The BalticWheat project addresses the use of fertilizers and pesticides, two common pollutants in the Baltic Sea. The aim is to reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides in the wheat cultivation system in the region.
Over 90 per cent of the nitrogen emissions, and 80 per cent of the phosphorus emissions, in the Baltic Sea, come from agriculture. Pesticides are also a major problem. For instance, fungicides which are used to control wheat fungal diseases, are highly toxic and the effects are long-lasting. Wheat is the most common cereal crop in the Baltic Sea region and the BalticWheat project stresses that effective agriculture practices would have a huge beneficial impact on the environment in the Baltic Sea region.
The project aims to identify solutions for reducing the need to use fertilizers and pesticides in wheat cultivation. Furthermore, the project will identify and evaluate various solutions, such as increased genetic diversity in wheat for higher disease resistance, and faster plant breeding with new breeding techniques.
The activities include workshops that will take place in Sweden and Finland. The participants are mainly researchers, but also representatives from the breeding and fertilizer industry. The project will also consult local stakeholders from governmental agencies and farmer associations.