Significant opportunities for nutrient recycling as well as decreasing nutrient losses to the Baltic Sea can be achieved through effective manure management, the topic of the 2-day starting today in Vantaa, Finland.National standards for manure would be the basis for smart nutrient management in agriculture and also for reducing nutrient losses in the region. Photo: Helena Rosenlew.The aim of the workshop, organized by HELCOM and the Ministry of the Environment and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), is to help further develop national standards for manure and also put them in practice. This is much needed as such national system for nutrient content in manure will be the basis for smart nutrient management in agriculture and also for reducing nutrient losses in the region. Developing national standards for manure, as well as recommendations on using such standard, were among the key targets set in the 2013 HELCOM Ministerial for regional work on agriculture.Creating a system of manure standards, as in evaluating the nutrient content values of different types of manure, is an opportunity to unify understanding on manure quality and thus build a joint basis for manure management and fertilizer use. Examples of national manure standards already exist in some Baltic Sea countries. The workshop participants – representatives of agricultural and environmental authorities and research organizations in the Baltic Sea countries; as well as HELCOM Observers – share their national experiences and work together to find the next steps towards developing guidelines for the use of national manure standards. * * * Note for editorsThe HELCOM Group on Sustainable Agricultural Practices () deals with agriculture in relation to the implementation of the ecosystem-based approach and involves representatives from agriculture and environment authorities of the Baltic Sea countries, as well as EU, and HELCOM Observers. The group provides a platform for agri-environmental policy measures and instruments and joint discussion on the Baltic agriculture in the context of the protection of the marine environment, in order to address nutrient inputs and emissions from agriculture.The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * * For more information, please contact:Susanna Kaasinen Agri-Environment Coordinator HELCOM Tel: +358 40 536 5819 Skype: helcom85 E-mail: susanna.kaasinen(at)helcom.fiJohanna Laurila Information Secretary HELCOM Tel: +358 40 523 8988 Skype: helcom70 E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)helcom.fi
National standards for manure are the focus of the 2-day workshop, as it is the basis for smart nutrient management in agriculture and also for reducing nutrient losses in the region.