The presentation of the brochure “How to use dung without losses for the farmer and the environment” was held on March 28 in Luga during the meeting of small farm heads of Luga district. Friends of the Baltic were invited to tell farmers about the problems of rivers pollution because of agricultural loads and good solutions for animal waste management.
Farmers agreed that manure are also animal product as eggs, milk or meat. The volumes of manure are impressive: scientists estimate, that 350 million tons of animal waste per year is produced in Russia! Less than a third of them are used, the rest is washed away or taken out of the farm, leading to losses for farmers and environmental pollution. According of Institute of Agroengineering and Environmental Problems of Agricultural Production, the economic damage from the non-use of manure is 165 billion rubles per year.
Participants discussed animal waste management in Russia, as well as the experience of neighboring countries: Estonia and Finland. The most interesting issue was biogas production perspectives from animal waste: is it possible and profitable in Russia?
Farmers and environmentalists discussed waste management methods that can be more friendly to nature - these methods can be used in large livestock farms and small farms.
There were discussed also: conditions for keeping animals (density and litter), rules for storing manure (hermetic manure storage), requirements for applying to fields (deadlines to do it), using crop rotation for adjusting nitrogen and phosphorus in soil, buffer zones between fields and water bodies. The use of these measures will limit the loss of nutrients, contribute to water protection and will bring economic benefits to farmers.
The acting head of the department of the agro-industrial complex of Luga region said that the number of agricultural enterprises in the region is growing from year to year. In 2018, 21 agricultural enterprises and 7 enterprises processing agricultural products are registered in Luga region. The number of animals is rapidly increasing. In 2018, there are 963 heads of cattle in the region, 46 794 birds, 2 551 rabbits, 1,247 sheeps, 400 goats. Manure management issues are increasingly important.