Nitrogen management and precision farming
Organisation: Yara International ASA
Time: 1/1/2013 – 12/31/2016
Yara is committed to support the Baltic Deal demofarm network (www.balticdeal.eu/farms) by communicating and further develop best agricultural practices, with special focus on resource efficient fertilizer use. The key areas will be nitrogen management and precision farming. These are thematic areas were Yara’s competence and precision farming tools can help develop agriculture around the Baltic Sea towards highest possible nitrogen efficiency.
*Yaras concrete commitment
Yara will lend 2-4 Yara N-Sensors for the disposal of Baltic Deal partners. Yara will in co-operation with the Baltic Deal project organize and finance network meetings between demofarm groups across national borders in the Baltic Sea Region. The commitment period will be 2 years, 2013-2014, with an option to continue thereafter.
*Nitrogen management and precision farming
Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for plants growth. Nitrogen is important to create vegetative growth, a large leaf area capturing sunlight powering photosynthesis and building energy into the crop. Nitrogen is also essential to build amino acids and proteins essential for humans and animals. Suboptimal nitrogen supply results in lower yields and often also in a lower quality of the yield. Excessive use results in leaching to rivers and ground water, and further on to the Baltic Sea. Leached nitrogen may cause eutrophication, and eventually result in dead sea bottoms and other environmental problems.
The challenge for farmers and society are to combine high agricultural productivity with an acceptable environmental impact. The Baltic Sea region needs a competitive, profitable and productive agricultural sector. Higher productivity per hectare of arable land in the area will reduce the need to import and therefore help preserve the environment by not turning forests and other virgin land into agricultural land in other parts of the world. It is further likely that agriculture in the Baltic Sea region will become even more important because of climate change effects.
Efficient nutrient management is fundamental to combine productive, profitable agriculture with environmentally sustainable agriculture. Resource efficient agriculture uses recycled nutrients in an optimal way and then adds mineral fertilizers to reach optimal yields. Management of mineral fertilizers includes choice of right product, applied at right time and in right amount. Yara has developed several new innovations that work as fertilizer precision farming tools such as Yara N-Sensor, Yara N-Tester and ImageIT. These tools are proven to improve resource efficiency both in trials and in practical farm use. Higher yield, lower fertilizer application rates, more even quality and reduced risk of lodging are some of the benefits.
*Baltic Deal and its 118 demofarms
Baltic Deal is a prominent flagship project within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region initiated by farmer organisations around the Baltic Sea. It has partners in Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Denmark. All partners are either advisory organisations or farmers organisations. Baltic Deal has established a network with 118 demo farms distributed in mentioned countries. These farms are used to disseminate and to develop best agricultural practises, measures and investments with a target to combine high agricultural productivity with lowered environmental impact, in particular when it concerns nutrient losses. Despite not having a partner in the Baltic Deal project, Yara will include Germany in the scope of the commitment.
The Baltic Sea region has approx. 25 million hectares of arable land and 85 million inhabitants. To reach such a major region it is essential with co-operation between countries and organisations. Baltic Deal is an ideal co-operation partner for Yara, as it gives the opportunity to reach a network with 118 demo farms and through its demonstration activities also a lot more farmers in all countries.