Project background

It is in principle each individual farmer who must ensure that fertilising is correctly carried out. The experiences gained by the Royal Norwegian Society for Development in field days over the whole country showed that fertilising with a centrifugal spreader was carried out too badly by many. On the basis that about 75% of the cultivated areas in Norway are fertilised with a centrifugal spreader, the Royal Norwegian Society for Development saw a great potential for improvement.

About the projects

The Royal Norwegian Society for Development has provided advisory services in this area through a number of projects. At the moment this service is provided through the project “Rådgiving - Praktisk gjødsling” (Advisory - practical fertilising). This is a collaborative project between the Royal Norwegian Society for Development and the Norwegian agricultural advisory service. We also have a good and useful collaboration with Yara Norge. The project is largely financed through the Norwegian Agricultural Authority.

A fertilising plan, which has been compulsory since the mid 1990s, is a good and entirely necessary basis for correct fertilising. Although many farmers do carry out the recommended fertilising methods, far too many, unfortunately, fail to use the plan as the starting point for fertilising with a centrifugal spreader.

In connection with courses and field days, we have tested more than 250 spreaders that are in practical use. We often find that the spreaders are not correctly adjusted, that spreading tables are not used and that the result is seldom checked. It is also a widespread problem that not many farmers attempt to limit the spread of fertiliser outside their own land. Incorrect fertilising can lead to many unfortunate consequences, not only financial but also in terms of the environment and changes in biodiversity. Too much nitrogen can yield nitrous oxide emissions which are very harmful to the climate.

Advice in respect of fertilising is very important because this is an area that previously has received little attention on the part of both the authorities and consultants. Irrespective of the equipment - old or new, advanced computerised technology or manually-set spreaders – it is absolutely necessary to have correct basic settings and use of the spreader.

In addition to consultants, farmers are an important target group for this project. The Norwegian Agricultural Authority has staff all over the country and it is these who need to pass on advice to practitioners. It is therefore natural that the project is a collaboration between the Royal Norwegian Society for Development and the Norwegian Agricultural Authority.

Our contribution and role

  • Initiative-taker and developer of the advisory service
  • Developing training programmes, brochures and articles in technical journals
  • Leading courses