Rural Development: Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference <p><strong>eISSN</strong> 2345–0916, <strong>ISSN</strong> 1822–3230, <strong>DOI </strong><a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">10.15544/RD</a><br /><strong>First Published:</strong> 2003–<br /><strong>Frequency:</strong> Once per 2 years<br /><strong>Languages:</strong> English<br /><strong>Subjects:</strong> Agro-innovations and Food Technologies, Biosystems Engineering and Environment Integrity, Sustainable Use of Natural Bio-Resources, Social Innovations for Rural Development<br /><strong>Fees:</strong> No Publication Fees</p> Agriculture Academy of Vytautas Magnus University, Lithuania en-US Rural Development: Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 1822-3230 Title Pages of Conference Proceedings <p>We are pleased to present the Proceedings of the 11<sup>th</sup> International Scientific Conference “Rural Development 2023: Bioeconomy for the Green Deal”. The Conference took place in Academia, Kaunas district, Lithuania at the Vytautas Magnus University, 26–28 September 2023.</p> <p>The 11<sup>th</sup> International Scientific Conference “Rural Development 2023” was the most effective bi-annual platform for the interdisciplinary scientific discussions and the presentations of new ideas for Sustainable Rural Development in the context of research and innovation for Bioeconomy. The Conference brings together scientists, practitioners, policy makers and actors from private sector around the world to share their experience helping countries to provide their citizens with a more competitive economy, more and better jobs and a better quality of life.</p> <p>The topic of the Conference has allowed for the exploration of different aspects of four main areas:</p> <ul> <li>Agro-innovations and Food Technologies</li> <li>Biosystems Engineering and Environment Integrity</li> <li>Multifunctional Approach for Sustainable Use of Bio-Resources</li> <li>Social Research for Sustainable Bioeconomy and Climate Change.</li> </ul> <p>The topic “Bioeconomy for the Green Deal” chosen for the 11<sup>th</sup> International Scientific Conference sparked strong interest among the professional and scientific community and elicited great response to the call for papers. These Proceedings Issue includes 52 peer-reviewed papers and contributions from 164 authors. In total we received 61 submissions for the Conference. A selection of papers are available in this volume. The majority of the contributed papers are included as are selected papers from the discussions sessions and have been peer reviewed by two experts.</p> Judita Černiauskienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 INVESTIGATING MEAT SUBSTITUTE ALTERNATIVES - OPTIMAL SOLUTIONS <p>Achieving a complete set of nutritional recommendations for food consumption is currently very challenging. A linear programming diet optimization model appears to be a useful mathematical tool for determining nutrient-based recommendations in nutritionally optimal food combinations. We used linear programming methods to explore optimal patterns of food intake that meet the nutritional recommendations given in the Reference Intakes. The main goal of the paper was to investigate and verify the research assumption that meat can be replaced by legumes. At the same time, we wanted to verify whether the carbon footprint of food will change the optimal structure of food consumption.<br />We found it very difficult to replace meat with other substitutes than we expected - namely legumes. In the model with price in the basic solution, we arrived at an optimal solution that contained some kind of meat. However, we also reached a similar result by changing the basic solution from prices to emissions represented by the carbon footprint. In the optimal solution, meat was again present, albeit in smaller quantities. Legumes accounted for a tiny amount of grams in consumption.</p> Renata Benda Prokeinova Martina Hanova Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 1 7 10.15544/RD.2023.006 THE EFFECT OF NITROGEN FERTILIZATION ON NUTRIENT UPTAKE OF CUCUMBERS GROWN IN GROWING MEDIA WITH WOOD FIBER <p>Greenhouse plants are usually grown in containers filled with growing media. Peat is the main component of the growing media used in greenhouses. However, peat substrate is made from peat from drained peatlands, which is a limited resource. Wood fiber can be an alternative to use as a growing media for controlled-climate crops. The chemical properties of the growing media interact and change continuously due to the small volume of the growing media, which is limited by the vegetative container. Therefore, this study aims to gain new knowledge on the impact of nutrient changes in the microbial degradation of carbon compounds in wood fiber and mixtures with peat substrate on the content and uptake of nutrients required by plants. Cucumbers (<em>Cucumis sativus</em> L.) were cultivated in growing media of peat substrate and wood fiber: 1) peat substrate (PS); 2) wood fiber (WF); 3) WF and PS 50/50 v/v; 4) WF and PS 25/75 v/v. The rates of fertilization were the following: 1) conventional fertilization; 2) N<sub>13</sub>; 3) N<sub>23</sub>; 4) N<sub>30</sub>. Fertilization of cucumbers with different rates of nitrogen influenced the nutrient uptake. Plants grown in 50/50 and 25/75 growing media had the best Cu uptake when fertilized with N<sub>23</sub>. When the plants grown in the wood fiber and in the 50/50 media were fertilized with N<sub>13</sub>, N<sub>23,</sub> and N<sub>30</sub>, the Mn content in the growing media at the end of the growing season was significantly lower than the Mn content in the media with conventional fertilization. Thus, nitrogen improved the uptake of Mn by plants grown not only in the wood fiber but also in combinations with peat substrate. Growing plants in wood fiber and fertilizing them with N<sub>23</sub> can result in optimum uptake of micronutrients.</p> Rita Čepulienė Lina Marija Butkevičienė Lina Skinulienė Vaida Steponavičienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 8 14 10.15544/RD.2023.007 THE EFFECT OF HUMIC ACIDS AND SILICON ON SPRING WHEAT PRODUCTIVITY <p>In recent years, farmers across the country have been using intensive farming systems to increase yields and profits. As the number of livestock farms has declined, so has the use of organic fertilizers. The use of mineral fertilizers alone, combined with the increased use of pesticides, has led to a decline in soil bioactivity, humus content, and soil fertility. It is therefore particularly important to use fertilizers enriched with humic acids, which are characterized as growth promoters – they stimulate root development, the growth of the vegetative part of the plant, the chlorophyll content of the leaves, the intensification of respiration and photosynthesis, and the germination of the seeds. These acids make plants more resistant to adverse environmental conditions and increase their yield. To this end, an experiment was conducted in 2022 at the Experimental Station of Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy (54° 53' 6.17", 23° 50' 14.8"). The research was carried out on a <em>Calcari-Endohypogleyic Luvisol</em>. The soil is slightly alkaline (pH 7.1–7.2), highly phosphatic (P<sub>2</sub>O<sub>5</sub> 227 mg kg<sup>-1</sup>), and moderately calcareous (K<sub>2</sub>O 135 mg kg<sup>-1</sup>). The fertilizers used in the study were: 1) Without humic acids and silicon and 2) With humic acids and silicon. The results show that the use of plant fertilizers with humic acids and silicon stimulates the photosynthetic potential of plants. There is a significant increase in the content of photosynthetic pigments: chlorophyll a (19.3% at flowering and 13.6% at maturity), chlorophyll b (33.9% and 19.8%, respectively), and total pigments (12.8% and 10.1%, respectively). Humic acids with silicon increased the productivity of spring wheat. Significantly higher aboveground and root mass, leaf area, the number of leaves, and total plant mass were observed with the use of humic acids and silicon fertilizer. The use of humic acids improved the quality of spring wheat grain.</p> Darija Jodaugienė Rita Čepulienė Edita Mažuolytė-Miškinė Ilona Vagusevičienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 15 20 10.15544/RD.2023.010 ASSESSMENT OF THE EFFICIENCY OF THE INVESTMENT OBJECTIVE OF CHANGING THE SOIL TILLAGE SYSTEM UNDER THE CONDITIONS OF A SPECIFIC COMPANY <p>The topic of the research is based on the possibility of improving the economic results in crop production by changing the tillage technology. The aim of the paper is to compare the effectiveness of the investment objective of buying a new seeder that allows the use of strip till technology and the existing minimization method of tillage in the conditions of a specific company. The company owns the other necessary mechanization. Investment objectives are developed in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet using its @Risk add-on. Variant solutions are developed using a different ratio of utilization of land cultivation methods and subvariant in a different combination of financing the investment plan. Using the net present value (NPV) criterion, the deterministic efficiencies of individual variants of investment plans are compared in the conditions of a small, medium and large enterprise.</p> <p><br />Based on the obtained results, we can conclude that the original variant minimization method of tillage achieves better NPV values in the conditions of a small business compared to the other variants in which the purchase of a new seed drill is assumed. However, what is significantly more efficient compared to the original method of soil cultivation are the subvariants that use strip-till technology, but count on sowing as a form of services.</p> <p><br />In the conditions of a medium-sized and large company, if the share of strip-till technology is calculated to be higher than 30%, it is already more advantageous to acquire a seed drill compared to the original variant. However, the best variant in the case of a medium-sized enterprise is still the variant with the realization of sowing in the form of services, but in the conditions of a large enterprise it is already the variant counting on the procurement of its own seed drill.</p> <p><br />The results obtained by the simulation analysis fully confirmed the conclusions from the deterministic efficiency evaluation. In the comparative comparison, the stochastic dominance rule of the first degree was applied in most cases, with a preference for variants of new technology, but with the provision of sowing in the form of services in the conditions of a small and medium-sized enterprise and in the conditions of a large enterprise by purchasing one's own seeder.</p> Jozef Repiský Marek Múčka Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 21 30 10.15544/RD.2023.008 THE EFFECT OF REDUCED TILLAGE, STRAW, AND GREEN MANURE ON COMPONENTS OF THE WINTER OILSEED RAPE AGROECOSYSTEM <p>The research focuses on how reduced tillage, straw incorporation, and green manure application impact different elements of winter oilseed rape agroecosystem. The main objective is to investigate the impact of these practices on biometric parameters and the yield of winter oilseed rape. The specific research objectives are to investigate the effects of reduced tillage, straw incorporation, and green manure application on biometric parameters and yield of winter oilseed rape. In pursuit of these objectives, the study aims to reveal the potential positive and negative impacts of these agricultural practices on the wider efficiency and sustainability of winter oilseed rape cropping systems. The research contributes to the understanding of the complex interactions between cultivation practices and the health and productivity of winter oilseed rape agroecosystems.</p> Vaida Steponavičienė Lina Marija Butkevičienė Giedrius Žiūraitis Aušra Rudinskienė Vaclovas Bogužas Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 31 35 10.15544/RD.2023.001 THE INFLUENCE OF SOWING DATE AND SEED RATE ON WINTER WHEAT (TRITICUM AESTIVUM L.) PRODUCTIVITY <p>The experiment, in which winter wheat was sown at different dates (7, 14, 21, 28 September, and 5 October) and at different seed rates (5, 4, 3, and 2 million seeds ha<sup>-1</sup>), was carried out at the Experimental Station of Vytautas Magnus University Agriculture Academy, between 2021 and 2022. The soil of the experimental field was Cal(ca)ri-Epihypogleyic Luvisol. Before the experiment was installed, the topsoil had a neutral reaction (pH-7.0), medium humus content (2.15%), high phosphorus content (226 mg kg<sup>-1</sup>), and medium potassium content (143 mg kg<sup>-1</sup>). The results obtained showed that grain yields ranged from 6.5 to 8.1 t ha<sup>-1</sup>, the 1000-grain weight ranged from 37 to 46 g, the number of grains per ear ranged from 50 to 82, and the percentage of protein and wet gluten in the grains was 12.6–14.6% and 24.3–29.0%, respectively.</p> <p> </p> Ilona Vagusevičienė Darija Jodaugienė Rita Čepulienė Edita Mažuolytė-Miškinė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 36 41 10.15544/RD.2023.009 INVESTIGATING FACTORS OF CHILDREN'S SHIFT TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE FOOD CONSUMPTION <p>The consumption of food and related processes, including production, transport, storage, and disposal, significantly contribute to environmental issues. Sustainable eating habits and nutrition can mitigate the negative impact of animal-based foods, resource-intensive products, highly processed items, and those transported over long distances. The EU Fruit, Vegetable, and Milk School Scheme aims to shift children's eating habits towards more sustainable choices. Based on data from EU Member States spanning the school years 2017/2018 to 2020/2021, we assessed the effects of various Accompanying Educational Measures, their themes, communication activities, and the Covid-19 pandemic on children's average fruit and vegetable consumption at primary schools. The results of our panel data models indicated that educational activities focusing on Healthy eating habits and Dedicated websites as communication channels had a significantly positive effect on children's average consumption of fruits and vegetables within the EU School scheme. Interestingly, the Covid-19 pandemic had an insignificant impact on children’s average fruit and vegetable consumption at primary schools. Furthermore, we found no significant difference in fruit and vegetable consumption between children in western and eastern EU Member States. Identifying the School Scheme educational activities, themes and communication channels with a significant effect, policymakers can better tailor and support future initiatives aimed at encouraging children to make healthy and sustainable food choices.</p> Lubica Bartova Jaroslava Kosarova Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 126 132 10.15544/RD.2023.038 ASSESSMENT OF DAMAGE CAUSED BY MIGRATING GEESE IN AGRICULTURAL FIELDS <p>The increasing migrating goose populations seasonally feed in the agricultural fields and grasslands. Annually, farmers encounter and abide the challenges of intense winter wheat and permanent grasslands grazing pressures. In Lithuania, migrating geese caused damages initiate conflicts between farmers, conservationists and hunters. Thus, we aimed to determine the winter wheat and permanent grasslands yield reduction by observing migrating geese grazing intensity and characteristics. In three Lithuanian south-western and central regions we established 15 study areas. During the spring migration geese droppings were counted every 10-15 days. Harvested winter wheat and hay were dried and weighted, wheat ears were counted, grains extracted and weighted. Results proved that migrating geese obvously damage and reduce yield of both winter wheats and permanent grasslands. Grazing reduced winter wheat ear development and grain weight. The high grazing pressure of 7.45 droppings/m2 reduced yield by 10.8%. In the permanent grasslands high grazing pressure was 10,49±0,43SE droppings/m2. High intensity grazing in the grasslands reduced yield by 15.2%.</p> Gediminas Brazaitis Kastytis Šimkevičius Gailenė Brazaitytė Dalia Kančauskaitė Jolanta Stankevičiūtė Sonata Kazlauskaitė Liutauras Raudonikis Julius Morkūnas Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 133 138 10.15544/RD.2023.041 THE EFFECT OF A FIRE AT A TIRE RECYCLING FACTORY ON THE STATUS OF SURFACE WATER BODIES: A CASE STUDY IN LITHUANIA <p>On 16 October 2019, a large-scale fire that lasted for 15 days broke out at the “Ekologistika” company located in the northern industrial district of Alytus. During the fire, burning waste tyres released a significant amount of pollutants into the environment. The dispersed pollutants posed a serious risk to human health, drinking water quality and surface water bodies. It was decided to conduct a study to assess whether the fire had an impact on surface water quality not only immediately after the fire but also for four years afterwards. The aim - to assess the status of surface water after a fire at a tire recycling plant. After conducting an analysis of the status of surface water bodies in 2019 - 2022, it was determined that according to NH<sub>4</sub>-N 78 - 100%; N 56 - 100%, PO<sub>4</sub>-P 33 - 100%; BOD<sub>7</sub> 67-100% of river water corresponded to the values of the class of bad or very bad ecological status. According to BOD<sub>7 </sub>89 -100%; N 67-100% the ponds corresponded to the values of the class of bad or very bad ecological potential. After evaluating the relationships between the values of the quality indicators of surface water bodies and the distance from the fire, a negative relationship was established between the distance from the fire and NO<sub>3</sub>-N and N. Also, in 2021 - 2022, a positive relationship was established between the distance to the fire source and the pH value. A negative relationship was established between the distance to the fire focus NO<sub>2</sub> and NO<sub>3</sub>-N concentration.</p> Laima Česonienė Daiva Šileikienė Midona Dapkienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 139 147 10.15544/RD.2023.032 DEAD WOOD AMOUNT AND REGENERATION IN SCOTS PINE (Pinus sylvestris L.) DIFFERENT AGE STANDS IN THE BURN OF THE "STIKLU PURVI" NATURE RESERVE <p>The forest is affected by various anthropogenic and natural disturbances causing damage to the ecosystem and financial losses. In this research work, emphasis is placed on one of the most important forest disturbances – fire. One of the largest fires in Latvia was in 2018 in the "Stiklu purvi" nature reserve, which affected 1,353 ha of forest territory.</p> <p>The aim of the study was to evaluate the regeneration process of different age Scots pine (<em>Pinus sylvestris</em> L.) in the nature reserve "Stiklu purvi" burn.</p> <p>The data were obtained in the nature reserve " Stiklu purvi" burn, which is located in Valdgales parish of Talsi district and Usmas and Puze parishes of Ventspils district. The surveyed areas were nine sample plots, which were 2000 m<sup>2</sup> in size each. The calculations were compared with the data obtained in 2019 and conclusions were drawn.</p> <p>From the results of the study, we conclude that since 2019 in all stands the average diameter of trees has increased by 3.5 cm. The average height in young and middle-aged stands has increased, but in overgrown stands it has decreased, which we can explain by tree mortality. Compared to the results of 2021, in 2022 both the average basal area and the average wood stock have decreased in all stands. Since 2021, the amount and diversity of dead wood and defoliation in all stands has increased. In all stands, the regeneration takes place mostly with deciduous trees.</p> Edgars Dubrovskis Aiva Zindule Olga Miezite Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 148 157 10.15544/RD.2023.027 DYNAMICS OF GROUND COVER IN SCOTS PINE STANDS AFTER CLEAR-CUTTING <p>While developing the principles of sustainable forestry and society prioritising forest management strategies with low forest use, clear-cutting of mature forests is currently causing strong debates in the region. The study on ground cover in Scots pine stands after clear-cutting included the assessment of the ground layer of non-living organic material (forest floor and dead wood) and the ground layer of live organic material (ground vegetation – mosses and vascular plants). The study was carried out in three sites located in Trakai, Varėna and Kazlų rūda districts. Each study site included the set of 1, 2 and 3 years old clear-cut plots and of the plots in Scots pine stands of different age groups (8–10, 15–20, 30–40, 70–80, and 101–130 years). The study results showed that the parameters of ground cover in Scots pine forests of <em>Pinetum vaccinio-myrtillosum</em> type reached the same level as in the mature stand 20–30 years after clear-cutting. The evaluation of non-living and live ground cover elements and diversity indicators does not allow the influence of clear-cutting to be considered as a completely negative effect on this type of Scots pine forest, because a higher abundance and species diversity of the ground vegetation was determined at different stages of stand development compared to a mature Scots pine forest.</p> Dovilė Gustienė Iveta Varnagirytė Kabašinskienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 158 161 10.15544/RD.2023.047 THE APPLICATION OF BIOLOGICAL ORIGIN PRODUCTS IN AGRICULTURAL PLANT GROWING TECHNOLOGIES <p>Due to implementing the requirements of the green course, the use of both mineral fertilizers and synthetic plant protection products should be drastically reduced. Therefore, products of biological origin (bioproducts) are gaining more and more importance in crop production and especially in horticulture. The effect of a product based on bacteria <em>Bacillus licheniformis</em>, <em>Bacillus subtilis</em> and <em>Bacillus vallismortis</em> on the growth and development of two varieties of fava bean 'Bobas' and 'Tiffany' was investigated. The product improved plant development and productivity. It is claimed that the product reduces the stress of lack of moisture on plants, and thus, increases resistance to diseases. The purpose of the research was to determine the effect of the used bacterial preparation on the immunity and productivity indicators of two different varieties of fava beans.</p> Sonata Kazlauskaitė Elena Survilienė Kimete Lluga Povilas Mulerčikas Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 162 168 10.15544/RD.2023.029 PHYTOSANITARY STATUS OF GERANIUMS COLLECTION AT VYTAUTAS MAGNUS UNIVERSITY BOTANICAL GARDEN <p>Vytautas Magnus University Botanical Garden has a rather rich collection of geraniums. These are mainly perennial, decorative herbaceous plants, which are characterized by the fact that they are relatively undemanding, they can grow both in sunny places and in the shade. In addition, geraniums tolerate drought quite easily and suppress weeds well. However, the most important feature of decorative plants is their resistance to diseases and pests. Even the most decorative plant will lose its value if it is constantly damaged by diseases or pests. The geraniums grown in the Botanical Garden are monitored throughout the growing season and their phytosanitary status is assessed. It was found that powdery mildew was the most common disease in the collection of geraniums and geranium sawfly was the most common pest. The aim of the conducted research was to define the phytosanitary status of the geranium collection, to assess the resistance or susceptibility of cultivated geranium species and varieties to the most important pests and diseases.</p> Sonata Kazlauskaite Indre Luksyte Arunas Balsevicius Ricardas Narijauskas Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 169 173 10.15544/RD.2023.030 THE IMPACT OF COVID-19 PANDEMICS ON SOCIAL ACTIVENESS OF POLISH FARMERS <p>Covid-19 pandemic was undoubtedly a shock to the economies and societies worldwide. It caused changes in law regulations, human behaviour, and conditions for economic development. People reduced socialising and changed the forms of social life. This might have consequences for future networking and information sharing, which affects (among others) innovation adaptability and propensity to cooperate. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of the pandemic on social activeness of Polish farmers (in formal organisations and informal cooperation). Basing on 124 phone interviews with village administrators representative for all regions of Poland it was revealed, that in general the activeness decreased in the first year (with some exceptions), and the changes in the second year were not uniform. The number of organisations present in the villages did not change significantly, but their activeness was changing. The largest decline was visible in jointly selling agricultural products and in joint work for the common good of the village or NUTS 5 commune. The largest increase was visible in giving a lift to a shop, doctor, or nearest town and in doing everyday shopping.</p> Anna Kłoczko-Gajewska Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 174 180 10.15544/RD.2023.037 CLIMATE SMART MANAGEMENT ALTERNATIVES FOR MANAGEMENT OF ORGANIC SOILS UNDER AGRICULTURAL USE <p class="RDabstract"><span lang="EN-GB">Organic soils in cropland and grassland are absolutely the largest source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in Latvia contributing to output of 3.1 mill. tons CO<sub>2</sub> eq; therefore, it is important, to evaluate different management scenarios and their effect on the GHG emissions. In this study we compared 3 scenarios of management of organic soils used in agriculture: afforestation with birch and retaining of drainage system, afforestation with birch with following rewetting and management these areas as grasslands as a reference scenario. We estimated carbon stock changes in living biomass of trees and forest floor vegetation, litter, dead wood, harvested wood products and soil, substitution effect of forest biofuel, and N<sub>2</sub>O and CH<sub>4</sub> emissions from soil. AGM model is used to create forest growth projections. The average annual GHG emissions from grassland is 7.3 tons CO<sub>2</sub> eq ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup>. In afforested and drained areas average GHG emissions are 2.6 tons CO<sub>2</sub> eq ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup>, and in afforested and rewetted areas – 3.8 tons CO<sub>2</sub> eq ha<sup>-1</sup> yr<sup>-1</sup>. Afforestation of grassland and maintenance of drainage system during 200 years period reduces GHG emissions by 916 tons CO<sub>2</sub> eq ha<sup>-1</sup>, while the afforestation and rewetting reduces GHG emissions by 670 tons CO<sub>2</sub> eq. ha<sup>-1</sup>. The substitution of fossil fuel has significant role in the climate change mitigation effect. The cost of the emissions' reduction in 2050 reaches 5.8 and 21.3 € ton<sup>-1</sup> CO<sub>2</sub> eq in drained and rewetted areas, accordingly.</span></p> Andis Lazdiņš Arta Bārdule Aldis Butlers Ieva Līcīte Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 181 187 10.15544/RD.2023.042 DISCUSSING INDICATORS FOR SOME LESS STUDIED CULTURAL ECOSYSTEM SERVICES PROVIDED BY FORESTS: EXAMPLE FROM LATVIA <p>Cultural ecosystem services (CES) are as important for human well-being as other ecosystem service groups, but they are underrepresented in the current evaluation frameworks that mostly include a limited set of CES, typically focusing on recreation and aesthetic experiences derived from nature. Thus, several significant CES are routinely omitted, especially those unsuitable for mapping and evaluation in pre-defined spatial units. In this paper we discuss four categories of forest CES, three of them related to the visual representation of forest and one – to the use of forest ecosystems in education. Drawing on examples from Latvia, we propose indicators for their evaluation, provide examples of possible application and briefly discuss challenges and uncertainties. We conclude that: 1) services pertaining to visual representation of forest ecosystems and forest ecosystem use in education are highly relevant in our region, 2) creativity-related ecosystem services present classification challenges, 3) quantification of CES, despite evaluation uncertainties, helps to highlight their importance, and 4) further work and interdisciplinary collaboration in the field of CES is needed to encompass stakeholder involvement and representation, as well as the complex relationships between the ecosystem services themselves.</p> Zane Lībiete Edgars Jūrmalis Ilze Pauliņa Arta Bārdule Linda Gerra-Inohosa Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 188 197 10.15544/RD.2023.039 WHITE MISTLETOE VISCUM ALBUM L. DISTRIBUTION AND IMPACT ON HOST TREE IN EASTERN PART OF LATVIA <p>White mistletoe<em> Viscum album</em> L. is not a common species in the territory of Latvia, it is mostly distributed around the cities Preiļi (Eastern population) and Liepāja (Western population). The specific of the species is that it receives water and minerals from its host tree in a parasitic way, thus gradually destroying it. One of the factors in the prevalence of <em>Viscum album</em> is climate. During recent times the climate in the territory of Latvia is getting warmer every year. This is very noticeable in the winter. As a result <em>Viscum album</em> as a warm-loving species is slowly spreading.</p> <p>The main goal of the research was to evaluate the population of <em>Viscum album</em> and the response reaction of host trees in Eastern population in Latvia.</p> <p>Dendrometric indicators of host trees, meteorological data and wood samples of the host trees were needed for the development of the study, for which changes in annual tree-ring width and density of wood were further analyzed. Also in order to understand the significant differences between the tree-ring widths in exact seasons and the density of wood of affected and unaffected trees wood samples were collected from trees with no <em>Viscum album</em> on them.</p> <p>Conclusions show that the climate is getting warmer and the number of specimens of <em>Viscum album</em> has increased compared to previous period. Changes in the tree-rings width and wood density of the host tree are negatively directed.</p> Solveiga Luguza Nika Dregiša Olga Miezīte Edgars Dubrovskis Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 198 203 10.15544/RD.2023.024 ANALYSIS OF THE POTENTIAL OF PLANT RESIDUES AS A SOURCE OF HEAT IN HOTBEDS ON A FARM <p>The paper presents an analysis of the possibility of using "green" plant residues generated on a farm as a source of heat for "hotbeds". Hotbeds - a technology of low-temperature substrate heating in beds or greenhouses. It consists in carrying out plant production on specially prepared beds, under which heaps of composted residues or manure are arranged.</p> <p>The resulting heat heats the ground and the air in the plant germination zone. It is most often used in spring to speed up the yielding of spring vegetables. The paper analyses green residues that can be used in the hotbeds, arising in a typical farm with a horticultural production profile. The theoretical amount of heat in cultivating early vegetables was calculated on the amount of green mass residue. The investment cost of the proposed solution is PLN 250. Savings are PLN 300. The proposed device can be used for several years (in various configurations of green waste, e.g. in spring) - then the actual rate of return on investment will be much shorter and the profits higher. The energy analysis shows that the use of the proposed solution as a source of heat in agricultural production, for the management of the above-mentioned post-production residues, translates into savings of 2000 MJ of heat. If we produced this amount of heat in a coal-fired boiler, the CO<sub>2</sub> emission for primary energy would be 640 kg CO<sub>2</sub></p> Maciej Neugebauer Janusz Gołaszewski Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 204 207 10.15544/RD.2023.048 GREENHOUSE GAS FLUXES AND CARBON LOSSES FROM SOIL IN DECIDUOUS FORESTS WITH NATURALLY WET AND DRAINED MINERAL SOILS <p>The scope of the study is to evaluate soil greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes from drained and naturally wet (pristine) nutrient rich mineral forest soils representing <em>Mercurialosa mel.</em> (drained) and <em>Myrtillosoi-polytrichosa</em> and <em>Drypteriosa</em> (wet soil) forest stand types with dominant species (aspen, birch and black alder). GHG were monitored during 12 month period using opaque chamber method. Gas samples were collected once per month and carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>), methane (CH<sub>4</sub>) and nitrous oxide (N<sub>2</sub>O) concentration was determined using gas chromatography. The calculated GHG fluxes were evaluated in conjunction with temperature, soil moisture and groundwater level measurement results. We did not found difference of the soil GHG fluxes in drained and pristine wet mineral soils. The N<sub>2</sub>O and CH<sub>4</sub> emissions from soil are negligible; however, periodic extreme increase of CH<sub>4</sub> is characteristic for pristine wet soils, pointing out that wet mineral soils can be significant source of GHG emissions, just like organic soils. CO<sub>2</sub> emissions are correlating with air and soil temperature, while CH<sub>4</sub> and N<sub>2</sub>O emissions are not correlating with any of the monitored environmental variables.</p> <p><strong> </strong></p> Dana Purviņa Arta Bārdule Ilona Skranda Zaiga Anna Zvaigzne Andis Lazdiņš Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 208 214 10.15544/RD.2023.051 SOIL BIOLOGICAL PROPERTIES IN THE AGROECOSYSTEMS WITH DIVERSE AND MULTIFUNCTIONAL CROP CULTIVATION <p>The multifunctional cropping system is important for improving soil properties, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The roots of different plant species take up moisture and nutrients at different rhythms and intensities. Interactions between plants and interspecific competition between them promote plant rooting. Competition is also largely avoided during the course of vegetation. Growing multifuctional crops is not only important for more efficient use of nutrients, but also contributes to mitigating climate change by meeting EU environmental requirements. Research shows that the cultivation of multipurpose crops has reduced CO<sub>2 </sub>emissions from the soil. The decrease in CO<sub>2</sub> emissions from the soil in multifunctional crops is due to carbon sequestration. The field experiment was carried out in 2019, 2020 and 2021 at the VMU Academy of Agriculture Experimental Station. The aim of the study was to compare soil biological properties (plant root dry biomass, CO<sub>2</sub> emission from the soil and soil aggregate-size distribution) in sole (spring barley, spring wheat, peas, caraway), binary (spring barley and caraway, spring wheat and caraway, peas and caraway) and trinary (spring barley, caraway and white clover, spring wheat, caraway and white clover, and peas, caraway and white clover) crops. The binary and trinary crops produced a significantly higher plant root dry biomass in the main crops (1.5 to 2.2 times), second (2.8 to 3.4 times), and third (up to 2.9 times) years of caraway cultivation compared to the sole crop. The plant root dry biomass was found to be significantly higher in the trinary crop than in the binary crop. In the main crops, the second and third years of caraway cultivation, the CO<sub>2</sub> emission from the soil increased most in the trinary crop compared to the sole and binary crop. The significantly lowest soil CO<sub>2</sub> emission was found in the black fallow left after the caraway harvest.</p> Aušra Rudinskienė Aušra Marcinkevičienė Vaida Steponavičienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 215 221 10.15544/RD.2023.025 INSTITUTIONAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR BEEF PRODUCTION AND MARKETING IN LATVIA <p>Beef cattle production is one of the important agricultural industries in rural areas, providing jobs and revenues for farmers as well as being part of the food system. Animal welfare requirements and various international and regional legal requirements need to be met to engage in beef production and trade. Therefore, the beef industry faces challenges posed by the Farm to Fork Strategy of the European Green Deal. The Common Agricultural Policy Strategic Plan of Latvia for 2023-2027 envisages a number of support measures to increase farm competitiveness and promote beef products in the market, develop agricultural processing and create a higher value added, focusing on organic farming and the preservation of permanent grassland areas, thereby increasing beef herd productivity and farm revenues. In the long term, however, there are significant risks to beef production and trade, as the introduction of high animal welfare standards of the European Union (EU) makes beef production more expensive, and the beef cannot compete with beef imports from third countries in terms of price. Because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, both the costs of agricultural inputs and price fluctuations have increased, and the instability of the geopolitical situation has some influence as well. Price, and not quality, could become the key factor in the buyer’s choice in the market. Because of the constrained buying power of consumers and the rising costs of agricultural inputs, EU legal acts, incl. import procedures and support policies, should be amended to ensure a high quality of beef products. The <strong>present research aims</strong> to analyse the regulatory and institutional framework for beef cattle production and trade in Latvia. As at 1 July 2023, according to data from the Agricultural Data Centre, 394520 cattle were registered in Latvia; 14023 farms produced beef and dairy cattle, of which 1943 were organic farms with 86555 cattle, incl. 45931 beef cattle.</p> Evija Skujina Irina Pilvere Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 222 232 10.15544/RD.2023.045 ANALYSIS OF THE YIELD POTENTIAL OF VINEYARD CHIPS FOR ENERGY, COMPOSTING AND RAW MATERIAL USE <p>This article focuses on the issue of the utilization of the woody matter generated by vineyard maintenance. This material is generated by regular winter pruning and the disposal of old growth during replanting. In view of current environmental trends, it is not possible to dispose of this material by inappropriate burning on the land as in the past. Instead, it is desirable to use this wood as raw material for further use. In the operating conditions, the authors have determined the yield of the wood mass in the maintenance and disposal of stands of selected varieties. The average wood yield ranged 1,8 – 2,8 t·ha<sup>-1</sup>. The lowest yield was recorded for the variety Riesling walrus. The most profitable varieties were St. Lawrence and Sauvignon. The authors determined the energy and time requirements for disintegration into graft form. The measurements were carried out using a PEZZOLATO 110 Mb chipper driven by a HONDA GX 120 four-stroke petrol engine. During the chipping process it was determined the time required for chipping, weight of the obtained chip, fuel consumption, RPM of the chipping, content of water and mean particle length. From the values of the monitored parameters, the performance of the chipper, the specific energy consumed and the specific gravity were further calculated. The mean chip length was 4,4 – 9,24 mm. The output of the equipment was in the range of 0.5 - 1 m<sup>3</sup>·h<sup>-1</sup>. The specific energy consumption for chipping ranged from 144,6 – 259,8 MJ·t<sup>-1</sup>. The wood chips produced from the woody matter generated during vineyard maintenance have potential for energy and material recovery. Given the area and age structure of vineyards, it can be assumed that 24 - 38 thousand tonnes per year will be available in the Czech Republic in the long term. At EU level, the amount of material can be expected to be between 4,2 and 6,7 million tonnes annually.</p> Jiří Souček Patrik Burg Vladimír Mašán Algirdas Jasinskas Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 233 239 10.15544/RD.2023.043 NORWAY SPRUCE PICEA ABIES (L.) H. KARST. GROWTH AND DAMAGES IN AGRICULTURAL LANDS <p>The planted forest areas in Latvia are growing every year, 6.5 thousand ha were planted in 2021. Norway spruce (<em>Picea abies</em> (L.) H. Karst.) is one of the tree species used to afforest agricultural lands. The aim of the study is to investigate the Norway spruce growth and damage in agricultural lands. Six sites were selected in three forest types – <em>Oxalidosa</em>, <em>Myrtillosa turf.mel.</em> and <em>Myrtilloso-polytrichosa</em>. The data required for the study were obtained by creating five circular plots in a rectangular area with a radius of 5.64 m and an area of 100 m<sup>2</sup>. Norway spruce trees were listed in each sample plot, height, diameter, damage and degree of damage were measured for all trees, as well as the growth of the last three years. The study found that forested agricultural lands with Norway spruce are heavily damaged by ungulates (red deer, roe deer), biting their leader or lateral branch, therefore the annual average height increases are variable, but the proportion of damage in different types of forest does not differ significantly. The growth of Norway spruce is different in different types of forest, the best growth results are observed in the <em>Myrtilloso-polytrichosa</em>, where the trees have a larger average height and diameter.</p> Inga Straupe Signe Ieva Reikmane Edgars Dubrovskis Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 240 246 10.15544/RD.2023.036 LANDSCAPE BIODIVERSITY IN TERMS OF CROP STRUCTURES: A SPATIAL ASSESSMENT FOR POLAND <p>One of determinants of the biodiversity of a landscape is the structure of farm crops. The agricultural practice of sowing a wide variety of crops each of which is well represented in the overall composition of crops has a positive impact on the diversity and abundances of fauna and flora species in a given area. The aim of the study is to identify and characterise spatial diversity in the compositional balance between different crops in Poland. The study employed one of the most popular biodiversity indices, the Shannon–Wiener index (H'), and the basic data was that of sown area (for 20 crops or crop groups) in 2020. The spatial scope of the work was Poland, divided into poviats (380 LAU-1 units). Generalising the results, a north–south divide is visible (with some exceptions, such as Żóławy Wiślane and Suwałki). Northern and central Poland have more balanced crop compositions, while the south sees far greater disproportions between individual crops. Crop structure was most balanced in poviats close to major cities (including Warsaw and Poznań), and least (discounting for urban poviats) in Żóławy Wiślane (around Malbork and Nowy Dwór Gdański). The structural diversity can be accounted for in terms of factors such as: natural predispositions for agricultural production (primarily, soil quality), distance from large cities (market) and organisational characteristics of the farms themselves (including, above all, the spatial distribution of farms of various sizes, which in Poland is the result of historical political divisions).</p> Łukasz Wiśniewski Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 247 253 10.15544/RD.2023.044 COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS OF TWO STEEL GRADES 41CR4 AND P355NL1 FOR WINTER OPERATING CONDITIONS <p>One of the main criteria for the quality of steels is the ability to resist brittle fracture. This ability is qualitatively expressed in the value of impact strength and toughness. According to the statistical data at AS “Pasažieru vilciens”, at low temperatures, the number of failures of the M-24 bolts for fastening the rubber-cord coupling increases. In this regard, the urgent task is to reduce the number of failures during the winter. The article presents the results of tests of impact strength and toughness, as well as a metallographic analysis of two steel grades 41Cr4 and P355NL1. Also an experiment was carried out, on the basis of which the main conclusions were made on the mechanical properties of two grades of steel 41Cr4 and P355NL1.</p> Dmitrijs Gorbacovs Pavels Gavrilovs Janis Eiduks Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 42 47 10.15544/RD.2023.017 EVALUATION OF INVASIVE HERBACEOUS PLANTS UTILIZATION TO PRODUCE PRESSED BIOFUEL <p>The technology of invasive herbaceous plant harvesting and pressing biofuel preparation are the main topics of the article, and the quality indicators and attributes have been examined and identified. For this study, two types of invasive plants were used: Sosnowsky's hogweed (<em>Heracleum sosnowskyi</em>) and giant knotweed (<em>Fallopia sachalinensis</em>). Pine wood biomass was used as a control. This plant material was collected, dried, and put to use in the creation of pressed biofuel. Plant biomass was cut, processed, and then compressed into cylindrical briquettes after being harvested and dried. The average density of briquettes was found to range between 615.60 and 867.31 kg m<sup>-3</sup> after examination of their physical and elemental parameters. The briquettes' determined critical compressive strength was found to disintegrate when subjected to a critical force between 783 N and 1219 N. Briquettes estimated lower calorific value was from 15.90 to 18.60 MJ kg<sup>-1</sup>. The test biofuel briquettes' harmful gas emissions were also assessed, and it was found that they were within acceptable limits and adequately low. In summary, it can be argued that all produced compressed biofuel from invasive plants complied with the majority crucial solid biofuel standards. Briquettes made from research plants can be burned in boilers designed for biofuel briquettes.</p> Gvidas Gramauskas Algirdas Jasinskas Ramūnas Mieldažys Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 48 55 10.15544/RD.2023.012 PECULARITIES OF AGRICULTURAL LAND USE <p>The aim of this study is to perform an analysis of agricultural land use in the municipality of Panevėžys district. Farmers‘ farms of Panevėžys district municipality of Panevėžys county of the Republic of Lithuania were selected as the object of this study. The scope of agricultural activity in the years 2010-2022 was analyzed, the need of Rural development land management projects to reorganize farm land holdings, and the accuracy of the data for preparing these projects were assessed. Analysis of cartographic material and official statistical data was carried out, interview and questionnaire survey methods were applied. </p> <p>The aim of this study is to perform an analysis of agricultural land use in the municipality of Panevėžys district. Farmers‘ farms of Panevėžys district municipality of Panevėžys county of the Republic of Lithuania were selected as the object of this study. The scope of agricultural activity in the years 2010-2022 was analyzed, the need of Rural development land management projects to reorganize farm land holdings, and the accuracy of the data for preparing these projects were assessed. Analysis of cartographic material and official statistical data was carried out, interview and questionnaire survey methods were applied.<br />During the research the current dynamics of agricultural land use, forecasts of the future dynamics and the prevailing directions in the analyzed local and county municipalities were investigated. During this period the number of farms held by the farmers has decreased, but the land area managed by them and the average size of farms has increased. It was established that a large number of farmers (over 41%) implement the latest technologies and apply advanced tillage methods at work, so they should not have any difficulties in adapting to the new EU green rate rules. After conducting a survey of farmers, it was determined that a large number of farmers (31.5%) would like to reorganize their land holdings and participate in the land consolidation project if it is fully financed by the EU or the state.</p> <p>During the research the current dynamics of agricultural land use, forecasts of the future dynamics and the prevailing directions in the analyzed local and county municipalities were investigated. During this period the number of farms held by the farmers has decreased, but the land area managed by them and the average size of farms has increased. It was established that a large number of farmers (over 41%) implement the latest technologies and apply advanced tillage methods at work, so they should not have any difficulties in adapting to the new EU green rate rules. After conducting a survey of farmers, it was determined that a large number of farmers (31.5%) would like to reorganize their land holdings and participate in the land consolidation project if it is fully financed by the EU or the state.</p> Virginija Gurskienė Algirdas Šukys Vida Malienė Iryna Koshkalda Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 56 63 10.15544/RD.2023.004 TREES AND SHRUBS GREENERY AREA CHANGES IN VILNIUS AND KAUNAS COUNTIES <p>The purpose of this study was to perform an analysis of the change in the trees and shrubs greenery area of Vilnius and Kaunas counties in 2002­–2023. To prepare this article, the following scientific methods were used: statistical data, analytical, comparative and graphical representation analysis. The method of analytical, logical analysis was used to determine the reasons for the increase in the area of tree and shrubs greenery in Vilnius and Kaunas counties. To achieve the aim, a comparative method was used, which determined the change of tree and shrubs greenery areas in Vilnius and Kaunas counties and its municipalities in 2002–2023. The data of the Land Fund of the Republic of Lithuania for 21 years were used for comparative investigation. In 2023, tree and shrub plantations in Vilnius county covered 45,082.20 ha, accounting for 4.63 percent of the county's area, this is more than Lithuanian average (3.20 percent). Meanwhile, tree and shrub plantations in Kaunas county covered 21,728.15 ha or 2.69 percent. From the analysis, it can be seen that in all municipalities of Vilnius county, tree and shrub plantations exceeds the Lithuanian average, while in Kaunas county, only four municipalities (Birstonas, Kaisiadorys, Kaunas, Prienai district) exceed the national average, in the rest of the municipalities trees and shrubs greenery do not reach 3.20 percent. From 2002 to 2023 the area of trees and shrubs greenery in Vilnius county increased by 23,384.21 ha or 107.77 percent. The area of greenery in Kaunas county increased by 10,444.56 ha or 92.56 percent during the period under review. In Vilnius and Kaunas counties and their municipalities, the area of trees and shrubs greenery increased due to the implemented projects and programs and the most important is the creation of legislative framework.</p> Giedre Ivavičiūtė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 64 70 10.15544/RD.2023.018 EVALUATION OF TECHNOLOGICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL PARAMETERS OF ARTEMISIA DUBIA PLANT BIOMASS UTILIZATION FOR ENERGY CONVERSION <p>The studies of growing and harvesting large-stemmed plants <em>Artemisia dubia</em> (wormwood) have been carried out at Vėžaičiai Branch LAMMC. There were determined the influence of growing conditions, nitrogen application level and harvesting time to the <em>Artemisia dubia</em> productivity. The article also provides the results of research on processing and use of <em>Artemisia dubia</em> biomass for energy conversion. At the beginning harvested plants were chopped, milled and pressed into the pellets, and were determined pellet physical, technical, chemical and environmental parameters, such as moisture content, density, elemental composition, ash content, calorific value, emissions after biofuel burning. Research results showed, that the production and burning process of this type of biofuel is characterized by sufficiently high quality, efficient combustion and permissible emissions into the environment. Research results of determined physical properties, cоmbustion and emissiоns after burning of <em>Artemisia dubia</em> pellets show, that they can be used for production and usage for pressed biofuel.</p> Algirdas Jasinskas Rolandas Domeika Ilona Sederavičiūtė Gintaras Šiaudinis Danutė Karčauskienė Jiri Souček Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 71 77 10.15544/RD.2023.002 ANALYSIS OF RENEWABLE ENERGY'S IMPACT ON ENERGY IMPORT DEPENDENCY IN LITHUANIA <p>The aim of this paper is to analyse the security of energy supply of Lithuania, taking into account the use of renewable energy sources in the country. Using cluster analysis, the study categorizes Lithuania as a nation with above-average energy import dependence and an average utilization of renewable energy sources. In 2011, Lithuania's energy import dependency stood at 77.5%, with renewable energy accounting for 19.9% of the country's gross final energy consumption. Over the subsequent decade, as the proportion of renewable energy sources in gross final consumption rose to 28.2%, Lithuania's energy import dependence decreased to 73.3%. Should the present trajectory of energy import dependence persist, Lithuania's import reliance is projected to decrease by a mere 1% by 2025. Conversely, if the current trend in renewable energy adoption continues, the share of renewable energy sources in Lithuania's energy mix could potentially reach 31% by the same year. To substantially reduce future energy import dependence, it is imperative to introduce additional incentives and policies that promote a more rapid shift towards renewable energy sources.</p> Valentina Kukharets Rasa Čingienė Jonas Čėsna Savelii Kukharets Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 78 83 10.15544/RD.2023.016 THE USE OF PAPER IN THE ERA OF DIGITALIZATION - CASE OF JELGAVA'S EDUCATION SYSTEM <p>Humanity has known and used paper for millennia, but in last decades along with technological progress and available alternatives, the discussion about the use of paper increased significantly due to its significant impact on nature and to economic development and overall efficiency. Paper provides insight about risks of continuing in same pace to use paper and gives view on some most important benefits for transition from analog to digital format. Covid-19 pandemic showed perfectly importance of digitalization and many weaknesses as well. Analysis of theoretical literature and everyday life gives evidence, that we are in long cycle of information transforming, which leads to more decrease of the use of paper in future. Paper is based on real life data from Jelgava`s education system including 25 institutions of all levels – from preschool to gymnasiums, as well as other types too. Research shows tendencies, that from 2018 – 2021 the use of paper decreased to a large extent (-67,5%), while expenditures on digital platforms grew impressively (+501,4%). However, 2022 highlighted those changes were non-persistent and showed the impact of Covid-19 containment measures on these processes, which reflected after restriction were lifted in strong rebound in the use of paper. Yet the Covid-19 pandemic gave an opportunity to see what the digitalization path looks like and what we need to do to achieve it.</p> Raimonds Kupčs Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 84 89 10.15544/RD.2023.015 THE IMPACT OF SAFETY COMMUNICATION ON MACHINERY INJURIES AMONG FARMERS <p>This study examined agricultural machine accidents in Finland. In Finland, the relative share of the number of machine accidents of all accidents in agriculture has grown. In addition, agricultural machinery causes more than half of farmers' deaths at work. Most of the machine accidents occur when using field machinery. The two main objectives of the study were 1) to reduce farmers' machine accidents and their costs by publishing machine safety information cards in a magazine for farmers, and 2) to evaluate the impact of this safety information on the occurrence of machine accidents by following up accident statistics. In 2017, ten information cards on agricultural machinery safety were published in the Koneviesti farm machinery magazine. The topics of the information cards were the most dangerous farm machinery and how to avoid accidents with these: tractors, seeding and tilling machines, automatic functions in field machinery, trailers, ATVs, combines, front loaders, machinery used in livestock production, personal protective equipment, and machine maintenance work. One year after the intervention, the statistics of accidents caused by these machines were analysed, from ten years before to one year after the intervention. A statistically significant decrease in accident development after the intervention was observed among Koneviesti's farmer subscribers. By contrast, no corresponding decrease in accident development was observed among other farmers who were not subscribers to the Koneviesti magazine. The study produced practical training material on agricultural machinery safety.</p> Jarkko Leppälä Matts Nysand Ari Ronkainen Antti Suokannas Risto Rautiainen Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 90 93 10.15544/RD.2023.031 THE RESEARCH ON THE TECHNICAL STATE OF RETAINING WALLS OF HYDRO SCHEMES IN THE JONAVA DISTRICT <p>There are 12 ponds in the Jonava district territory and 3 ponds in the Rukla military base territory. All dams in the district were built in 1978–1989 for irrigation, recreation, fisheries, runoff control or other purposes. 8 earth dams located in the Jonava district were selected for the research. Research aim and objectives:<br />- to assess the state of retaining walls of Jonava district dams;<br />- to investigate and assess the state of the Jonava district dams;<br />- to assess the changes in the concrete strength of concrete and reinforced concrete retaining walls of Jonava district dams.</p> <p>Methods used to investigate the state of the dams: documentation analysis; visual method; non-destructive method to determine the concrete strength (instrumental), the state was assessed according to the standard methodology specified in the technical construction regulation STR 1.03.07:2017. Based on the investigations’ results, the state of the flood spillway outlet structures (retaining walls) of the hydro schemes of Beržai, Lokys, Šveicarija and Užusaliai ponds in the Jonava district deteriorated the most, with a score of 8.1–9.2. According to the technical state assessment (carried out following STR 1.07.03:2017) results, reconstruction works are necessary for the Beržai, Lokys, Šveicarija and Užusaliai hydro schemes in the Jonava district, and repair works are necessary to eliminate the defects and damage in the hydro schemes of the Jonava city ponds I–IV. Based on the investigations’ results, it was found that the concrete of the retaining walls of the Beržai, Užusaliai, Jonava I and II hydro schemes has weakened the most, at least by one strength class, when comparing the results of investigations done in 2017 and 2020 with the results of 2023 investigations. In the other hydro schemes, the concrete of the retaining walls weakened less.</p> Vygantas Narkus Raimondas Šadzevičius Tatjana Sankauskienė Andrzej Brandyk Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 94 99 10.15544/RD.2023.013 ILLEGAL DUMPING OF END-OF-LIFE VEHICLE WASTE IN THE FOREST AREA NEAR KAUNAS CITY <p>When end-of-life vehicles (ELV) are not properly managed, they can cause environmental problems and loss of millions of tonnes of materials. If metals (steel, aluminium, copper) are effectively separated and utilised, only small amounts of ELV plastic waste is recycled. Study showed that local car dismantlers still try to get rid of ELV waste which has a negative market value by illegally dumping them in secluded places of natural environment. Main category composition of illegally disposed ELV waste in the forest area near Kaunas city (Lithuania) was evaluated, with a special focus on a polymer-specific plastic waste identification and separation. Seventeen points of illegal vehicle waste dumping were discovered during one-day visit to the surroundings of the Veršvas Landscape Reserve area (Kaunas City Municipality); in fourteen of which only old tyres were detected which is not necessarily a product of illegal dismantling. Total amount of illegally disposed ELV waste found (excluding tyres) was 124.3 kg: 94.4 % by mass of which was classified as non-hazardous and only fraction of automotive fluids (used engine oil) was categorised as hazardous (95.6 %).&nbsp; The major fraction was automotive plastics – 57.9 % (by mass), the minor – metal fraction (only 0.6 %). The majority (96%) of all discarded ELV waste was combustible and only 3.8 % consisted of non-combustible materials (mainly glass and metals). Incineration of such waste can produce energy with a possibility to recycle the remaining metals. Polymer-based fractionation showed that 82 % of all plastic waste was recyclable (thermoplastic) and only 10 % were thermosets (non-recyclable), but in many cases thermoplastic materials were with polymer fillers which could complicate the recycling process. All plastic waste types were ‘synthetic’ (derived from crude oil, natural gas or coal); no ‘bio-based’ polymers (derived from renewable materials or waste biomass) was found. All plastic waste found was ‘non-biodegradable’ and thus highly persistent in the natural environment.</p> Valdas Paulauskas Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 100 106 10.15544/RD.2023.003 THE RESEARCH ON THE DETERIORATION OF REINFORCED CONCRETE STRUCTURES FUNCTIONING IN THE VARYING WATER LEVEL AREAS OF HYDRAULIC STRUCTURES <p>There are a few hydraulic structures in Lithuania where reinforced concrete structures are used. The technical state of reinforced concrete structures is varying. Several structures have almost no damage in reinforced concrete structures, but there are those whose structures are quite severely damaged.</p> <p>The research aims to determine the compressive strength of reinforced concrete structures of hydraulic structures functioning in varying water level areas and the relationship between the depth of damage and the service life of the structure.</p> <p>Research objects were selected in Alytus, Anykšciai, Kaunas, Kėdainiai, Marijampolė, Pakruojis, Raseiniai, and Šiauliai districts. The age of the structures ranges from 65 years to 31 years.</p> <p>The research found that reinforced concrete structures made from stronger concrete have shallower gullies. The highest compressive strength of concrete was determined in the Angiriai hydro scheme – 27.6 MPa, the lowest – in Antanavas and Savičiūnai – 5.8 MPa.</p> <p>More affected are those reinforced concrete structures whose compressive strength is between 5.7 and 6.1 MPa, i.e., Antanavas, Savičiūnai, and Panevėžiukas hydro schemes. On average the gullies in the reinforced concrete structures deepened 5.4 mm per year in the Antanavas hydro scheme, 4.3 mm in Savičiūnai and 3.1 mm in Panevėžiukas. Gullies in the reinforced concrete structures developed the slowest in the Angiriai hydro scheme. The research found that the average compressive strength of concrete of this hydro scheme is 27.6 MPa, and the gully deepens an average of 0.2 mm per year.</p> <p>According to the research data, the gully deepening rate and time dependencies on the average compressive strength of the concrete structure were determined. Knowing the thickness of the protective concrete layer of the reinforcement, it is possible to predict the time during which the reinforcement of the functioning reinforced concrete structure will become exposed. Based on the presented relationship, we can select concrete of such strength when designing reinforced concrete structures that will function in the varying water level areas, so that the reinforcement of these structures does not become exposed during the planned time.</p> Raimondas Šadzevičius Rytis Skominas Tatjana Sankauskienė Dainius Ramukevičius Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 107 111 10.15544/RD.2023.014 SMART TECHNOLOGIES AND THEIR APPLICATION IN THE TRANSPORT SECTOR <p>This research suggested the potential for the use of smart technologies in Lithuanian transport logistics companies is high. Efficient work processes, faster and more accurate delivery of goods to consumers, increased business competitiveness and profitability, and optimised transport route planning are the most important positive aspects of smart technology development. GPS and GIS, artificial intelligence and smart transport infrastructure are the most appreciated smart technologies with the highest potential in the Lithuanian transport logistics sector. However, to effectively exploit these opportunities, it is necessary to invest in innovation, training of professionals, improvement of infrastructure and fostering cooperation between companies, universities and public institutions. Although the interviewees were mixed in their assessment of the Lithuanian government&amp;#39;s support for the introduction of smart technologies in the transport logistics sector, they agreed that the most important initiatives that need to be taken are the promotion of innovation and investment, the provision of training, and the training of professionals in this area.</p> Daiva Šileikienė Kristina Karosevičienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 112 118 10.15544/RD.2023.050 GROWTH PATH TOOLS FOR YOUNG AND DEVELOPING FARMERS – FARM TASK MAPPING <p>This study is to develop techniques for business engineering on farms. Changes outside the farms are reflected in the agricultural sector placing new demands for the farm managers career paths and expertise. To have success in farm business a young farmer needs to find strategies adapting these changes to the operational tasks of the farm. In adaptation, it is important to see the possibilities of development during the farm’s life cycle. Agricultural entrepreneur usually faces the farm activities as a holistic system. The sustainability of the farm business depends on the conditions of the production processes and the agricultural entrepreneur’s ability to operate at different stages of his or her career path.<br />In agriculture change is regulated by its own legislation, market regulation, customer requirements, traditions, and work culture, which must be taken into account in maintaining the vitality of the farm system. In Finland, the AgriHubi network offers a new channel for agriculture industry stakeholders to provide tools for the development of agricultural entrepreneurs’ management skills and career growth path. One of the results of this project is the identification of farm entrepreneurs’ development areas with the help of the farm task map tool. The task mapping method is based on mapping the important elements of the company.</p> Jarkko Leppälä Jukka Markkanen Gediminas Vasiliauskas Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 119 125 10.15544/RD.2023.005 METHODOLOGICAL APPROACHES OF QUANTITATIVE MEASUREMENT AND VALUE OF ETHICAL CONSUMPTION OF BIORESOURCES <p>Preserving the ecosystem in which we live is closely linked to our consumption. The article explores ways to solve a worthy image of a person not at the highest level, but at a level that meets the requirements of medicine. According to the authors, the reasonable use of bioresources makes it possible to develop “green” production resources and the naturalness of natural resources, as well as its close connection with a given person, preserving human health, which makes this article relevant. To achieve this goal, the authors pay special attention to the awareness of individual consumers, in particular individuals and a particular family. An approximate set of products for adult consumption per year is proposed. In the article, the authors listed the main criteria that influence the volume of food consumption, in particular, such criteria do not depend on the individual desire for consumption, such as:</p> <ul> <li>gender and age groups of the population;</li> <li>the influence of climatic conditions on nutritional needs (calories);</li> <li>rational biochemical composition of nutrition and others.</li> </ul> <p>The authors used several research methods such as statistical and economic methods and computational and constructive research methods. The proposed food sets are calculated in calories and this is one of the main works of the authors.</p> <p>In the conclusion of article, it is told about necessity of moral component of the process of satisfaction of need of mankind. At realization of the state programs on introduction of the newest technologies in food industry, it is necessary always to accompany the programs including moral components as a guarantee of successful realization of programs on introduction of the newest innovative technologies of food industry.</p> Rysbek Abylov Ravshanbek Absatarov Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 254 259 10.15544/RD.2023.046 CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEPOPULATION: INSIGHTS ON KEY FACTORS FOR REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT <p>Climate change and depopulation challenge regional sustainability through their negative effects on socioeconomic conditions. Given regional peculiarities in terms of geographical, economic, social, cultural, demographic, and environmental aspects, regions differ. As a result, the intensity of the possible negative effects provided by climate change and depopulation also differs across regions. A timely understanding of possible risks that have to be addressed through sustainable regional development policies allows for effective risk management. The article aims to characterise depopulation and climate change risks for the regions of Latvia. Within the article, the authors, first, elaborate long-term forecasts for population change by application of system dynamic modelling; second, characterise the climatic and environmental peculiarities of the regions in Latvia. The research findings introduce a wider audience of scientists and practitioners to possible risks for sustainable regional development in terms of climate change and depopulation. According to the data analysed, at the moment, for sustainable regional development in Latvia, depopulation is a greater risk than climate change. However, both risks have to be addressed through effective management.</p> Ludmila Aleksejeva Viktorija Šipilova Aleksejs Homutiņins Elita Jermolajeva Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 260 266 10.15544/RD.2023.020 NATIONAL REGULATORY FRAMEWORK FOR THE GREEN DEAL FOR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN RURAL AREAS IN LATVIA <p>The paper examines the regulatory framework of the European Union (EU) and Latvia regarding the achievement of the EU Green Deal goals, focusing on solutions for business in rural areas. The targets of the EU Green Deal are the ones on which several national strategic development plans are based. Each EU Member State creates its own strategic development policy and action plans; therefore, the states choose different paths for the realization of the common Green Deal in the national economy. Taking into account the slow course of Latvian economic development with low GDP growth and high average annual inflation, the EU Green Deal targets create additional challenges for the economy of Latvia. The purpose of this paper is to identify, by analysing regulatory documents, whether the EU Green Deal framework in Latvia favourably affects the development of companies, particularly micro-enterprises in rural areas. A balanced set of measures and support should be created in order to fulfilment the principles of the EU Green Deal in the operations of companies. Most likely, entrepreneurs will have to transform their business patterns, which will require significant investment. The theoretical research shows that Latvia has amended its policy documents as a whole in order to advance economic transformation in line with the objectives set by the EU Green Deal. However, they are not sufficiently adapted to support the transformation of business patterns of companies, particularly micro-enterprises in rural areas. The research sheds light on the fact that the national regulatory framework of the Green Deal of rural business development is inherently a complex topic, and targeted support requires policy development and clarification of regulations.</p> Ilona Beizitere Baiba Rivza Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 267 276 10.15544/RD.2023.019 DYNAMIC RETURN SPILLOVERS BETWEEN SUPRANATIONAL AND REGIONAL GREEN BOND MARKETS <p>Green bonds, as a new and innovative financial tool, interest investors by allowing them to achieve twofold aims. Firstly, investing in green bond market allows to diversify portfolio and increase its efficiency. At the same time, investing in green bonds is a sustainable investment option ensuring a positive impact on the environment. Numerous studies point to the connectedness effects between the returns of green bonds and conventional or green asset markets, but little attention has been paid to the assessment of the spillover effects between the green bond markets themselves. Our study seeks to address this gap by focusing on the dynamic return spillover between supranational green bond market and the biggest regional green bond markets in Europe, the US, and Asia. Using daily data covering the period of October 13, 2021, to January 31, 2023, we apply the vector autoregression model and use spillover method of Diebold and Yilmaz (2012) to determine the time-varying level of these markets’ connectedness. We have found that the average level of return spillover is estimated at 42.46 percent. A clear distinction would be that supranational, the US, and the EU green bond markets are the net transmitters of spillover, while Asia’s green bond market is the net receiver. Also, we have found that the supranational green bond market affects the region’s green bond indices at different levels. Our finding provides systematic insights for international investors and policymakers on the possibilities of financial stability, risk assessment, and portfolio allocation in different green bond markets.</p> Asta Bendoraitytė Vilija Aleknevičienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 277 286 10.15544/RD.2023.022 EXPORT OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS FROM UKRAINE AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF CHALLENGES TO GLOBAL FOOD SECURITY: ILLICIT TRADE, LOGISTICS AND SOIL ECOLOGY DURING THE WAR <p>In the pre-war period, Ukraine’s contribution to world food security was one of the largest, based on the export of its own agricultural products. Russia’s military aggression has brought about a collapse in the production system and logistics chains of food supply in the world. The UN, the EU and a number of specialized international organizations are looking for optimal solutions to avoid a food crisis in Ukraine. The key problem is the fall in the volume of the harvest, which was planned for export, and the prerequisites for this were military actions on agricultural lands, soil pollution from ammunition and the development of illicit trade in conditions of scarcity. The purpose of the article was to prove the role of agricultural exports from Ukraine in global food security and, based on this imperative, to propose a theoretical approach in the collective coordination of the efforts of public institutions to counter logistical losses, illicit trade and soil pollution occurring in Ukraine during the war. The methods used are literature analysis, statistical data and visualizations, analytical modeling. The solution to the outlined problems of food security is proposed on the basis of the development of institutions of collective action from the standpoint of the theory of the «tragedy of the commons».</p> Ilona Dumanska Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 287 297 10.15544/RD.2023.028 ADDRESSING THE MORAL CONUNDRUM: INTEGRATING INFORMAL E-WASTE WORKERS INTO SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS <p>The rapid surge in electronic devices has led to an exponential rise in electronic waste (e-waste), necessitating a robust strategy for its management. The Green Deal, within its overarching vision for sustainability, champions a circular economy and advocates for eco-friendly practices, encompassing e-waste management. In India, where the informal sector dominates e-waste handling, outdated methods and lack of regulation pose environmental and health hazards. This article examines the dichotomy between informal and formal e-waste management, exploring challenges faced by both sectors and proposing a cradle-to-cradle (C2C) model for sustainable collaboration. The aim of the research is to transform e-waste from a problem into an opportunity, envisioning a sustainable future in e-waste management. The research method involves the use of a rigorous approach using critical analysis and a comprehensive literature review to clarify the complexities in the field of electronic waste (e-waste) management. The synthesis of studies, from assessing enablers of e-waste management to evaluating circular economy models, provides valuable insights for stakeholders and policymakers. The study scrutinizes the existing infrastructure, discusses challenges, and proposes a strategic model bridging formal-informal e-waste management.</p> Naibin George Andrejs Cekuls Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 298 303 10.15544/RD.2023.011 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP ENVIRONMENT IN LITHUANIA <p>Social enterprises are created and are developing using market possibilities in Lithuania. The paper seeks to disclose the situation in Lithuania from the legal, economic, technological, environmental and the sociocultural positions, and hence provide the perspectives for potential social entrepreneurs to create or start such kind of business. Despite the enforcement from the government and EU policy focusing recent years on social enterprises, numerous problems in Lithuania such legal ambiguity, lack of knowledge and appropriate skills of human resources, lack of financial and cooperation support for social enterprises exist. The product and added value created by social enterprises remain difficult to understand and measure for people starting their own business. Management of social enterprises’ activity stays complicated of lack of appropriate competences and skills. The paper seeks to disclose Lithuanian circumstances with respect to the legal, economic, technological, natural, and sociocultural positions, which provide the attitude of potential social entrepreneurs to create new ideas/ and start such kind of businesses and disclose main barriers for the development of social enterprises in Lithuania in terms of existing situation. Research methods include the scientific literature in depth analysis, statistical data analysis, situational analysis. The results of the paper present the situational factors of creating and developing social enterprises in Lithuania, especially emphasising the rural areas and their environment. The period of research was conducted from 2018 focusing mainly on three years period forward. Research methods include scientific literature in depth analysis, statistical data analysis, situational analysis.</p> Jolita Greblikaitė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 304 309 10.15544/RD.2023.023 TOURISTS' ENVIRONMENTALLY RESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR AND GREENING THE ECONOMY <p>The impact of human behavior on the environment has caused climate and ecosystem changes over the past half century<strong>.</strong> Addressing environmental challenges through social innovations (SI) initiatives aim to achieve impacts beyond individual levels for the benefit of the general public. That is why tourists' environmentally responsible behaviour (ERB) studies are becoming more relevant, including regions of the Republic of Latvia. The aim of the study is to develop a conceptual model of environmentally responsible behavior (ERB) of tourists for the regions of Latvia. The research used KMO and BARLETT'S, Cohen's Kappa and Cronbach's alpha tests, Exploratory Factor Analysis and Principal Components Analysis, descriptive and Pearson correlation method. Based on the analysis of scientific literature, researches and the results of the survey of 383 respondents, in this paper the concept of the tourist ERB model in Latvia was developed. Model approbation indicated a mathematically higher positive correlation for female respondents over male respondents in all of the research factors, except for connection with gross income per month, when factor experience had a strong negative correlation (r = – 0.790).</p> Tamara Grizane Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 310 317 10.15544/RD.2023.034 AGRICULTURE AND CHANGE IN NORTH WESTERN CROATIA <p>Farmers are a significant factor in the well-being of any society, so it is important to research their attitudes and opinions about agriculture, rural development and similar topics related to agriculture. This paper presents attitudes of owners of family farms regarding agriculture in rural area of north western Croatia on various aspects of agriculture. The research was conducted in 2010. and 2021. within the convenient sample of owners of family farms via Google questionnaire. It was obtained wide range of answers about socio-demographic characteristics of the farmers, basic information about their agricultural production, challenges of institutional support to agricultural production, attitudes about subsidies in agriculture, use of agricultural services, domestic agricultural production, entering European Union, Euroscepticism, etc. There are two significant differences between Croatian farmers before and after Croatia's entry into the European Union. The first one is the structure of family farms and the role of agriculture in the economy which have been changed during this period of research and had a big influence on farmer's vision of development of agriculture and their role in rural development, in general. The second one is the fact that Croatian agriculture, attitudes toward agriculture and the mentality of farmers are changing slowly and the farmers are aware the problems in agriculture, but still, they believe in better future of Croatian agriculture.</p> Sandra Kantar Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 318 323 10.15544/RD.2023.035 CRITICAL FACTOR OF THEMATIC VILLAGE DEVELOPMENT – THE CASE OF LITHUANIA <p>This paper discusses the possibility of thematic villages development and presents the results of qualitative research aimed at determining why some thematic villages are developing while others are not. Semi-structured interviews were conducted in best practice cases examples of thematic villages in Lithuania. The study was conducted by the method of the Structured grounded theory. It was determined that, the critical success factor of thematic villages development is “weighed involvement of thematic village actors in thematic village activities”. In the absence of weighted involved actors, there is no possibilities to implement the theming and to meet the needs of consumers and the village population. Meeting the expectations of thematic village actors ensures their involvement and the sustainable development of the village in which thematic village is located. The stronger weighted involvement of thematic village actors is, the more benefits they create for sustainable village development.</p> Ingrida Kazlauskienė Vilma Atkočiūnienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 324 332 10.15544/RD.2023.049 CATALYSTS OF CHANGES IN AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTION IN POLAND DURING THE COVID-19 <p>The article answers the question of how the changes in the external environment caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affected the size and product structure of agricultural production in Poland. The research conducted based on data from Statistics Poland covers the years 2017-2021. The results of the study indicate that longer stays at home related to the implementation of the remote work and education system contributed to a significant increase in the share of food in household expenses and an increase in the consumption of low-processed products, including meat, vegetables and fruit. Additionally, the high quality and price competitiveness of Polish food products allowed for an increase in the value of their exports. These factors, together with the improvement of sanitary conditions permitted for the increase in the production of the food industry, and in consequence global agricultural production. Higher consumer demand contributed to an increase in the purchase of plant products, leading to a significant increase in the share of cereals, industrial plants and fruit in the total amount of purchased agricultural products. As a consequence, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the value of plant production increased significantly and for the first time its share in total agricultural production exceeded the share of animal production.</p> Sylwester Kozak Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 333 339 10.15544/RD.2023.052 BIOREGIONS AS AN APPROACH TO SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION <p>Territorial development and the principle of sustainability are inseparable concepts. The Sustainable Development Goals emphasize the role of policy decisions in fighting against inequality and problems in the world across various dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental. Given the fact that the current way of life of society is considered to be the main cause of environmental problems, because of which overall development is slowed down, it needs to be changed in order to ensure ecological sustainability. Modern societies should be directed towards sustainable development, environmentally friendly actions and green management should cover the entire set of interactions within the socio-ecological system across all segments in relation to environmental management and production and consumption of goods and services, including food. The solutions could be developing of concepts of bioregion or organic management region, which involve a holistic approach to identifying and analysing reality in these territories and defining the development paradigm. Bioregions are areas where farmers, producers, public authorities, non-governmental organizations, tourism operators and residents mutually agree to manage local resources based on an agroecological approach and organic farming principles. The creation of bioregions is aimed at sustainable development of territories, promotion of the local economy and development of domestically produced food and local food chains, while preserving the landscape, cultural heritage and gastronomic peculiarities characteristic of the territory at the level of local communities. Therefore, the present research aim is to investigate the theoretical aspects of sustainable territorial development and to identify the nature of the bioregion system.</p> Daniela Proskina Liga Proskina Modrite Pelse Dace Kaufmane Kaspars Naglis-Liepa Liga Paula Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 340 344 10.15544/RD.2023.033 MARKETING AND ECONOMIC VIEW ON REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE IN CONDITION OF THE SLOVAK REPUBLIC <p>Regenerative agriculture is an approach that aims to improve soil health and fertility, as well as protect water resources and biodiversity. Healthier soils are able to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere, are more resilient to the impacts of climate change, have better water retention capacity and can increase agricultural productivity, which helps to increase profits and also improve food security. The aim is to protect and enhance biodiversity above and below ground. Plant growth can be supported by more diversified crops, including cover crops or intercrops, while supporting better life for insects, soil organisms, birds and other animals. The aim of the paper is to characterize regenerative agriculture, to define the differences between conventional and regenerative agriculture and to point out situation of this system of agriculture in Slovakia. Evaluation and resolution of differences will be from economic point of view. Many researchers prevail that lower yields are achieved with regenerative agriculture. In the first years of the transition from conventional to regenerative agriculture, lower yields are achieved as the soil gradually transforms (especially its humus part). After five years, however, it can be observed that even in regenerative agriculture, comparable yields are achieved. Regenerative agriculture, on the other hand, achieves much lower costs, as some machine operations are not performed (e.g. plowing). The article shows that in regenerative agricultural production can farmers achieved positive economic results in Slovakia.</p> Patrik Rovny Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 345 351 10.15544/RD.2023.021 THE SALE AND CONSUMPTION OF MEANS OF PRODUCTION IN AGRICULTURE IN POLAND DURING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC <p>The COVID-19 pandemic affected the functioning of agriculture and food systems worldwide, including Poland. The industry of production means and services designated for agriculture is a crucial component of the food economy and a factor in agricultural development. The study aims to identify and evaluate changes in the sales and consumption of agricultural inputs in Poland and the impact of these changes on the dynamics of agricultural production. The research period covers the years 2017-2021, with a particular focus on 2020-2021, which marks the span of the COVID-19 pandemic. The study employs various research methods, including critical literature analysis, a descriptive approach, the comparative method, verbal logic, and descriptive statistical methods. The data utilised in the paper are sourced from the Main Statistical Office and the Institute of Agricultural and Food Economics - National Research Institute. During the years 2017-21, the sale and use of agricultural production means in Poland varied, reaching a peak level during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021, the dominant sales involved plant protection products, feeds, and agricultural machinery, while in 2020, mineral fertilisers were prominent. An increase in the sale of cereal sowing material was noted in 2020/21, especially wheat seeds. Energy consumption in agriculture primarily came from liquid fuels, with a noted decrease in energy use since 2019. The pandemic did not significantly affect the dynamics of energy consumption. In conclusion, the conducted analysis indicated that the influence of the sale and consumption of production means on production in Polish agriculture during the examined period was insignificant. Such a dependency should be identified over a more extended period. The strongest relationship was observed between global agricultural production exchanges and changes in the use of mineral fertilisers.</p> Andrzej Jędruchniewicz Michał Wielechowski Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 352 359 10.15544/RD.2023.040 TRANSFORMATIVE PLACEMAKING: INSIGHTS OF GROUNDED THEORY <p>In this article the first insights of the study are presented where the transformations of heritage and place in different tourism areas were researched. While adapting to the global challenges it is necessary for tourism researchers actively seek and provide a broad range of perspectives on tourism development that offer opportunities for sustainability, human prosperity and ecological recovery. Thus, the purpose of the research is to conduct a study of the experiences of smart tourism development in regions and to create a grounded theory (GT) that can show us the new ways of developing tourism. This research is conducted following classic grounded theory methodology, that specifies all the research path. Summarizing the initial results of the grounded theory (GT) methodology development in the research, it was made an insight that the main concern of the interviewed tourism developers was PLACE, and it determined how the research participants addressed the main concern, i.e. their decisions about how and what to build, how to deal with that future/existing object were dictated by the PLACE. Thus, was discovered one of the most important concerns of place transformations on the basis of the methodology of the grounded theory - transformative placemaking.</p> Erika Zabulionė Rasa Pranskūnienė Copyright (c) 2024 Rural Development, Proceedings of the International Scientific Conference 2024-02-09 2024-02-09 360 367 10.15544/RD.2023.026