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Organe Institute organised within the frames of IoF2020 an international webinar with the abovementioned title in cooperation with Training and Research Centre Futterkamp of the Agricultural Chamber of Schleswig-Holstein. The webinar enjoyed an overwhelming interest. About 230 people from 36 countries, representing dairy farmers, premix companies, research, consultants (including dairy farm advisers, veterinarians, management consultants, sales advisers,...), feed additive companies, technology providers, education, authorities, media and service providers had on beforehand registered for the event. The material from the webinar is here:

Detailled programme

Introduction

  1. The challenges of the transition cow, with focus on negative energy, mineral and protein balance. Ole Lamp, Futterkamp.
  2. Composition of cost-effective supplements for transition cows, and their optimisation for precision supplementation. Jesper Madsen, Vilomix.
  3. Short video to introduce the background and explaining about precision supplementation, featuring Gerrit Arendse, Hof Arendse-Peters GbR and Henning Lyngsø Foged, Organe Institute.
  4. Formulating Ruminant Health: The role and effects of rumen protected amino acids and choline. Angela Schröder, KEMIN Europa NV.
  5. Novel Feed Ingredient Bovaer® (3-NOP) Enables Significant Reduction of Methane Emissions from Ruminants. Christer Ohlsson, DSM.
  6. Health-related results from practical testing of precision supplementation. Rimantas Stakauskas, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences.
  7. ARLA’s current and future demands to suppliers in relation to animal welfare and climate footprint. Peter Stamp Enemark, ARLA.
  8. Productivity results from practical testing of precision supplementation. Ole Lamp, Futterkamp.
  9. Impacts and perspectives of Automated Precision Supplementation, including relation to Farm-to-Fork strategies and UN’s Global Sustainability Development Goals. Henning Lyngsø Foged, Organe Institute.
Recording of the entire webinar

Survey results
The SuMaNu Platform has with consideration to policy recommendations from current and finalised Baltic Sea Region projects in the area of sustainable manure and nutrient management, updated to the current policy context, synthesized some new, overarching policy recommendations, which are found at https://balticsumanu.eu/about-the-project/reports/ under Drafts for forthcoming SuMaNu Policy Recommendations. Danish comments were collected from an organised online roundtable event on 26 November 2020 for invited participants, representing NGO's, authorities, administration, farm advisory and research. The following material (in Danish) was presented for the roundtable:

Danish comments are alone given to SuMaNu's recommendation for Phosphorus fertilization planning measures, which in a Danish context probably is the most relevant of SuMaNu's recommendations. Click here to read the Danish comments as well as other information about the roundtable (the document is in Danish with an English translation of the comments):

The EAAP 2020 virtual Annual Meeting had several sessions about precision livestock farming, which also included two presentations about Precision Mineral Supplementation. The concept and perspectives of Precision Mineral Supplementation deals with a smart farming system for econmic and practical use of minerals and vitamins, amino acids, and other feed additives - see the presentation here:


The impacts on dairy cow performance are especially seen on the cow health, measured as number of disease event that require veterinarian involvement, but also on milk quality, reproduction and culling rate. See the presentation here:

 

The effects of the Pitstop+ concept for Precision Mineral Supplementation was analysed on basis of registrations from six testbeds in Germany, Latvia, Lithuania and Denmark with a total of about 2,700 dairy cows:

  • In a 12-month period starting August / September 2019, every other cow that calved was given access to eat extra mineral supplements from Pitstop+ feeders during the critical transition period, typically from 21 prepartum to 98 days postpartum.
  • The access to extra mineral feed supplements for prepartum cows was inconsistent, among other because one herd graze their dry cows during the summertime, and the possibility to give access for pregnant heifers and dry cows was due to the housing not possible in all herds.
  • The mineral feed supplements used in the Danish, Latvian and Lithuanian testbeds were 'Pitstop+ ProMais StartLact', that are produced by Vilomix. 'Pitstop+ ProMais StartLact' had a content of the amylase RONOZYME® RumiStar™, which in scientific trials has shown productivity effects of 1.2 - 1.5 kg ECM per cow per day, during the entire lactation, even despite the use due to approval conditions were was limited to the period from calving until 98 days postpartum. The used minerals in the German testbed, 'Milkinal® 8339 Pitstop+' is delivered by Milkivit / Trouw Nutrition Germany. In addition, the German testbed had for a limited part of the transition period used a product containing Rumen Protected Choline (RPC), delivered by Salvana. RPC has in other research proven effects on preventing ketosis in clinical and subclinical forms, and in general boosted the metabolism of the transition cow.
  • The Danish testbed had since mid April 2020 also tested the use of Metabolic Booster from Vilomix, containing Rumen Protected Choline (RPC). An important aim of this testing was, in combination with the German testbed using teh same practice, to evaluate the taste and flowability of RPC products, as well as testing the operations of the Pitstop+ system with two types of mineral feed supplements for each cow group. The experiences were very good and gives perspective for replacing laborious, conventional use of orally and manually administered liquid propylene glycole with dry RPC products.
  • In general, the used mineral feed supplements contained a wide range of high-available micro minerals and vitamins, and advanced feed additives. The mineral mixtures were designed for having a good taste and flowability.
  • The results can be listed as follows:
    • The test cows have 25% fewer disease treatments involving a veterinarian , which exceeds our expectations. The result is calculated on the basis of 1,367 cows and is supported by the other positive effects on health, including cell counts and culled cows.
    • The somatic cell count is on average 15% lower for the test cows , corresponding to 45,000 fewer cells per ml.
    • Test cows have 3% less risk of dying.
    • The number of inseminations per pregnancy is 0.07 lower for the test cows , corresponding to 4% lower, and there is a corresponding positive effect on the number of non-started cows and on the number of empty days.
    • There is a positive correlation between milk yield and the cows' uptake of extra minerals , which is shown in the following figure, probably mostly due to the minerals' influence on the cows' health. Herds with a small extra uptake of minerals have apparently had a negative impact on milk yields, which is not logical and is probably due to an unequal distribution of the cows on test and control groups. The test cows have eaten an average of 4.7 kg of mineral feed extra during the critical transition period , but due to the way the testing proceeded there are large differences between the herds. There is a clear positive correlation between the cows
  • The analysed effects were achieved despite several challenges and conditions that counteracted positive effects. For example, it was not an option to adjust the mineral allocation via the TMR ration down to the norms during the testing period, there were several examples of delayed deliveries of both electronic ear tags and mineral feeds, there were examples of power outages, problems with the flowability of the first supplied mineral supplements in Germany, and problems with the technical quality of the first prototypes, which in the course of the test had all components replaced, except the protective bar around the feeders.

The feed intake during the critical transition period is on average about 20% lower than the need of the cow, which means that cows with their feed ration typically have an undersupply of 50-70 gram of mineral feed supplements per cow per day in average over the about 120 days long critical transition period. It was on beforehand expected that Precision Mineral Supplementation would have positive effects by supplementing the small body stores of micro-minerals of importance for the transition cow's immune status and thus for its health, fertility and productivity. The test results confirms the expectation to positive effects of Precision Mineral Supplementation.

The testing of Precision Mineral Supplementation happened within the frames of the Internet of Food and Farm 2020 mega-project.

In 2020, the Climate Partnership for the Food and Agriculture Sector published a report in which in-house acidification is proposed as one of the measures the sector recommends for achieving the government's goal of a 70% reduction of CO2e emissions until 2030. Specifically, the proposal is to acidify an additional 32 % and 38 % of slurries from sows and piglets and a further 12 % of the cattle slurry.

JH Agro A/S, who produce in-house acidification systems, has asked Organe Institute for a second opinion regarding the effects of the outlined use of in-house acidification.

The assessment is that the proposed use of in-house acidification will have a total positive value of DKK 1,401 (€ 188) per tonne of CO2e, covering a positive value for the society of DKK 1,848 (€ 248) per tonne of CO2e and a negative value for the agricultural sector of DKK 447 (€ 60) per tonne of CO2e. For the agricultural sector, the net expenditure corresponds to an expenditure per tonne of slurry of DKK 13.74 (€ 1.84).

The climate effect includes a total net reduction of almost 186,000 tonnes of CO2e annually. With an estimated average value until 2030 of DKK 469 (app. € 63) per tonne of CO2e, the climate effect has a value for the society of DKK 87 million (M€ 11.7) per year. Societal benefits of in-house acidification also include cleaner air and cleaner water. Ammonia emissions will be reduced by 4.0 Kt, and the aquatic environment saved 2,257 tonnes of nitrogen. These things together have a societal value of 225 million DKK (M€ 30.2) per year, the majority of which relates to savings in the health care sector, including sick days and hospitalizations.

For the agricultural sector, the proposed use of in-house acidification means additional costs for the purchase of sulfuric acid of DKK 45 million (M€ 6) annually, and extra fuel consumption of DKK 4.1 million (M€ 0.55) annually. On the other hand, the agricultural sector saves DKK 30 + 10 million (M€ 4 + 1.4) annually on purchase of nitrogen, respectively sulfur in the form of mineral fertilisers, DKK 1.1 million (M€ 0.15) for the purchase of starter fertiliser for maize, DKK 4.6 million (M€ 0.62) regarding the establishment of floating layers on slurry tanks, and DKK 4 million (M€ 0.54) for injection of slurry. Together with the financing costs, the annual net expenditure for the agricultural sector is almost DKK 76 million (M€ 10.2). All the mentioned figures excludes any potential subsidies.

This provides an overall overview of the significant effects of using in-house acidification to the extent proposed by the Climate Partnership for Food and Agriculture, and at the same time provides a clear basis for a possible political decision on a redistribution of the capitalised value of the effects between the agricultural sector and the society.

Apart from the report itself, an EXCEL file with the calculations behind the results that are presented in the report is made available. In the EXCEL file, each calulation has a clear literature reference to the used assumptions. In this way, the calculations and thus the way the results are produced, are completely transparent. The EXCEL model is unlocked, and may be used for estimation of other scenarios.

In an ideal world, project results and recommendations are integrated into the policy framework and followed by end users. This is also the case for projects about manure and nutrient managmenet.

We have made a gap analysis as part of the SuMaNu thematic platform (Sustainable Manure and Nutrient Management for reduction of nutrient loss in the Baltic Sea Region; www.balticsumanu.eu).

The analysis shows large gaps between envisaged and realised impacts of manure and nutrient related projects, more in some projects than others.

Read the report to better understand some simple principles for planning and implementing projects to gain impact and policy integration.

AgroTechnologyATLAS is for sharing validated information, data and tools about technologies for reducing the climate impact and environmental load of farming, including the organic material, livestock manure and biomass it is handling.

AgroTechnologyATLAS is now again maintained. Organe Institute takes up this challenge because there is a need for this international platform for sharing impartial and scientifically validated information.

The desciption of "In-house acidification" has just undergone a thorough revision and updating - you find it at this direct link https://www.agrotechnologyatlas.eu/techdescs?techgroup=300. The technology is currently in focus in Denmark, where the Government currently considers measures and ways for achieving a politically determined goal of a 70% GHG emission reduction until 2030.

Contact us if you represent research and wish to become content editor of AgroTechnologyATLAS.

This note provides a review of Danish policies on agricultural biogas production and status for their implementation.

As SuMaNu partner, Henning Lyngsø Foged gave a keynote speech on "Synthesizing best practices and technologies for nutrient recovery and circular economy in the Baltic Sea Region" at the ManuREsource 2019 conference, taking place in Hasselt, Belgium, on the 27-28 November 2019. The speech explained about the specific challenges with manure and nutrents in the Baltic Sea macro region, and presented five preliminary recommendations from the SuMaNu project.

As coordinator of Task 2.3 og SuMaNu concerning a gap analysis, we also presented a poster to explain about typical pitfalls leading to gaps between envisaged and realised project impacts.

Thanks to 365FarmNet Group KGaA mbH & Co KG for the opportunity to showcase our IoF2020 - Internet of Food & Farm use case on Precision Mineral Supplementation at Agritechnica 2019 in Hannover, Germany.

There is a strong indication of the angle of repose to be a good indicator for the flowability of dry mineral feed supplements.

Ensuring the practical applicability of Precision Mineral Supplementation within the frames of IoF2020 - Internet of Food & Farm require that the IoT technology is used with mineral feed supplements that freely flows to the dosing aggregates. We decided to make some measurements of the physical properties of mineral feed supplements as we have experienced large variations in the flowability of mineral feed supplements. We wanted to recommend a simple and indirect methods for estimating the flowability of dry mineral feed supplements. The description and results of our experiments appears from an article at ResearchGate.

Analysis of data records from the use of precision mineral supplementation in a Danish, TMR-fed Jersey herd through April 2019 is

  • evidencing a high motivation of transition dairy cows for eating extra mineral feed supplements, although this is provided from feeders in a raw form, not mixed into other feeds;
  • showing that the consumed amount of mineral feed supplements corresponds to the theoretically estimated gap between need and supply of a typical transition cow; and
  • stating that the relation between heat and dairy cow activity towards the feeders should be investigated further.

The experimental findings are based on a relatively small data set from alone one herd and alone one month, and although the results of the analyses are rather clear, they shuld be confirmed by similar and more in-depth analyses on larger datasets from more herds.

The analyses were made within the frames of Use Case 2.6 concerning Precision Mineral Supplementation under IoF2020 .

There is a high correlation between mineral supply, immune status, disease and welfare in dairy cows. We will increase the awareness of that and demonstrate how precision mineral supplementation can give us better climate and environment, and better welfare among dairy cows, while in the same time increase the competitiveness of dairy cattle production.

As UC2.6 coordinator, Organe Institute was given the opportunity to present our dairy Use Case termed Precision Mineral Supplementation for the other 115 partners from 22 countries at the IoF2020 Partner Event 2019 held in Prague in the days 7-8 March 2019.

The IoF2020 Use Case is based on Pitstop+ technology from MicroFeeder.

Slurry acidification technologies (SATs) have the potential to give a major lift to the economy and the environment in the Baltic Sea Region, and in the same time give substantial greenhouse gas emission reductions. Implementing the potential for use of SATs in the Baltic Sea Region countries would have a positive net economic effect of in total € 2.2 billion per year, to which come an estimated N abatement value of M€ 147 per year related to the aquatic environment, and positive healthcare sector effects in Russia and Belarus. For the entire region, the implementation of slurry acidification in accordance with the estimated, weighed potential of 234 million tonnes of slurry, would annually mean a reduced ammonia emission of 167.1 Kt, and as a result of this a reduced atmospheric N deposition of 56,000 – 91,000 tonnes. In addition, the greenhouse gas emission would be reduced with 1.5 Mt CO2e.

The benefit of using slurry acidification and the need for reducing ammonia emissions is different from country to country. The report recommends on basis of its analyses all EU Member States in the Region to establish expert groups for further analysing the impacts of slurry acidification and ways for its implementation. Belarus and Russia would due to their current policy framework not have the same clear benefit from using slurry acidification.

These are the main conclusions and recommendations of a Baltic Slurry Acidification-report intended for policy makers in ten main Baltic Sea Region countries. The report summarises societal policy objectives and international commitments related to slurry acidification, as well as the business goals of farmers. Country annexes outlines the strengths, opportunities, weaknesses and threats related to use of slurry acidification in the individual countries, based on results and conclusions of project activities.

The report is edited by Organe Institute as part of the Interreg Baltic co-funded Baltic Slurry Acidification-project.

A just released technical report is analysing the legal framework of slurry acidification technologioes (SATs) in the Baltic Sea Region countries.

The report is produced under coordination and review of Organe Institute as part of the Interreg Baltic co-funded Baltic Slurry Acidification-project.

The legal analysis concludes that only a few, and probably unintended legal barriers exists for use of slurry acidification in Sweden and Germany. All countries could give incentives in the form of equalising slurry acidification with requirements for solid cover on slurry tanks and slurry injection, or by organising earmarked subsidies for slurry acidification.

IoF2020 has approved Precision MIneral Supplementation as a new Use Case of the Internet of Food and Farming 2020 (IoF2020) project, which is financed under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement no. 731884.

The Use Case project runs for two years in 2019 and 2020. Organe Institute ApS is coordinator of the Use Case with Zemnieku Saeima, Lithuanian University of Health Sciences and Lehr- und Versuchszentrum Futterkamp under Landwirtschaftskammer Schleswig-Holstein as partners

An Information Seminar with the title "Solving the ammonia emission problem in the EU" was convened in the Copa-Cogeca Secretariat in Brussels on 26 November 2018.

With ammonia emissions on the rise and NEC targets lurking around the corner, measures to cut emissions are sorely needed. We therefore invited for the seminar to inform, how ammonia emissions from agriculture could be reduced through slurry acidification – an EU-approved Best Available Technique (BAT) that benefits both the farmer and the environment, cutting emissions by 40 to 64 percent and increasing the fertiliser value of slurry.

The seminar included our presentation on "The policy framework and potential to implement slurry acidification in Europe":

A slurry acidification policy roundtable policy discussion was organised at the premises of the Lithuanian Ministry of Agriculture on 7 November 2018 by our Baltic Slurry Acidification project partner, Lithuanian Agricultural Advisory Service. According our analyses of market and policy frameworks parametres, Lithuania is not among the countries with the highest need and potential for use of slurry acidification technologies. However, slurry acidification would due to social benefits have a positive impact on the Lithuanian economiy and we therefore recommend Lithuania to take measures to implement the use of SATs.

The Interreg Baltic-supported platform project SuMaNu, which is an abbreviation for "Sustainable manure and nutrient management for reduction of nutrient loss in the Baltic Sea Region" had a Kick-Off Meeting at the premises of the Helsinki Commission (HELCOM) in Helsinki in the days 23 and 24 October 2018. All project partners were present at the meeting as well as Interreg Baltic. The purpose of the Kick-Off included detailed planning of the project execution. A Press Release was issued to inform about the ambitions of the project platform.

We visited Håstrupgård ApS pig breeding farm, and asked Esben Graff about his experiences with in-house acidification, and you can see his answers in this short video (click above).

Danish Environmental Technology Association and Organe Institute organised on 4 September a four hour long roundtable discussion about possibilities and challenges in relation to slurry acidification and its impacts on climate change and air quality.

Brian H. Jacobsen from Copenhagen University and Henning Lyngsø Foged from Organe Institute gave presentations to introduce the subject. The participants had a lively discussion on basis of that.

Roundtable presentations and a memo is available here (all in Danish language):

SuMaNu, which is an abbreviation for the Interreg-Baltic co-funded platform project "Sustainable manure and nutrient management for reduction of nutrient loss in the Baltic Sea Region", has started with participation of Organe Institute.

Click to open a map and see the fields that have been given acidified slurry by use of the pilot investment installations under the Baltic Slurry Acidification project.

  •  Open the map 
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This feasibility study report describes the background, conditions, planning issues and expected environmental and economic impacts of seven pilot installations of slurry acidification technology equipment in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Sweden.

The seven investment projects have a total budget of M€ 1.3 and is expected to save the environment for about 100 tons nitrogen annually via avoided ammonia evaporation, and the subsequent reduced use of nitrogen mineral fertiliser. The consumed use of sulphuric acid will in all cases replace and save costs for purchase of sulphur mineral fertiliser.

The report aims at providing an impartial, professionally correct and scientifically based technical description of the implications of acidifying half of the slurry in Denmark in the current market and policy context.

The scenario will require investments of € 54 million in tripling the capacity and in addition give annual costs of approximately € 3.9 million. However, political air quality objectives regarding ammonia emissions would be met, emissions to the aquatic environment via atmospheric depositions would be reduced with an amount equivalent to current goals, and a significant contribution made to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The report is in Danish language with an English summary.

Press release (in Danish language):

The market potential for slurry acidification technologies in Baltic Sea Region countries is analysed on basis of nine parameters. The collected and analysed information about the nine parameters is to a large extent providing imperial knowledge that is not found in official records, and have required subjective estimation by project partners and their network. The report concludes that there is an unlocked potential for slurry acidification technologies in most of the Baltic Sea Region countries.

Today, there is a theoretical, weighed potential for SAT installations with a capacity to process 244.5 million tons slurry and other liquid manures in raw and processed form in the Baltic Sea Region. The potential corresponds to an estimated number of 5,252 in-house, 2,750 in-tank and 4,072 in-field SAT installations.

In practice, though, legal and financial incentives and impediments would be decisive for the dissemination of SATs.

Slurry acidification technologies were developed over the last 30 years by the Danish agro-environmental technology innovation environment, and five companies offers commercial solutions for in-house, in-storage and in-field systems. It is well documented through VERA verifications that slurry acidification has a significant reduction effect on ammonia emissions from stables, storages and fields. Less well-documented but unambiguous research results also show a significant effect on greenhouse gas emission reductions, both concerning methane and nitrous oxide. In addition, slurry acidification has a potential for giving positive synergies to biogas production, and accrues substantially to the society via impacts in relation to air quality. The convincing effects have caused EU deeming slurry acidification a compulsory "Best Available Technique" (BAT) in all EU Member States with effect from February 2017, ie. a technique that Member States may condition environmental permits of intensive livestock farms according the IED Directive. Slurry acidification is a key technology in relation to current policies and related objectives regarding ammonia, greenhouse gases, and emissions of nitrogen into the aquatic environment through the background load, although the latter effect is not credited to agriculture. Slurry acidification relates to policies on phasing out the use of fossil fuels, introducing phosphorus fertiliser norms, and expanding the capacity for anaerobic fermentation of manure. Against this background, the purpose of the workshop is to draw up a joint account of a scenario for an increased use of slurry acidification in Denmark, as the workshop involves representatives of the related innovation environment. The resulting report should be used as background material for the policy makers responsible for fulfillment of Danish policy objectives.

Air quality in the EU is generally progressing according a new report from the European Environment Agency. Our health depends on the quality of the air we breathe. The three largest sources of air pollution are emissions from the transport sector, chimney smoke from combustion in the energy sector and ammonia emissions from farming. After a significant decline from 1990 to 2005, ammonia emissions from farming increased ever since in the Baltic Sea region, where all countries have to reduce emissions to meet their political objectives. The poor air quality is for especially Germany, Poland and Denmark causing high social costs for healthcare according European Science Foundation.

Slurry acidification technologies (SATs) can reduce ammonia emissions from livestock houses, slurry storage tanks and from field application of slurry with 40-70%, depending on the SAT used. SATs are thus efficient in relation to political committments in countries of the Baltic Sea Region as well as in the rest of the EU in relation to the air quality, keeping in mind that agriculture is the source of 93% of all ammonia emissions.

We have in the Interreg Baltic co-funded "Baltic Slurry Acidification"-project issued a policy brief that outlines the potential benefits of SATs, seen from the perspective of the society, farmers and biogas plants.

A delegation of 14 persons from six countries in the Baltic Sea Region, all participants in the Interreg Baltic co-funded project 'Baltic Slurry Acidification', visited Denmark from 18-20 May 2016 to study Slurry Acidification Technologies (SAT) in practice. The delegation visited four Danish suppliers, HARSØ, JH Agro, Kyndestof and BioCover and studied their slurry acidification equipment. Information about Ørum Smedens equipent was also given to the participants. Out of 17 partners in the 'Baltic Slurry Acidification' project, seven partners has a budget for making an investment in SAT in order to demonstrate and test it at own premises in their home countris, and the study visit helped them to clarify, which SAT that best fit their situation. The tour was organised and conducted by Organe Institute ApS. The photo is from BioCover's part of the programme and taken during a visit to Rønshauge, a Danish pig breeding farm.