Reducing nutrient leaching to the Baltic Sea by improving nutrient use efficiency
Time: 4/1/2014 – 6/30/2020
Agrimarket is the largest chain for agriculture-related, machinery, hardware and gardening trade in Finland. Agrimarket strongly believes that good crop yields and being environmentally friendly can be achieved at the same time.
Agrimarket´s Commitment focuses on encouraging Agrimarket´s contract farmers to determine the nutrient balances of their fields and to improve the balances as necessary.
Nutrient balance is a calculation tool to keep track of the nutrient flows on the farm, and the key for improved nutrient use efficiency and reduced risk of nutrient losses on the farm. The nutrient balance informs farmers about the degree of nutrient utilization and helps the farmers to identify the risk of nutrient leaching and other nutrient losses from the field and the whole farm.
• To improve nutrient balance of all contract farms and to help in the development work within the next five years. The target is to harvest 2 000 000 kilograms more nitrogen (N) and 500 000 kilograms more phosphorus (P) in the yield during the next five years compared to the current situation.
• To improve nutrient use efficiency by all possible means.
• To improve the image of farming and farmers and to motivate farmers in a positive way to take part in saving the Baltic Sea
1. Nutrient balance calculation
• Agrimarket encourages farmers to calculate their nutrient balance yearly. This is done by providing the needed IT solutions, encouraging farmers through direct communications and training Agrimarket´s own personnel.
• Agrimarket provides farmers the analysis of phosphorus and nitrogen balance and for the total yield
• Plant species included in the Commitment program: 2014 barley and spring wheat, 2015 oat is included and 2016 possibly autumn wheat
2. Farm analysis and development plan
Based on the P and N nutrient balances and yield results the farmer analyses his working methods and the farm´s overall situation and makes a plan how to improve the nutrient balances and yield. If needed Agrimarket helps farmers to make the plan and to execute it. The plan focuses on improving three major issues:
• Correct nutrient balance in the soil in order to produce good yield
• Responsible prevention of plant diseases
• Improving soil condition