Farmer attitudes and potential barriers to the use of new organic fertilisers (Danish survey)

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1 Farmer attitudes and potential barriers to the use of new organic fertilisers (Danish survey) Sean Case Myles Oelofse, Yong Hou, Oene Oenema, Lars Stoumann Jensen

2 Overview 1. Context 2. Farmer survey design 3. Survey results 4. Conclusions

3 Context Excess nutrients from fertilisation in soil Increasing organic waste production across Europe Increasing policy pressure to recycle waste Processing technologies not widely used Total mineral and manure nitrogen application (European Commission Joint Research Centre 2006)

4 Context Farmers need to: a) use organic waste as a fertiliser directly, b) process or use already processed waste as a fertiliser, c) transport organic waste somewhere else What are farmers plans for organic fertiliser use?

5 Survey design and collecting responses Slide 5

6 Questions for farmers Do farmers currently use organic fertilisers? (unprocessed or processed manure, urban organic waste products) Do they plan to use more in future (three years)? What are the barriers to their use of organic fertilisers? What properties should an ideal organic fertiliser have?

7 Organic fertilisers considered Unprocessed manure Raw slurry Animal urine Raw solid manure Processed manure Mechanically separated slurry Solid/liquid Anaerobicallydigested (AD) slurry Composted or thermally-dried (TD) manure/slurry Acidified slurry Urban organic waste Biocompost from municipal solid waste Raw/dewatered sewage sludge Processed sewage sludge (composted, AD or TD) Mineral concentrate e.g. struvite Slide 7

8 Cross-country study Ireland farmer association not interested 0 Netherlands farmer newsletter < 50 Portugal workshops, sent to farmer associations < 50 Spain pig farmer s workshop, further interviews < 50 Denmark letters to farmers / online ~450 Italy agri machinery and dairy cattle fair + farmer visits 80

9 Paper-based survey Sean Case 4 x A4 pages minutes to complete Cover letter with URL / QR code for online survey

10 Online survey Sean Case (English version) online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/reusewaste products 23 of 446 respondents chose this option

11 Farmer selection Farmers from 2011 Danish annual fertiliser reports (over 40,000 records) >10 ha agricultural land 1800 farmers randomly selected Addresses / business numbers (CVR) checked 1585 farmers remained (checked if representative of farmer population) Slide 11

12 Responses Number of responses by 24/05/ letters sent 423 letter responses, 23 online ~28% response rate Slide 12

13 Comparing responses with national statistics land use Slide 13

14 What is the main farming activity on your farm? Sean Case Crops Field crops Perennial Horticulture green house Horticulture (outdoor) Pigs 2.7% 0.6% 1.0% 6.3% 62.0% Animal husbandry Poultry (and eggs) Dairy Cattle (beef) Other grazing 1.5% 1.0% 11.6% 8.8% Other (including fur) 4.6% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Percentage of farmers Slide 14

15 Primary farming activity Danish Government farm statistics 2014 Primary land use from respondents Sean Case Crops Animal husbandry Field crops Perennial Horticulture green house Horticulture (outdoor) Pigs Poultry (and eggs) Dairy Cattle (beef) Other grazing Other (including fur) 0.6% 2.7% 1.3% 0.6% 1.2% 1.0% 6.5% 6.3% 0.6% 1.5% 8.8% 11.6% 10.4% 8.8% 9.1% 1.0% 13.3% 4.6% 48.2% 62.0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% Slide 15 Need to investigate other and field crops

16 Results - Organic fertiliser use today Slide 16

17 Number of times answered Number of times answered Do you currently use organic fertilisers? Unprocessed manure 289 Yes Slide No Yes Processed manure 80 Yes 346 No 119 No Urban organic waste 36 Yes 392 No Sean Case Little interest in urban organic waste

18 Size of farm in hectares Sean Case Organic fertiliser use increases with farm size Use Don't use % > % 69% 83% 85% Slide 18 0% 50% 100% Percentage of respondents

19 Results Interest in organic fertiliser use three years from now Slide 19

20 Number of times answered Sean Case Interest in organic fertiliser three years from now % of respondents interested in using an organic fertiliser Interested and it is available Interested but not available 64 Not interested / don't know 43 Blank Over 35% interested in a fertiliser that is not available Slide 20

21 Number of times answered Sean Case Interest in organic fertiliser three years from now Generally, farmers expect to use the same amount of fertiliser as today Same for farmers who do or do not use organic fertiliser today Less The same More Blank Relative amount of organic fertiliser use Slide 21

22 Barriers to organic fertiliser use Please rank the three most important barriers to the use of organic fertilisers on your farm Slide 22

23 Most important barriers to using organic fertilisers Sean Case Most important barriers More difficult to plan for organic fertiliser use than for mineral fertiliser Uncertainty in nitrogen, phosphorous or potassium content Machinery to produce/handle organic fertilisers is expensive Significant odour nuisance for neighbours Rank Farmers who do not use organic fertilisers today also see risk of environmental pollution as an important barrier Difficult to handle and/or spread Slide organic 23 fertilisers 5

24 Least important barriers to using organic fertilisers Least important barriers Difficult to get permits to use organic fertilisers Sean Case Rank 10 Similar responses for farmers who currently do and do not use organic fertilisers today Forbidden to use organic fertilisers when most needed Organic fertilisers are not easily available Lack of subsidy from Government 13 Lack of expert advice to help with organic fertiliser use 14 Slide 24

25 Most important properties of an ideal organic fertiliser Rank the three most important properties of an ideal organic fertiliser that you would consider using on your farm Slide 25

26 Most important properties of an ideal organic fertiliser Most important properties Organic fertiliser improves soil structure Rank 1 Low cost to buy/produce (e.g. own animal manure ) Certainty in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium content Little environmental pollution Availability of fertiliser is also important for those who don t use organic fertiliser. Organic fertiliser is easy to handle and/or spread 5 Slide 26

27 Least important properties of an ideal organic fertiliser Similar responses for farmers who do or do not use organic fertilisers today Least important properties Easy (or not required) to acquire permit for use of organic fertiliser Expert advice is available to help with optimal use Rank Government subsidy available 12 Organic fertiliser you buy has an official quality certification Machinery to produce/handle organic fertiliser is inexpensive or I already have it Slide 27

28 Conclusions (fertiliser use and expectation) ~70% farmers use at least one organic fertiliser 35% of farmers interested in a fertiliser not currently available (especially unprocessed or processed manures) Low interest in urban organic waste fertilisers Farmers expect to use same amount of organic fertiliser in 3 years as today Slide 28 Unprocessed manure Raw slurry Animal urine Raw solid manure Processed manure Mechanically separated slurry Solid/liquid Anaerobically-digested (AD) slurry Composted or thermally-dried (TD) manure/slurry Acidified slurry Urban organic waste Biocompost from municipal solid waste Sewage sludge raw/dewatered Processed sewage sludge (composted, AD or TD) Mineral concentrate e.g. struvite

29 Conclusions (Barriers and ideal properties) Uncertainty in nutrient content, difficulty / cost of use and odour are barriers to use of organic fertiliser As well as solutions to the above barriers, improvements to soil structure, ease of availability, and minimal/no environmental pollution are desirable properties of fertilisers Perceived barriers and ideal properties similar for those who do and do not use organic fertilisers today Slide 29

30 Treatment technology survey Second survey - Wageningen University (Yong Hou) Opinions of those with experience of processing technology: industry, agricultural advisors, farmers, researchers What are the most promising organic waste processing technologies? Why? Slide 30

31 Thank you for your attention! Sean Case

32 References European Commission Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Rural, Water and Ecosystem Resources Unit, An Atlas of Pan-European Data for Investigating the Fate of Agrochemicals in Terrestrial Ecosystems (No. EUR-22334). Slide 32

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