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Farmers

For many centuries the fertile soil in the Lielupe river region has been used as a resource for growing food products. At the moment agricultural land occupies about 62% of the whole river basin territory and the arable land is around 2/3 of this percentage. Waters of the Lielupe river basin are most polluted waters in Latvia and Lithuania and the main responsibility should assume local farmers in Latvia and Lithuania

To improve waters quality it would be enough just with some small changes in farms practice. The main task for farmers is to minimize fertilizers (organic and mineral) and pesticides runoff into the waters. 

The main measures:
- To create green belts or buffer zones along waters. 5-10 meters bright uncultivated zones along waters are very effective for decreasing runoff of fertilizers and pesticides into the waters;
- Mechanical soil cultivation should be taken as seldom as possible and natural environmental conditions (characteristic of soil, humidity and weather conditions and the type of the crop) should be taken also into account. In the hilly regions soil cultivation should be made across to the slope.

Fertilizing should be done:
- By using precisely measured doses, taking into account type of the soil and season. Although the various plants consume different amount of nutrients, it is calculated that less than 170 kg N/ha/year should be used to ensure the nutrient balance;
- By taking into account season and weather conditions respectively when the plants are most able to absorb nutrients. Fertilizing the soil which is frozen, very humid or covered with snow, most of nutrients will run out to the waters;
- As even straggle and at short time as possible;
- Considering 10 m distance from waters and drains.
- Pesticides should be used: as seldom as possible; considering instructions and considering 10 m distance from waters and drains.

Livestock should:
- To avoid the nutrients runoff from the manure and silage storages as well as from the livestock seats, correctly built and isolated from surrounding environment.
- To keep the optimum number of animals per hectare. Scientists have estimated the needed grassland or arable land per different animal unit. For example, to keep 100 dairy cows a farmer would need about 38 ha land. Similar estimates have been calculated for other animals.

In the last years more and more popular becomes organic farming. Organic farming means an agricultural system that seeks to provide the consumer with fresh, tasty and authentic food while respecting natural life-cycle systems. Organic farmers avoid of using the chemical synthetic pesticides and synthetic fertilisers. Farming is based on the healthy soil which is as alive unit containing diverse flora and fauna and plants which are able to prevent them self from pests and diseases. Organic farmers use a variety of methods to improve soil fertility, including a stimulation of soil microorganisms. But organic farming is not only avoiding use of chemical synthetic matters.

Typical organic farming practices include also:
- Wide crop rotation as a prerequisite for an efficient use of on-site resources;
- Very strict limits on livestock antibiotics, food additives and processing aids and other inputs;
- Absolute prohibition of the use of genetically modified organisms;
- Taking advantage of on-site resources, such as livestock manure for fertiliser or feed produced on the farm;
- Choosing plant and animal species that are resistant to disease and adapted to local conditions;
- Raising livestock in free-range, open-air systems and providing them with organic feed;
- Using animal husbandry practices appropriate to different livestock species.

Organic farmers sell their production using special logos “Ekologinis žemės ūkis” in Lithuania and “Latvijas ekoprodukts” in Latvia. This helps to customers to recognise organic production in the shops and they are ready to pay for that even more then for usual production. If any farmer wants to become to organic farmer and sell production as organic, organic farmers’ certificate is needed. Certification process starts with submission of application to the organic farming control bodies:  ‘Ekoagros” in Lithuania and association "Vides kvalitāte" or state Ltd “Certifying and testing centre” in Latvia.