Farmers of Luga region are concerned about utilization of animal waste

The presentation of the brochure “How to use dung without losses for the farmer and the environment” was held on March 28 in the town of Luga at a meeting with the heads of small farms of  Luga district. Friends of the Baltic were invited to speak and tell farmers about the problems of rivers pollution with agricultural loads and good solutions for animal waste management.

Friends of the Baltic were invited to speak and tell farmers about the problems of pollution of rivers and other water bodies with agricultural run-off and about good solutions for handling animal waste. Farmers agreed that manure and droppings are the same animal product as eggs, milk or meat. The volumes of manure and litter formation are impressive - according to scientists' estimates, 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 to estimates of the Institute of Agroengineering and Environmental Problems of Agricultural Production, the economic damage from the non-use of manure and litter is 165 billion rubles a year.

Participants discussed examples of animal waste management in Russia, as well as the experience of neighboring countries: Estonia and Finland. The most controversial issue was the production of biogas from animal waste: is it possible and profitable is such production in Russia?

Farmers and environmentalists discussed which methods of waste management can be considered friendly to nature - and which methods can be used in large livestock farms and small farms.

Among the events discussed are: conditions for keeping animals (density and litter), rules for storing manure (hermetic manure storage), requirements for applying to fields (meeting deadlines and timely plowing), using crop rotation for adjusting nitrogen and phosphorus in soil, creating buffer zones between fields and reservoirs. The use of these measures will limit the loss of beneficial substances, contribute to the protection of waters from pollution and will bring economic benefits to farmers.

The acting head of the department of the agro-industrial complex of the Luga region said that from year to year the number of large and small agricultural enterprises in the region is growing. In 2018, 21 agricultural enterprises and 7 enterprises processing agricultural products are registered in the 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. Issues of proper management and waste disposal are becoming increasingly important every year.