Agriculture sampling at Säby farm has begun

Author: BalticSea2020
Year published: 2016

This week begins the construction of a sampling station at Säby farm at Ingarö, in Stockholm County. The samples, so-called flow control sampling, are being carried out to evaluate the amount of phosphorus removed from arable land with the help of tile drainage and the use of lime – a measure being implemented within the Living Coast project being run by the BalticSea2020 Foundation.

The tile drainage (i.e. a farmland drainage technology) was upgraded last summer and is a necessity for crops to grow well, as well as a means by which nutrient leaching may be minimised. If there is poor plant growth, nutrients leach from the soil instead of being taken up by the crops. With tile drainage, excess water is led away from the arable land in subterranean pipes, discharging into ditches that run around the fields. In really good tile drainage systems, lime is mixed into the clay soil surrounding the pipes. The lime is expected to bind phosphorus dissolved in the water, and according to the theory is effective for about 30 years. It contributes to reduced amounts of nutrient entering adjacent streams that eventually run into the Baltic Sea.

Now, flowcontrol sampling will be undertaken to evaluate the effectiveness of the lime admixture. Several samples are takenduring periods of high rainfall. In this way, the amount of phosphorus being leached during short high flow periods may be estimated properly. The sampling is unique, in that it is not being implemented elsewhere in Sweden, and will yield answers as to how effective the measure is.
Sampling and evaluation is to be conducted by the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU).

Further information about the results will be available later.

The measures taken and sampling is part of BalticSea2020’s large-scale demonstration project, Living Coast. Read more about Living Coast here