stiftelsen by clicking here: Open the tool

11-06-2013: The SyreN+ system was demonstrated on 11 June 2013

BioCover has now further developed their system for slurry acidification during field spreading. The consumption of mineral fertiliser is going down in Western Europe, while the need for an effective recycling of nutrients in fertilisers is going up along with increased prices of phosphorus, tightened demands for sustainability, and striving for biobased economies.

BioCover has in this context launched SyreN+, which apart from the acidification also balance the N:P ratio of the slurry by use of liquid ammonia. While the slurry already is enriched with sulphur through the acidification, it is also possible to add micro minerals like for instance manganese to the slurry. The system is thus able to balance the nutrients exactly according the needs of the crop on the individual field. Additional fertilisation with mineral fertiliser is not necessary.

The SyreN+ system was demonstrated on 11 June 2013 - see picture.

A preliminary description of the SyreN+ system is found here. More information is available from http://en.biocover.dk/.

Morten Toft, the owner and founder of BioCover, was in 2012 given the Danish CSR Award, and has furthermore received the European CSR Award for SME´s at a celebration in Brussels on 25 June 2013.

28-02-2013: The 10th newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The 10th newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here. Read for instance abut the new Baltic Compact project and about a unique Swedish certification system for digestate.

11-02-2013: Seminar on 14 March 2013: Opportunities for financing and export credits of trade and investments - specific focus on Russia, Ukraine and Belarus

Download materials from the seminar here:

12-12-2012: German report about agro-environmental measures and their environmental effects and costs

Kiel University has published a catalogue of agro-environmental measures. Estimated environmental effects and costs are based on different models and literature. The catalogue in German and in English as well as relevant links and tools is available from here in German and here in English.

10-12-2012: Material from open days about balticCOMPASS investment projects

Three open days has been held to demonstrate the investment projects in Denmark and to present the preliminary experiences and results (click the pictures to see them in larger format):

23-11-2012: 9th newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The 9th newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here. Read for instance a summary from the recent workshop about ’Qualitative and quantitative assessment of livestock manure: methods for efficient management and enforcement’.

21-11-2012: New report about 'Needs, wishes and guiding principles for the development of the AgroTechnologyATLAS, and how it will be tested, used and maintained

It is the intention that the ATLAS shall improve the access to scientifically validated and trustworthy information about agro-environmental technologies, including about the Best Available Techniques in relation to EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive (2010/75/EU – follower of the IPPC Directive) – the legal BAT-notes – from the Baltic Sea Region countries.

The aim of the ATLAS is to function as a reference and tool in situations where investments in agro-environmental technologies are considered, especially in connection to the process of environmental permitting of intensive livestock farms.

A new report provides an overview of the needs, wishes and guiding principles for the development of the AgroTechnologyATLAS, and how it will be tested, used and maintained. The report is also providing an insight into the situation about environmental permitting of intensive livestock farms in the Region. The report is largely based on a workshop with participation of two representatives of each country in the Baltic Sea Region, convened in Copenhagen on 16 May 2012.

The report can be downloaded in PDF format here. A package of all presentations given on the workshop can be downloaded from this packed file atlasworkshop.rar.

01-11-2012: Three interesting meetings are coming up in Denmark

Three interesting meetings are coming up in Denmark about the preliminary performance of and perspectives for innovative technologies that Agro Business Park on behalf of BalticCOMPASS has invested in:
  • 22 November at Hofmansgave, Funen about 'Controlled drainage to the benefit of the aquatic environment and farming' - click here for program.
  • 3 December at Bornholm farm + Kannikegaard, Bornholms Landbrug about 'The role of agriculture as supplier of biomass for Bornholms energy supply' - click here for program.
  • 7 December at Aarhus University's biogas plant + Agro Business Park about 'Biogas and extrusion of solid plant biomass' - click here for program.
Everybody are welcome. The meetings are held in Danish language.

02-10-2012: VERA and AgroTechnologyATLAS collaborates!

AgroTechnologyATLAS and VERA Verification of environmental technologies for agricultural production - has initiated a collaboration to disseminate knowledge about agro-environmental technologies at an international level.

Peter Engel, head of the VERA secretariat says: 'The collaboration with AgroTechnologyATLAS is a good opportunity for the manufacturers of environmental technologies with a VERA Verification Statement to expose their technologies also to markets outside the VERA collaboration. Further it will help farmers and environmental authorities to get access to information about an even wider range of environmental technologies with a documented environmental efficiency.'

VERA is collaboration between the national Danish, German and Dutch environmental and agricultural authorities. A VERA Verification Statement granted in one of these countries will also be recognized in the additional countries. A VERA Verification Statement is granted on the basis of a completed VERA test. The VERA tests are performed according to one of the five VERA test protocols for environmental efficient technologies for agricultural production.

VERA is planned to expand in order to comprise new types of technologies and to include more countries. The collaboration with AgroTechnologyATLAS will be a step in this direction.

02-10-2012: The eight newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The eight newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental TECHNOLOGIES for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here. The newsletter is mainly dedicated to present the newly established cooperation with VERA.

26-06-2012: The seventh newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The seventh newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here. Read for instance in the newsletter about Swedish research results, which found that fields with controlled drainage have around 80% smaller loss of water, N and P.

01-06-2012: We would like to support a relevant biogas investment project in Poland!

Agro Business Park is on behalf of BalticCOMPASS searching for a relevant biogas investment project in Poland.

We can offer to assist with preparation of an investment project for biogas production on (mainly) livestock manure. The assistance can for instance be given to perform feasibility studies, investment planning, financing planning or alike, or evaluation of such plans if already made. BalticCOMPASS is only partly financed from the Baltic Sea Region Programme, wherefore we need at least 25% paid from the Polish side.

The perspective is further that the project owner can be partner in the follow-up project to BalticCOMPASS, which is currently being planned. We will include an investment support of € 250,000 to the Polish partner in this follow-up project, which will probably run in 2013-14.

The requirement to the planned biogas project is that

  • There must be clear public interests. This is for instance the case if the biogas plan is going to be entirely or partly owned by a public institution, or if the heat from the plant will be used for local district heating. A private person or company cannot be supported.
  • The investment must be owned by the Polish partner for at least 5 years.
  • We wish that it is (mainly) livestock manure that shall be digested.
  • There must be clear environmental benefits from the investments.
  • The plant shall serve as a demonstration site and give inspiration to make similar investments.

We cannot be sure to obtain financing for a follow-up project, but we have been asked for a proposal, and we believe there is a good chance!

Please contact as soon as possible WP4 leader of BalticCOMPASS, Henning Lyngsø Foged, hlf@agropark.dk, tel. +45 4034 8625, in case this has your interest.

16-05-2012: AgroTechnologyATLAS workshop

A workshop with participation of two representatives of each country in the Baltic Sea Region was convened in Copenhagen on 16 May. It is the intention that the ATLAS shall improve the access to scientifically validated and trustworthy information about agro-environmental technologies, including about the Best Available Techniques in relation to EU’s Directive on Industrial Emissions (2010/75/EU – follower of the IPPC Directive) – the legal BAT-notes – from the Baltic Sea Region countries. Presentations can so far be downloaded from this packed file atlasworkshop.rar, and summaries of discussions and conclusions will soon be available.

06-05-2012: New exhibition about future technologies for both environmentalists and farmers

Agro Business Park has on 9 May 2012 opened a new exhibition: 'Win-win technologies for nutrient management'. The exhibition focus on
  • extrusion of grass from natural areas as a new and promising pretreatment technology for biogas production;
  • mobile separation of slurry with a new technology which ensures that fresh slurry can be separated directly from the slurry channels in the barn;
  • controlled drainage, one of several SCIEN drainage technologies, which enables farmers to control the water level in the field to benefit both the environment and the yield; and
  • phosphorus index, a risk indicator for phosphorus loss from the fields, calculated as part of fertiliser planning, which may give farmers more freedom because environmental requirements can be targeted at fields with real risk.
The exhibition also show other technologies for good nutrient management, eg for measuring water quality, for precision fertilisation, for acidification of slurry, and for energy efficient stirring of digester tanks.

The exhibition is partly virtual and some of the video clips etc. Can be seen from here.

13-03-2012: The sixth newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The sixth newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here. The newsletter contains interesting articles, notes, and event notifications. The top story of this issue is a rediscovered, unique sub-surface, non-electric, on-off SCIEN drainage technology, that was developed in the former East Germany, but due to the collapse of the Soviet Union never taken into use. The technology will now be implemented on pilot farms in the frames of the BalticCOMPASS project, and evalauated for its feasibility for further dissemination.

01-02-2012: Manure processing activities in Europe

Agro Business Park has in cooperation with GIRO Centre Tecnològic finalised a DG ENV financed study on 'Manure processing activities in Europe”. The study has established an inventory of manure processing, described the state of the art of processing technologies, classified end and by-products and their feasibility for marketing, assessed the economic and environmental feasibility of different technologies via seven case studies, and considered future trends for manure processing.

The five technical reports from the project can be downloaded from Knowledge base and from DG ENV's homepage.

29-11-2011: The fifth newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The fifth newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here.

25-08-2011: The fourth newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The fourth newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here.

23-08-2011: Sector Study

Sector Study concerning prioritised innovative agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region - downloaad it from here.

10-08-2011: We are looking for a biogas feasibility expert

We are looking for a biogas feasibility expert - see Terms of Reference, Background report and Market Description for the Bioenergy Sector in the Baltics. Interested experts must send CV and financial offer (specified in fees, travel costs and per diems) latest Friday 9 September 2011 to Henning Lyngsø Foged, hlf@agropark.dk, +45 4034 8625.

09-08-2011: Conversion of slurry to manure concentrates in the Netherlands

The Netherlands is due to its high livestock density seeking to develop manure treatment plants that can convert the pig slurry to concentrates for fertilising. As an inspiration is here a description of the Kumac Mineralen plant, which throught a number of mainly separation and filtering techniques convert 50% of the slurry to purified water that can be led out in the nature, while the rest fractions can be used as fertilisers. Download the report here: Conversion to manure concentrates - Description of a case for handling livestock manure with innovative technology in the Netherlands.

29-07-2011: Chemical composition of 12 groups of end-and by-products from livestock manure processing

Examples of chemical composition of 12 groups of end-and by-products from livestock manure processing are now available - click here.

12-06-2011: The third newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The third newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here.

17-02-2011: The second newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The second newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here.

21-11-2010: The first newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region'

The first newsletter about 'Innovative, agro-environmental technologies for sustainable food production in the Baltic Sea Region' is now available - click here.