According to the Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke), approximately seven per cent of all farms exported manure outside the farm in 2016. This figure is at the same level as in the previous statistics from 2010. Nearly five per cent of all farms use processing methods that change the properties of manure. These results are in line with the preliminary data published in November.
The number of domestic animal farms is decreasing, while their size is increasing. As a result, many domestic animal farms have more manure than they need. Plant production farms are able to reduce their fertilizer costs by using manure imported from animal farms. Manure imported by organic farms, in particular, has a significant impact on the fertility of soil and the yield potential, as the use of inorganic fertilizers is not possible.
Manure was the most commonly exported from pig and poultry farms. Half of these farms exported a total of 780 million kilos of manure during 2016. A significantly lower portion of dairy cattle farms exported manure, while the volume of exported manure was the highest, 670 million kilos, when examined by production line.
The majority of exported manure comprises liquid manure
The export of solid manure and liquid manure was equally common, while the volume of exported liquid manure was many times higher than that of solid manure. Approximately 11 per cent of all farms imported manure. This means that the number of importing farms was slightly higher than that of exporting farms.
“Roughly two million tonnes of manure were transferred between farms. The highest volume of manure was imported by farms with cereal production as their primary production line”, says Pasi Mattila, senior scientist at Luke.
Not many farms use manure processing methods
Processing methods that change the properties of manure include separation, fermentation, aeration, composting and burning. Composting was the most common processing method. It was used on nearly four per cent of all farms. The proportion of other methods remained below half a per cent of all farms.
“Farms that used processing methods often processed all manure”, Mattila says.
In winter 2016–2017 in conjunction with the collection of data for the Farm Structure Survey, agricultural enterprises were asked to describe their processing of manure. This information issued is final.