A magazine from JTI – Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering 2016
The meat issue –
A matter of profitability, competition and climate
Acidified manure better for the sea Can you eat grass?
news Driver support in the tractor i Working together in Uppsala Municipality for locally grown products i Crop protection sprayers must be tested i Good advice before building dryers reportage Environmental consultant selling JTI in Canada i German biogas collaboration on several levels i Now everyone wants edamame i Surveying young people’s interest in pot plants
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From the editor
Brightening prospects for the food sector
onsumersâ€™ increasing engagement with and interest in Swedish-produced food is very gratifying. It comes alongside political backing. For the first time in 25 years there is the development of a food strategy to strengthen Swedish agricultural and food production and to increase investment in knowledge and innovation in the food sector. It can hardly be a coincidence that this is accompanying the development of the institute sector in Sweden. Among other things, this will provide greater backing for research and innovation throughout the food chain. We are living at a time when the issue of self-sufficiency is high on the agenda. This is partly because of global uncertainties, and partly because of increased awareness that Swedish food production methods generally have a carbon footprint much smaller than that of imported food. In Sweden, we have also finally realised that we must defend the competitiveness of our high-quality agriculture and our first-class food processing industry. This requires political will, clear strategies and increased investment in research and development. JTI is involved in the development of the institute sector, which will lead to a large, joint organization through RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden). The institutes involved had a combined turnover of just over SEK 3 billion in 2015. We are still only at the beginning of RISEâ€™s development. And as for the outcome of the food strategy, we will have to wait until the autumn. But for the food sector in Sweden, things are looking brighter than for a long time.
Anders Hartman, CEO of JTI â€“ Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering
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ley crop on the menu
Beans for on-the-ball farmers
Sustainability consultant in Canada
Topic: BATTLE OVER MEAT IN SWEDEN
DRIV magazine is JTI’s customer magazine. Editors JTI Kommunikation. Address JTI – Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Box 7033, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden +46 10-516 69 00. Graphics Matador kommunikation. ISSN 2001-4880 Change of address firstname.lastname@example.org. Reprinting Please acknowledge the source when reproducing any articles from the magazine. Additional copies of the magazine can be ordered free of charge from email@example.com. The magazine is also available online at www.jti.se. Cover Fredrik Andersson, Tarby Gård. Photo: Staffan Claesson. photographers Staffan Claesson, Patrik Söderman, Rickard Nilsson, DBFZ, iStock, Mostphotos and JTI. Illustration Stephan Lorse.
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Wastewater treatment plug & play Ideas being converted into products must be tested under real conditions, which is when a test bed is needed. JTI offers unique opportunities for companies, institutes and academia to test smallscale wastewater treatment technology in Bälinge, north of Uppsala. The test bed is connected directly to a treatment plant, and has several separate lines to enable parallel testing. The flow and quality of the wastewater can be controlled minutely. “To our customers, we are like the ‘plug and play’ of the IT world. Essentially, it is just a matter of plugging in the technology you want to test and run,” says Ida Sylwan, who is responsible for the test bed. The test site in Bälinge is ideal also for research and development projects. “We have excellent contacts with authorities and sponsors, and we welcome the opportunity to create exciting projects in partnership with innovative companies,” says Ida Sylwan.
Uppsala Municipality and JTI cooperate on local production Community support systems for agriculture have been developed in the USA and parts of Europe. In Uppsala, JTI is helping the municipality bang the drum for locally produced foods and build a closer relationship between food producers and consumers.
The project is linked to an ongoing international trend towards local food systems. This aims to counter the adverse effects of the global food market, such as food scandals, environmental damage that is difficult to monitor and inadequate animal welfare. It is also responding to a growing demand for locally grown food. “Our cooperation is intended to boost the supply of local food in Uppsala Municipality,” says Eva Solomon, a senior researcher at JTI, which is participating in the project. Local food systems can involve things such as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), consumer purchasing associations and urban agriculture. Municipalities may also own livestock and run farming projects in collaboration with farmers.
Initially, cooperation should be established between players with expertise in the food chain. “In the next stage, we hope to be able to test a system with town and country working together. Then what is needed is to launch a system or two in the real world,” says project leader Gunilla Meurling, who is running the investigation into the supply of local and organic food in Uppsala Municipality. A working local food system in Uppsala could be a reality within a few years. Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova has awarded Uppsala Municipality a grant of SEK 0.5 million for the first stage of the project. The participants are JTI, Swedish Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies, SP Food and Bioscience, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the trade organization for organic farmers in Uppland. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The route to the cattle crush The route to the cattle crush can be stressful for cows going for hoof trimming and increase the risk of accidents for farmers. So it is important to think about how to design the races, says JTI researcher Cecilia Lindahl. Planning should also take into account the cows' behaviour, such as their willingness to go back the way they came. The races were tested with the support of farmers’ insurance company SLO fonden at KSLA, the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry.
Interest in locally grown food is increasing. In Uppsala, the municipality is working with JTI to develop local food systems that bring town and country closer.
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eight ... tractors shared across three farms have been fitted with logging devices and a screen where the driver enters operating data. This provides detailed information for quantifying diesel consumption and operating time by field, crop, operation, attachment and driver. All the collected data will result in an initial operator support prototype, which will be tested on farms during the summer and autumn of 2016. The trials are funded by Vinnova, Drivec and LRF (Federation of Swedish Farmers).
01. The operator support available for trucks and buses is not suitable for a tractor pulling a harrow over fields. 02. The collected data can be used to analyse the tractor's driving pattern in the field, and to quantify the diesel used and time taken per field. 03. Operator support is based on data that the tractor driver enters on a screen in the cab. The computer keeps track of geographical location and distance itself via GPS.
Less diesel in the short and long terms Drivers that get immediate feedback on their driving style at work can reduce diesel consumption and use the machinery more efficiently. This is the idea behind a development programme that JTI is carrying out with the Drivec company.
For several years, JTI has been providing courses in eco-driving for machine operators. These courses can reduce diesel consumption by 10-15 percent. “Courses are usually only effective in the short term, however. There is no good way to follow them up,” says Jonas Engström, a project leader at JTI. From that came the idea of operator support that informs the driver about fuel
consumption. In the long term, it can also be used to plan how and for what the machines should be used. Drivec already has an operator support and monitoring system for heavy vehicles such as trucks and buses. They want to expand by developing a corresponding system for mobile machinery. “Eco-driving principles for fields are not the same as those for roads. Our joint project is investigating how to help drivers save diesel in agriculture,” says Jonas Engström. Contact: email@example.com
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RELATIONSHIP WITH JTI: Hållbar Consulting (HC) is one of five JTI foreign stakeholder businesses and also acts as JTI’s agent and local project manager in North America. JTI is now working with HC to complete two Canadian projects. The first is to assess technologies capable of producing clean carbon dioxide from dirty landfill gas for use as a fertilizer in greenhouses. The second is to evaluate the potential to make syngas from solid manure (poultry and horse). A third project is under negotiation.
DOOR OPENER. Through his company Hållbar Consulting consultant Matt Dickson opens the door to the North American market for JTI.
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Sustainable consultant in Canada “Hållbar” isn’t a word used in Canada. Therefore the creation of a company called Hållbar Consulting may have raised a few Canadian eyebrows. “I chose the name to emphasize the connection to Sweden”, says company CEO Matt Dickson who has been JTI’s project manager in Canada and US for the past two and a half years. Text: Carina Johansson Foto: JTI
Hållbar Consulting’s relationship with JTI is simple: Hållbar markets the expertise of JTI and provides project management services in North America. JTI in combination with SP Technical Research Institute provides leading-edge technological know-how and expertise. The partnership is about giving customers practical, cost-effective solutions about renewable energy, waste management, and biomass to capture or overcome local opportunities and challenges. “JTI’s excellence in agriculture and environmental technology together with SP’s broad competence makes it easy for me to offer customers complete solutions to any natural resource opportunity or problem they might have”, says Matt Dickson. JTI GETS PROTECTION He develops the projects and writes the contracts with the customers, and then uses JTI as the subcontractor. This brings JTI into new countries and at the same time protects JTI from North America´s litigious society. Matt himself comes from the UK, and has worked for the past ten years with renewable energy, waste, and biomass in Canada’s agricultural sector – including as
the bioenergy and waste management expert at the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and the B.C. Agriculture Council – before he started his own consulting company. GROWING POPULATION Canada’s relatively small population in such a large country is one explanation why “sustainability” has not been as important as in many of Europe’s densely populated countries, he says. “However, as populations in the US and Canada grow and awareness of sustainability increases, we are seeing more and more people wanting to do better in areas such as management of manure from livestock, food waste and sewage sludge”, says Matt Dickson. Canada is far from Sweden, but the nine-hour time difference and large geographical distance is no obstacle to cooperation. “So far it has worked very well. Matt has contact with the customers and takes care of all the financial matters on the Canadian side; we take care of the technical aspects. We then have weekly meetings via the internet to ensure we are on the same page and that the work gets done according to plan”, says Johan Andersson, Project Manager at JTI.
THREE QUESTIONS TO HÅLLBAR CONSULTING Which of JTI’s services are most important in North America? “Everything. When it comes to bioenergy, waste management, and biomass we need everything that you have!” How do your customers value competence concerning environmental technologies from a Swedish research institute? “North American customers view Swedish expertise very highly, therefore they value what JTI staff have to say.” Why did you choose to partner with JTI? “Many reasons, but the most important are JTI’s expertise and that JTI is not tied to any specific type or make of technology.”
READ MORE … … at www.hallbarconsulting.com and the blog page where Matt Dickson writes about some of the work being carried out by JTI and SP staff.
Topic: The meat issue
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BATTLE OVER MEAT IN SWEDEN Topic: The meat issue text: CARINA JOHANSSON PHOTO: STAFFAN CLAESSON, MOSTPHOTOS
Selling meat boxes directly from farm to consumers has become popular among Swedish meat producers. It is one route to improving profitability, according to Fredrik Andersson, a meat producer at Tarby Gård, a farm north of Stockholm. He thinks Swedes should choose
BATTLE OVER MEAT in sweden
Swedish meat rather than imported. He has the support of scientists and authorities: choosing Swedish meat is better for the environment, for health, for the Swedish countryside – and for the survival of Swedish agriculture.
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“Give Swedish farmers a chance!”
Consumers go to Tarby Gård, north of Stockholm, to buy boxes of Swedish meat. There is no competition there from the imports that Swedish meat producers in general are battling. While we Swedes are eating more and more meat – meat consumption has more than doubled since 1990 – it is mainly imported. Swedish beef production remained at roughly the same level from the mid-1990s before declining in the 2000s. More than half the beef eaten in Sweden is imported. Although imported meat is generally cheaper, Swedish consumers often have to pay a premium for it. That is because imported beef goes largely to restaurants. About 80 percent of all beef used in restaurants and institutional kitchens is imported, while about 75 percent of the beef sold in the shops is Swedish. Swedish meat disadvantaged Institutional kitchens (preparing food for schools, hospitals, etc.) buy so much imported meat mainly because public procurement rules make it difficult to buy Swedish meat. The procurement process rarely imposes the standards that apply to Swedish-produced meat, covering animal
welfare and the use of antibiotics and hormones. Imported meat can be produced with lower standards and sold more cheaply than Swedish. Public-sector buyers often have to opt for the cheapest. In Sweden, only sick animals receive antibiotics, and Sweden uses the least antibiotics in livestock production in the EU. OVERUSE OF ANTIBIOTICS A THREAT In other countries antibiotics are used to compensate for poor animal husbandry and to promote growth. Overuse of antibiotics contributes to the general development of resistance. This means penicillin and other antibiotics lose the ability to cure the bacterial diseases, which is a major threat to both animal and human health. “To strengthen the competitiveness of Swedish and local meat producers, there should be comprehensive specifications of requirements for public procurement. These should impose standards equivalent to Swedish animal welfare and environmental legislation. But at the same time, they must not stifle free competition,” says Cecilia Lindahl, a researcher at JTI.
Animal welfare is expensive The large increase in meat imports has taken place during the 20 years that Sweden has been a member of the EU. The EU membership has led to an open market where meat (and other goods and services) are traded without tariffs between EU countries. “We will never be able to produce meat in Sweden as cheaply as in many other EU countries. Complying with our animal welfare legislation is very expensive. And in our climate, animals have to be housed in buildings. In warmer countries, they can keep the animals outside all year,” says Fredrik Andersson at Tarby Gård. Fredrik Andersson and Marianne Holmström at Tarby Gård began selling meat in boxes about 15 years ago, because they thought the abattoir was paying them too little for their heifers. They are still selling meat boxes despite the sharp rise in output prices for beef in Sweden in recent years. “The meat boxes are important not only for profitability, but also for our motivation and inspiration. It is a pleasure to meet customers who are
BATTLE OVER MEAT in sweden
Marianne Holmström and Fredrik Andersson have been running one of Sweden’s 17,500 beef cattle enterprises since 1995.
Topic: The meat issue
Hans Agné, CEO of Svenska Köttföretagen, the Swedish meat trade organization, urges Swedish politicians to impose the same demands on imported meat as on Swedish-produced meat in public procurement.
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“DigitaLIzation can increase profitability”
Topic: The meat issue
“We have started looking at how increasing digitalization of the information flow in meat production, from the farm all the way to the consumer, could be one way to improve Swedish meat producers' profitability. Digitalization makes it easier to grade animal and meat quality. This helps meat Cecilia Lindahl, JTI producers achieve better prices for their products, adapt supply to demand and create new business opportunities. Digitalization can also improve efficiency, which can reduce the impact on the climate.”
BATTLE OVER MEAT IN SWEDEN
“Selling meat boxes is attractively profitable, but requires good partners and attention to logistics,” say Marianne Holmström and Fredrik Andersson at Tarby Gård.
satisfied and show appreciation for our products,” says Fredrik Andersson. Hans Agné is CEO of Svenska Köttföretagen, a trade and development company owned by the largest abattoirs in Sweden. He thinks that selling meat boxes is a valuable complementary activity that works well, especially around major towns. “Meat boxes are not suitable for all producers, and reach only the most aware consumers. But they have helped to boost interest in Swedish meat, and that also benefits the abattoirs,” he says. The couple at Tarby Gård have 150 Hereford beef cattle. They use the unmated heifers to plan production to enable them to slaughter throughout the year. When they send the animals to the abattoir, they take back about 30 percent of the meat to sell directly to customers at the farm. Their customers come from the northern Stockholm area. The farm is
expecting to expand the business in line with the increase in the urban population and the associated demand for meat. Thomas Jöngren and Emma Eriksson are meat producers at Rotängens gård in Alunda (central Sweden), another farm that is not feeling the competition from imported meat. They sell all the meat from their Angus cross herd in boxes to private customers and, increasingly, to shops within a 100-km radius of the farm. They too have chosen meat boxes because of their profitability. “Today, we are getting a price 40-50 percent higher than we would if we sold via the abattoir,” says Thomas Jöngren. Profitability is also behind Walter and Gunilla Preiholt’s investment at Rörbo gård, a farm outside Sala (central Sweden). They started out as dairy farmers. “But we could not make a living from milk. To be able to keep the farm, we had to look for something else, and rearing
beef is more profitable,” says Walter Preiholt. They have built up a meat production operation from dairy cows crossed with Herefords. The animals graze throughout the year (ranch system) and are reared exclusively on grass produced on the farm. In winter they are fed with grass silage. All meat is sold boxed. Most customers come to the farm to shop, but the Preiholts also make deliveries, for example twice a year to a wrestling club in Gothenburg. The meat debate Meat farmers are following the media debate about reducing our meat consumption on health grounds. But they are paying particular attention to meat production as a climate issue. “Picking out meat production as a climate villain avoids tackling the real issue, which is the use of fossil fuels,” complains Fredrik Andersson.
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The graph shows how beef consumption and imports in Sweden are increasing, while production and exports are steady or decreasing. (Statistics from the Swedish Board of Agriculture, March 2016)
Production Imports Exports Consumption
Less wastage and more biogas reduce climate change
Topic: The meat issue
1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
JTI develops technologies and methods that can reduce the negative climate impact from meat production and from agriculture generally. Some examples: • Developing technology for producing biogas from farmyard manure (can reduce methane emissions from farmyard manure) • Developing techniques for growing protein crops in Sweden (legumes have less impact on the climate, and can wholly or partly replace animal protein) • Projects that highlight wastage problems in meat production (less wastage reduces greenhouse gas emissions) • Trials of electric tractors for farmyard work (electricity can eliminate fossil greenhouse gas emissions from diesel tractors)
Choosing Swedish meat means... … meat with less impact on the climate … meat from animals not reared on antibiotics and hormones … minimum risk of contracting salmonella … contributing to the survival of Swedish agriculture … contributing to open landscapes and biodiversity … supporting good Swedish animal welfare
BATTLE OVER MEAT IN SWEDEN
Less impact on climate One way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from beef is to choose meat from Swedish animals, because Swedish meat production’s negative climate impact is generally lower than that of imported meat. In Sweden they import more than half of everything they eat – and half of all beef – which means they have shifted a large part of their greenhouse emissions to other countries. One example of this is when buying meat from Brazil, where the Amazonian rain forests are being devastated for the sake of land for grazing and growing feed. This is generating 9 percent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions.
1000 tonnes slaughtered weight
Fossil greenhouse gases One figure quoted in the debate is that agriculture accounts for as much as 20-24 percent of the world's total greenhouse gas emissions. However, that is calculated as net emissions for agriculture, forestry and other land use. According to figures from the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, agriculture accounts for 13 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Sweden (6.8 percent methane from animals and 6.2 percent nitrous oxide from arable land). “What dominates greenhouse gases emissions, both in Sweden and globally, is the use of fossil fuels. In Sweden, fossil fuels account for 79 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions,” says Jan Eksvärd, a long-time energy and climate expert, and currently advisor on sustainable development for the Federation of Swedish Farmers (LRF). But emissions from food production that impact the climate should not be ignored, and meat and milk production accounts for a significant share of them, he says. “Emissions from fossil fuels can be reduced with efficiency measures, electricity and biomass. But we must keep producing food. So even though emissions from pastoral and arable farming can never be zero, it is still important that we institute measures there, too,” says Jan Eksvärd.
Topic: The meat issue
BATTLE OVER MEAT IN SWEDEN
JTI / driv 2016
01. Tarby Gård has 150 Herefords, including a breeding herd of 35 cows and usually two bulls. At the moment, Tore the bull has the patch to himself. 02. The friendly two-year-old Flat-Coated Retriever Busy is precisely that: busy showing his interest in the beef cows.
“Swedish meat production reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 25 percent on average compared with meat production in the rest of the EU. This is because our good animal welfare leads to healthy animals that grow well. Our grazing law means that cattle are let out for several months of the year to graze on grassland and pastures that bind carbon in the soil. With access to grazing, the animals need not be fed to the same extent on crops such as cereals. This reduces the use of fuels that have an impact on the climate. We also have good manure management, which prevents methane leakage,” says Eva Solomon, a researcher at JTI. Eat less, but buy Swedish Swedish meat is often more expensive than imported. “But if we are reducing meat consumption on health grounds, we can buy Swedish when we do buy meat. That way we contribute both to the climate and to our own health,” she says. “Buying Swedish meat also provides support for an open landscape and biodiversity – an agricultural environment supports many animal and plant species – and for the survival of Swedish agriculture. Farmers must be paid for their
produce if we are to have a Swedish agricultural industry,” says Eva Salomon. Despite the successes of Swedish meat boxes and the slight increase in beef’s market share in Sweden in both 2014 and 2015, the beef industry is concerned about the long-term downward trend. Statistics from the Swedish Board of Agriculture in March this year indicated that the number of beef enterprises with more than ten cattle is falling steadily. In 2015, there were just under 17,500 beef enterprises in Sweden, many of them smallholdings with only the aim of keeping grazing land open. “The big problem is the shortage of calves. Two thirds of all calves for meat production come from dairy breeds. When the number of dairy cows falls, the base for rearing animals for meat shrinks,” says Hans Agné, CEO of Svenska Köttföretagen, the Swedish meat trade organization. strategy for Swedish food The shortage of calves and the need for more suckler cows is also emphasized in Handlingsplan Nöt, the action plan for beef drawn up by the industry with the guidance of Svenska Köttföretagen. One
of the plan’s conclusions is the need for a clear political will and direction to enable the Swedish beef industry to grow and be more competitive. Among other things, this means the will to influence the design of the ongoing development of a national food strategy in that direction. “I wish there was the political will for Swedish food production to be competitive,” says Hans Agné. One of the things he believes is essential in achieving this is changing the rules for public procurement. “That would ensure Swedish animal welfare legislation applied to imported meat, too. Anything else is double standards,” he says. The government's current work towards a food strategy focuses on strengthening Swedish food production, from agricultural products to the produce in shops and the food in restaurants. A proposed strategy is expected by the middle of 2016. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
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The climate impact from food, vehicles, domestic heating and flying Comparative emissions from food, vehicles, domestic heating and flying in Sweden as carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2) per person and year, over the entire population (Swedish Environmental Protection Agency statistics, 2015). • Emissions from average food consumption: 1.8 tonnes. • Emissions from personal motoring: 1.2 tonnes. • Swedes’ domestic and international air travel: 1.1 tonnes. • Domestic heating: 0.07 tonnes. • A return flight to Thailand (Arlanda-Krabi): 3 tonnes.
BATTLE OVER MEAT IN SWEDEN
Topic: The meat issue
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JTI has a collaboration agreement with the German institute DBFZ.
01.Â The DBFZ will use its biogas plant in Leipzig as a sub-consultant to JTI in a research project on the digestion of residual biomass. 02. JTI researcher Ulf Nordberg shows Erik Fischer the plug flow reactor that has been constructed in JTI's workshop, based on the DBFZâ€™s drawings. 03. Erik Fischer, an environmental engineer at the Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum (DBFZ) in Leipzig, is one of JTI's two contacts there.
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Biogas cooperation for the benefit of the entire EU Erik Fischer, from Germany, came into contact with JTI about 12 years ago while studying bioenergy at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala. Eventually it developed into a unique collaboration between JTI and the DBFZ, a German government institute for bioenergy research in Leipzig. TEXT: Carina Johansson PHOTO: JTI, DBFZ
After studying in Uppsala, Erik Fischer returned home with a degree in environmental engineering. He joined the DBFZ (Deutsches Biomasseforschungszentrum), where the idea emerged that the German and Swedish institutes could work together. The DBFZ has 200 employees and, like JTI, carries out applied research focused on the production of electricity, heat and fuels from organic waste and raw materials for bioenergy. They now have an agreement since 2012 on working together on several levels, including research projects. “The DBFZ is active worldwide, but JTI is the only institute we work with in this way,” says Erik Fischer, on one of his visits to JTI. He has come to Uppsala to work with JTI researchers Henrik Olsson, Johan Andersson, Carina Gunnarsson and Mats Edström on planning two joint projects to start in spring 2016. One is the EU-funded "Record Biomap" project,
concerning market opportunities for small-scale upgrading technology for biogas in the European market. The other is a project funded by the Swedish Energy Agency on the digestion of residual biomass. Shared philosophy “Working together like this means our expertise is complemented by knowledge from the much larger and innovation-driven German market. This is JTI’s most concrete and fruitful international collaboration. The DBFZ and JTI have a shared philosophy on efficiency and high-quality delivery at every stage, which makes things easier,” says Gustav Rogstrand, Head of JTI's Environment section. The Polish university UMW in Olsztyn will also be participating in the new joint EU project. “Our collaboration with JTI benefits not only Germany, but the whole of the EU. Sweden has great expertise in manure
treatment and small-scale biogas production, and we are working with countries such as Poland because they need access to that expertise,” says Erik Fischer. Interest in small-scale biogas production is growing in Germany, too, with about 8000 biogas plants. A new law from 2014 covering renewable energy sources has greatly reduced the feed-in tariff and the incentives previously available in Germany for electricity produced from biomass. “Germany is changing its focus on biogas from local electricity generation to upgrading biogas. The upgraded biogas is fed into the gas grid, making biogas a flexible source of energy for heating, vehicle fuel and electricity generation,” says Erik Fischer. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Beans for on-the-ball farmers Both Swedish consumers and restaurants want them: bright green, crispy soya beans grown in Sweden. Together with SLU, JTI would like to encourage cultivation that can meet the demand. Text: Sofia Bureborn Photo: JTI, Mostphotos
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Edamame â€Ś is the name for soya beans that are harvested green. The name comes from Japan, but the beans are also grown in countries such as China and the USA.
JTI / driv 2016 01. Edamame is soya beans that are harvested “unripe” and green. 02. JTI's previous trials have shown that soya can be grown as far north as Mälardalen in central Sweden. 03. Fredrik Fogelberg and Anna Mårtensson have bought edamame seeds from Japan.
“Consumers favour Swedish-grown soya because it does not contribute to the deforestation of rainforests, and by implication it is grown without genetic modification and with minimal use of biocides,” says Anna Mårtensson, a professor at SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences), which has conducted a survey on attitudes to Swedish-grown soya. There turned out to be plenty of interest. JTI's bean expert Fredrik Fogelberg and Anna Mårtensson will now test-grow edamame beans on the Baltic island of Öland, and next year in Dalsland, southern Sweden, too. They have received financial support from Ekahagastiftelsen (the Ekhaga Foundation). Edamame is soya beans that are harvested while the pods are still green and unripe. Harvesting the beans earlier may be an advantage. Normally, soya beans are harvested late in the year, so late that the entire harvest can be lost in a cold, wet autumn. Growing edamame makes it more likely that the crop can be harvested in time.
Price considerations must also be taken into account. Unlike soya, edamame is grown for food rather than feed. Swedish consumers are willing to pay a lot more for locally grown fresh edamame than farmers receive for feed soya. This means edamame growing offers opportunities for improved profitability. Successful trials Fredrik Fogelberg has trialled soya previously, and has found it worthwhile as far north as Mälardalen in central Sweden. Now, however, attention is shifting to other beans – and other challenges. He does not believe there will be any problems in terms of growing techniques, though edamame seeds do need somewhat warmer soil for germination. “We are locating this year's initial trial on Öland in order to coordinate with other bean and pea trials. But the idea is to scale up next year to areas suitable for mechanical harvesting. Growers wanting to be involved must ask themselves who will be doing the threshing,” observes Fredrik Fogelberg.
Green soya beans are harvested using the same types of threshers as for peas, which are currently only available in two parts of Sweden: Skåne and Dalsland, where peas are grown. Processing, from harvesting to blanching and rapid freezing, is another issue that must be resolved if we are to see more extensive growing of edamame in Sweden. Neither Fredrik Fogelberg nor Anna Mårtensson believes there are going to be vast fields of legume-heavy edamame plants in Sweden. More likely, edamame will be grown on a small scale by growers with an interest in vegetables for selling locally. Perhaps harvested by hand, or using newly developed small-scale technology. “The future depends on farmers’ openness to innovation. This is a crop for farmers who are on the ball and prepared to test new business ideas,” says Anna Mårtensson. Contact: email@example.com
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Grasses and legumes in the ley In a ley, plants are grown together: various grasses such as timothy, ryegrass and fescue, and legumes such as clover and lucerne (alfalfa). The ley crop is usually used as coarse fodder for ruminants. Once cut, it can then be preserved by ensiling or dried as hay. Cattle are allowed to graze part of the ley.
Multi-faceted ley crop competence. Research into ley farming has long been a central part of JTI's activities, with expertise now covering much of the chain from fertilization to logistics and storage. JTI's researchers have shown that the ley needs less nitrogen than expected; in parts of Sweden, it can pay to cut the ley four times a season; rapid fermentation produces good silage; and discarded silage can be used as substrate for biogas production. JTI is also quantifying the climatic and environmental effects of ley cultivation, and is currently leading the project "RĂ¤kna med vallâ€? (Bank on ley farming) to increase the value of ley crops.
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43% ley crop on the menu
of Sweden’s arable land is given over to ley and forage, which makes ley the country’s biggest crop. Cereals account for 40 percent
Ley – Sweden's most common field crop – is booming. A high-quality animal feed, it can also lead to bigger cereal yields, more biogas and less nutrient runoff. And who knows, in the future you might snack on a grassbased protein bar. text: Sofia Bureborn Photo: Mostphotos, JTI
“People are talking a lot about beans and peas these days. But we must not forget ley crops, which are a traditional protein crop in Sweden. We are good at ley farming, and we can easily grow large quantities of good quality in our climate,” says Eva Solomon, a researcher at JTI. But ley crops are not just excellent feed. Grass, clover and other ley crops can also do wonders for exhausted soils, especially on the plains, where virtually nothing but grain is grown. Over time, repeated annual monoculture degrades the soil structure. Varying the crop can increase the humus content, which in turn increases fertility. Higher yields follow ley crops Pernilla Tidåker, a researcher at JTI, is leading the ongoing "Räkna med vall” (Bank on ley farming) project. “Having a ley crop in the rotation brings what we call the preceding crop effect. This increases yields of the crops grown after the ley crop. And ley farming has further advantages: growing a range of crops can reduce the weed pressure, and hence the
need for herbicides. Ley plants such as clover fix nitrogen in the soil, reducing the need for mineral fertilizers. The constantly green ley stores carbon, which helps reduce the greenhouse effect and the risk of nitrogen runoff. But if ley farming is so beneficial, why is it being dropped? “A farmer naturally chooses to grow what is most profitable. And if there is no animal production on the farm, it can be hard to find an outlet for the ley crop,” says Pernilla Tidåker. One option could be to sell the crop as biogas substrate. Although crops provide a lot of biogas, only a few biogas plants currently use ley crops as a raw material because they are often considered too expensive. “As a biogas substrate, ley crops have an advantage over maize, for example: they can be harvested repeatedly almost all year round. So they can be cut continuously and digested green, which avoids storage costs,” says Carina Gunnarsson, a researcher at JTI, which is working with biogas producer Swedish Biogas International (SBI) and the
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences to find harvesting systems that could make ley crop digestion more profitable. ExtRact protein for food Because animals and humans eat the protein, it would be smart if the protein in the ley crop could be extracted before it is fed into the digester. There is nothing new in the idea of pressing the sap from green pulp, enriching it and using this leaf nutrient concentrate as feed. However, modern bio-refineries are increasing the possibilities for extracting the protein as pure amino acids in the future, which may have the potential to be used in food, too. “As yet, the ideas might seem a little far-fetched. But it is certainly thought-provoking – not only ruminants, but also we humans could be eating grass,” says Eva Salomon. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
JTI / driv 2016
time to test the sprayers From 26 November 2016, all crop protection sprayers in Sweden must be tested for functionality and approved by the Swedish Board of Agriculture. This will probably mean that many older, smaller sprayers will be retired.
“It can often be a good idea to hire external spraying services for small areas. This eliminates the need to maintain the sprayer and handle chemicals during storage and spraying,” says Per-Anders Algerbo, a researcher at JTI. One disadvantage of not having your own sprayer may be that application does not take place at the optimal time. In some areas, this may justify investment in modern, smaller sprayers, perhaps bucking the trend in recent years towards larger and more sophisticated sprayers. Contact: email@example.com
Sprayer field demo Per-Anders Algerbo led the demonstration days for spraying machines for crop protection that HIR Skåne arranged at the Borgeby Fältdagar agricultural fair, 29-30 June. The demo showed, for example, how well the spray booms perform in the spray path, with all its ups and downs.
Per-Anders Algerbo gives spraying tips A sprayer in good condition enables more precise application, which can reduce the amount of product used. This is good for nature, the work environment and the wallet.
1. Inspect your sprayer before testing its function • Check the effectiveness of the personal protection on the drive shaft. Do not test without effective protection. Other protection and devices (e.g. filling hoppers, strainers, etc.) must also be OK. • Inspect the reservoir, hose couplings and fittings to ensure there is no leakage. • Ensure there is no play in the ramp joints and that it stays level over the ground. • With the sprayer operating, check that all the nozzle spray patterns are correct and that the anti-drip protection is working. At the same time, check that the pressure gauge is not pulsating and that stirring is satisfactory at the maximum recommended pressure.
2. Go for automatic section control • Think of the environment, reduce overlap and save on product consumption and money. Section control with automatic on/off using GPS technology is a worthwhile investment for sprayers of all sizes.
3. Make friends with “Hjälpredan” • The Buffer Zone Calculator “Hjälpredan” (The Helper) enables you to keep track of not only the current fixed and adjustable buffer zones, but also the nozzles you will need. Always use the latest edition. Remember that some products may also require a particular type of nozzle.
4. Calibrate • Do not spray more or less than planned. Too much product imposes a load on the environment. Too little may be insufficiently effective. Both cases result in poor economy. Calibrate the sprayer every year and when replacing nozzles, altering the amount of liquid, etc.
JTI / driv 2016
Big savings with right transport Transport is a key agricultural activity, and having the right vehicles for the various types of transport offers huge potential to save energy, money and the environment. JTI’s Jonas Engström has done the maths on this with LRF (Federation of Swedish Farmers) and the farmers’ advisory service Lantmännen VäxtRåd. He has found that Swedish farmers could save a total of SEK 870 million together every year by using the right transport. If neighbours were prepared to try a solution as unconventional as swapping land with each other, gains would be even greater, believes Jonas Engström, who is giving more thought to the issue. The Swedish Energy Agency contributed to the funding of the study.
Much of the eutrophication of the Baltic is caused by ammoniacal nitrogen from farmyard manure.
Acidified manure Good for the Baltic Airborne nitrogen from manure is contributing to the eutrophication of the Baltic. One way to reduce eutrophication is to add sulfuric acid to the liquid manure before it is spread on fields. This retains more nitrogen in the manure, making it more beneficial to the crop.
“Farmyard manure is the main source of emissions of ammoniacal nitrogen around the Baltic, where many of the farms are large-scale with large livestock herds. Emissions of ammoniacal nitrogen from farmyard manure end up in the sea via rain and runoff, contributing significantly to eutrophication,” says JTI researcher Erik Sindhöj, who is leading the project. The technique of acidifying the liquid manure to reduce losses of ammoniacal nitrogen has been developed in Denmark, and its benefits have been confirmed by researchers at JTI. This knowledge will now be applied in a major project, Baltic
Slurry Acidification, which has received SEK 50 million from Interreg Baltic Sea Region, an EU regional funding programme. Over three years, seventeen participants from eight countries around the Baltic will encourage the awareness and use of the acidification technique. “The main objective is to reduce the airborne eutrophication of the Baltic. We also hope the technique will help make agribusiness more competitive and sustainable,” says Erik Sindhöj. Participants in the project come from Denmark, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany and Sweden. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fresh field beans for the freezer The increasingly popular field bean is still usually harvested ripe, and then dried to make feed for dairy cows and pigs. However, there is also a market for green "unripe" beans as food. This is what Fredrik Fogelberg, a bean expert at JTI, believes. The traditional frozen mix of peas, sweetcorn and peppers might just as easily contain field beans instead of the peas. Growers are interested, as are producers of frozen vegetables. In principle, we could use the existing field-to-freezer chain for green peas. JTI is currently examining which field bean strains are best for blanching and freezing, and when and how to harvest the beans. The work is funded by SLF (Association of Rural Advisory Centres), the farmers’ insurance company SLO and the EU’s Eurolegume project.
JTI / driv 2016
Ins and outs of calving detectors A vaginal temperature sensor that texts an alert when the cow goes into labour enables calving to be managed effectively. However, it also involves a risk of injury to the person inserting the thermometer, because cows have a tendency to kick. These are the findings of JTI’s study of the Vel’Phone calving detector. “Once the thermometer is in place, the technology is simple and reliable. However, the cow reacts negatively to insertion, arching her back and standing with a raised tail for some time after. The person inserting the thermometer should be familiar with cow anatomy and be accustomed to inseminating cows,” says Ann-Kristina Lind, a researcher at JTI.
Build dryers big enough! Less energy used with electrical power An electrically powered loader consumes only a quarter as much energy as a comparable diesel-powered machine for the same tasks. That is the finding of JTI’s field test of Weidemann’s eHoftrac battery-powered compact loader. “The electric machine was also perceived as smoother and quicker than diesel, which may be due partly to the hydraulics being completely disconnected from the propulsion system,” says Ola Pettersson at JTI, who is leading a project testing the electric compact loader on four livestock farms.
There is said to be increasing interest in building your own grain dryer in Sweden, partly perhaps because you can get investment support from the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s Rural Development Programme. JTI's grain expert Nils Jonsson points out that it is important to match the dryer’s capacity to the size of the combine, ensuring the grain is not stored too long before being dried. If damp grain is stored too long, mould grows that produce toxins such as the carcinogen ochratoxin A. Drying damp grain using ventilation only delays mould growth, and drying using cold air or in silos with stirrers must not be too slow. Maximum storage times are specified in Sweden’s national guidelines for food and feed safety in the production of grain, oil-producing plants and legumes, which can be downloaded (in Swedish) from the Swedish Board of Agriculture’s website sjv.se. To calculate the appropriate dryer capacity, see Uppdatering av gårdens spannmålstork (Updating the farm grain dryer), compiled by Nils Jonsson at the request of Skogs- och Lantarbetsgivareförbundet (the federation of Swedish forestry and agricultural employers). It can be downloaded (in Swedish) from sla-arbetsgivarna.org.
Land is needed for food Sweden currently has only 0.3 hectares of arable land per capita for food production. And every year, 600-700 hectares of arable land are lost to new building developments. JTI's researcher Johanna Olsson is working with SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden to develop strategies for future urban development and establish how to minimize the exploitation of arable land. Examples of how this could be achieved include moving the topsoil, urban farming and environmental compensation systems to accompany exploitation.
JTI / driv 2016
M AR KN
Produ enskiltkter för avlopp
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1:2, ma j 2016 1
Gas for vehicles on the march
New W&WW review
Many small Swedish biogas producers dream of upgrading their output to vehicle fuel quality. There was a lot of interest when JTI and the Swedish Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies showed the upgrading plant now installed at Sötåsen upper secondary school for rural and agricultural science. The plant is an upscaling of the low-cost, small-scale upgrading technology that JTI has developed with SLU (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences). It comprises a bubble column and an ash filter.
The popular Swedish market review of domestic wastewater products, Produkter för enskilt avlopp, has been updated. It lists toilets and prefabricated building components for wastewater treatment, and is aimed primarily at property owners. The new version has independent product evaluations carried out jointly with JTI, and a totally new category: phosphorus filters. The review is available (in Swedish) from avloppsguiden.se.
Mobile biogas pilot heads abroad
Liquid biogas for heavy vehicles
JTI's biogas expertise is in demand abroad, too. The environmental department of the Argentine waste company Benoti Roggio Ambiental wants to invest in biogas, and has therefore been in Sweden on a JTI course in biogas production. The Argentine representatives were very interested in the mobile biogas pilot plant that JTI has designed. The company has now started to build its own pilot plant for biogas trials in Argentina, based on JTI's concepts and drawings. JTI's mobile biogas pilot, the only one of its kind in Sweden, can for example be used to test and optimize biogas plant processes.
Biogas is a good alternative to diesel in local and regional transport. However, for fossil-free heavy transport over long distances, biogas in liquid form (LBG) is better. JTI is coordinating a project to find new ways to increase the production of liquid biogas in Sweden. The project is funded by Vinnova and is a collaboration with the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, IVL (Swedish Environmental Research Institute), Swedish Biogas International and the regional organization Biogas Öst. Today there is only one liquid biogas production plant in Sweden, and six filling stations for liquefied gas.
Chamber keeps track of climate gases JTI’s pilot-scale research has shown that methane and nitrous oxide leak from stored undigested and digested manure. To make it possible to measure emissions from large-scale manure storage on farms and biogas plants, JTI is building a measuring device, which is placed on the surface of the manure. Emissions of methane gas are measured using infrared light, and those of nitrous oxide by analysing gas samples in the lab.
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did you know ...? … for the sake of its neighbours, JTI has built a sealed room called the "incubator" in one of its labs. Foul-smelling material, such as organic waste (manure, food, etc.) used in JTI's biogas projects, is handled there.
Sender: JTI – Swedish Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering Box 7033 SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
KLARA LÖFKVIST, A HORTICULTURALIST AT JTI’S OFFICE IN SKÅNE AND AN EXPERT ON PLANT PROTECTION ISSUES FOR HORTICULTURAL PRODUCTS, ESPECIALLY IN GREENHOUSES:
WHY ARE YOU SURVEYING YOUNG PEOPLE’S INTEREST IN POT PLANTS? “Pot plant growers are totally dependent on what sells, and must keep track of trends. They need to know what tomorrow's pot plant buyers want.” What do you think young adults want? “There is a move towards plants that are more than just something visually attractive. Edible pot plants are one clear trend. There is increasing interest in growing your own vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers and herbs, in windows and on balconies and roofs. And you need good plants to get going.” Why edible pot plants? “It has become important to know what you are eating. By selecting Swedish plants, you are making a good environmental choice. They do not need much plant protection, because the pressure from pests and diseases is low in Sweden. Biological control is also being used increasingly in pot plant growing in Sweden. When you buy a Swedish pot plant, you can take plant protection in the form of some aphid-eating bugs home with you!” Can pot plants have functions other than being decorative and edible? “It is well known that green plants make us feel better, and that they humidify dry indoor air. Less well known, perhaps, is that many plants purify the air. Studies in the USA show that, for example, ivy and mother-in-law’s tongue absorb benzene, formaldehyde and trichlorethylene (substances present in plastics, particleboard, detergents, etc.) from the air. We need to inform young people about that.” Contact: email@example.com The survey “Krukväxter till unga” (pot plants for young people) is being conducted by JTI and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, in close cooperation with LRF Trädgård’s ornamental plant section, Mäster Grön and Blomsterfrämjandet. Funded by: Tillväxt Trädgårds (Partnership Horticulture’s) growth fund.