Yara active for a cleaner Baltic Sea
Oslo, October 04, 2012
The Baltic Sea is badly polluted due to eutrophication caused by too high levels of phosphorus and nitrogen. Half of the nutrient load is caused by agriculture and there is an urgent need for measures to lower nutrient run off to the sea.
Committed to sustainable agriculture, Yara has since 2010 engaged in a dialogue with decision makers and NGOs at both European Union and national levels.
Decreasing leakage of nutrients by restrictions in agriculture would lead to a substantial reduction in agricultural productivity. Through an active approach Yara has proved that there are solutions to maintain agricultural productivity and reduce leakages to the Baltic Sea.
“There are 85 million people living around the Baltic Sea who need food and this region should be able to produce its own. Our main commitment is to help farmers and society continue producing food in an effective and sustainable way, without harming the environment,” says Mogens Erlingson, the leader of Yara's Baltic Sea project.
Best farming practices and practical solutions
In 2010, Yara´s P-Trap research project was launched. Using gypsum to trap phosphorus on the field, Yara has developed a solution which significantly reduces leakages into waterways, one of the major environmental challenges around the Baltic Sea. Field trials in Finland have documented a 60% reduction in phosphorus losses.
Yara has also developed different solutions for increasing precision farming, such as the Yara N-Sensor. This tool indicates the amount of nitrogen plants need, adjusting nitrogen fertilizer rates during field application.
Yara also promotes the use of mineral fertilizers with the lowest carbon footprint based on a Life Cycle Approach (LCA). All Yara-produced fertilizers sold in the Baltic Sea region meet our guarantee criteria of less than 3.6 kg CO2-equivalents per kilo Nitrogen.
"We needed to communicate that the nutrient load in the Baltic Sea can be decreased while maintaining high agricultural productivity. This can be done through best farming practices and practical solutions such as the Yara N-Sensor, the P-trap, Megalab services and a product portfolio adapted to the needs of crops grown on soils around the Baltic Sea," explains senior advisor Heikki Sirviö.
Yara's solutions have been presented at a number of Baltic Sea conferences, to NGOs as well as EU and national decision makers. “The EU has adopted many of our arguments on resource efficiency. Recently, the Baltic Deal flagship project, which aims at putting best agricultural practices into work, has listed the Yara N-Sensor and the P-Trap as 'Good agricultural practices' (www.balticdeal.eu)," says Mogens Erlingson.
Get knowing Yara´s opinion about EU Baltic Sea Strategy and other important topics here: