FAirWAY: Joint project farm manure management Lower Saxony (1/2)
In the German Federal State Lower Saxony agriculture has a key role. In the past, all farms used to keep animals and their manure was used to fertilise the crops. When synthetic mineral fertilizers were invented, farms started to become more specialised. On the fertile soils in the southeast mainly intensive cropping is practiced. Cereals, rapeseed, sugar beets and potatoes are the most important crops. In the west, soils are more sandy and less fertile. Many farms keep pigs or poultry or maintain biogas plants. Feed cereals are mainly purchased from the arable farming region or imported from overseas since seaports are located closeby. The nutrients contained in slurry and manure are applied on the field in the west. This improves soil fertility, however, very high amounts pollute water and air. One attempt to mitigate the problem is the 'Joint project farm manure management'. It investigates, which share of the farm manure accumulating in the west can be transported to the southeast in an environmentally-sound way, to substitute mineral fertilizers and close the nutrient cycle on a supraregional scale. But what do farmers in the southeast think about this idea?