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Parallel Session F – University of Copenhagen

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Parallel Session F

Isabelle Vermander; DLV; INEMAD: Organic fertilizer transport across borders : transparency in legislations

Sean Case; University of Copenhagen; ReUseWaste: Farmer attitudes and potential barriers to the use of new organic fertilisers


Jeroen Buysse; Ghent University; INEMAD: Policy options to improve nutrient recycling

Rapporteurs Report

Organic fertilizers transport across borders (Isabelle Vermander): The main goal was to create transparency for transporters/exporters/importers at regional and international level within EU. It is expected that there is an increased transparency in regulations for organic fertilizer transports in EU especially in intensive livestock areas. Clarification of related transport regulations within EU between member borders is also required.

Farmer attitudes and potential barriers to the use of new organic fertilizers (Sean Case): The study consisted of a survey to Danish farmers about their intention of using unprocessed manure (raw slurry, animal urine and raw solid manure), processed manure and domestic biowaste. Results showed that 307 farmers replied “yes” to currently using organic fertilizers (majority used unprocessed manure, very few used urban organic waste). It was observed that organic fertilizer usage increased with farm size. Moreover, 88% farmers were interested in using an organic fertilizer (three years from now) and most of the farmers are using the same amount of fertilizers three years from now. In conclusion, 70% of farmers are using some kind of organic fertilizer but 35% interested in using non available fertilizers (especially processed or unprocessed manure, mainly because transportation of manure is not allowed in Denmark for more than 25km far). In general, there is a low interest in urban fertilizers and concern about the uncertainty in nutrient content of organic fertilizers.

Farmers reasons to accept bio-based fertilizers: a choice experiment in 8 different European countries (Juan Tur Cardona): One of the main inconvenient on manure usage are mainly legislation constraints, as for price, sometimes it can be get even for free. Results showed that from 705 questionnaires mainly online (Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands, etc.), 555 responded. 40% were considered fake respondents and in general the response rate was low. There were 19 protesters who preferred finally using chemical fertilizers. Mainly farmers are concerned by volumes, N uncertainty and prices. Hygienisation is also a concern to farmers, the same for presence of organic carbon, fast or slow rate of release of nutrients and the different forms in which the manure is presented. In general, respondents prefer a product similar to chemical fertilizers, with same characteristics except for the presence of organic carbon.

Policy options to improve nutrient recycling (Jeroen Buysse): Minimum manure storage period, manure spreading time, ban on broad ban spreading, list of allowed technologies, obligation to process manure, etc. need to be regulated by legislation. Economic instruments intend to create monetary incentive to reduce pollution. To enhance use N in manure more efficiently, for example, N fertilizer tax (Austria, Finland and Sweden), below economic fertilizer standards (Denmark, Flanders on voluntary bases + subsidy) or post-harvest nitrite residues measurement (Flanders and France) have been created. The N fertilizer tax is simple and cheap to administer, in line with carbon tax, searching for an economic optimum. However, it does not work well because of the low price elasticity for fertilizer, no spatial implementation, etc. However, it seems that manure usage is not very affected by N tax a maybe to see an effect the tax should be much higher. There is a high incentive to use N on high value crops but lower on low value crops and this instrument is only successful if N use is monitored correctly. Other instrument such as nitrate residue measurements (applied in Flanders and France lately) intends to measure nitrite remaining at the top of the soil indicating that, a surplus of nitrogen would indicate overdose of nitrogen with potential leaching causing nitrate pollution of groundwater. As a conclusion, the intention is to obtain two policy targets and two policy instrument to improve nutrient recycling. This would help in reducing N leaching, tax N fertilizers, achieve a below economic optimum fertilization in combination with command and control.

Compiled by Ulf Rasfeld and Salud Camilleri-Rambau

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