Viewpoints

Viewpoints is a blog in which different writers express their views and opinions on current topics. A new blog post is published about once every four weeks.

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Pieta Jarva: The Baltic Sea benefits from nutrient measurement

Pieta Jarva | 08.12.2016

K-maatalous Experimental Farm striding towards circular economy

The Baltic Sea, the Finns’ local sea, is a unique ecosystem that has been under an enormous burden for a long time already. Eutrophication resulting from nutrient inputs and internal stress coupled with the accumulation of hazardous substances in the sea are the key problems which the Baltic Sea Action Group foundation is trying to solve. Like so often, actions to solve these problems need to be taken at different levels of the society.

The BSAG’s Baltic Sea commitments provide businesses and public entities a channel for taking responsibility for improving the condition of the Baltic Sea. At the same time, there is also often a connection with climate work– when intertwined problems are solved, impact on one also has an impact on the other. The range of methods is also often the same.

Early this year, K-maatalous Experimental Farm made a Baltic Sea commitment with the purpose of developing soil condition, soil water and nutrient usage measurement practices and technology. The Experimental farm at Hauho is testing the suitability of new measurement technology for practical farming.

Effective measurement methods promote sustainable agriculture as cultivation investments can be optimised according to crop targets and use, soil potential and the requirements of plant varieties. Good soil condition and appropriate fertilization, as well as transforming nutrients to good crops are important profitability factors for farmers. Properly treated soil also sequesters carbon to soil and thus fights the climate change.

The reduction of nutrient leakages is obviously essential for marine welfare. It is achieved by preserving the cycling and utilisation of nutrients and by using them when necessary and in a sustainable manner.

A direction towards a society that recycles nutrients and uses them sensibly has already been taken from a wider perspective. Proof of which the targets set in the current Government Programme concerning the recovery of nutrients especially in areas sensitive for the Baltic Sea and water bodies, so that at least 50% of manure and urban waste water sludge are processed and recycled by 2025. At the EU level, the same can be seen in the circular economy package published early this year. The first action resulting from it is the amendment to the fertilizer regulation which opens the internal market to recycled nutrient products.

The creation of a systemic change like this towards a society that uses nutrients sustainably requires knowledge, examples and practical solutions, such as the new measurement methods and equipment now being tested at K-maatalous Experimental Farm. Step by step, or even stride by stride, in the right direction!

Pieta Jarva
Baltic Sea Action Group

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