Dedicated Analytical Solutions


The use of NIR analysis for manure management – background, benefits and vision

In an in-depth interview for, Dr. Phil Williams shares his extensive experience with the use of NIR analysis in the increasingly important discipline of manure management.

The interview explores how continuous measurement of liquid manure combined with modern GPS mapping can greatly improve the application of the phosphorus and nitrogen-rich ‘black stuff’ with significant financial benefits for farmers and applicators alike.

Better use of fertiliser

The biggest difficulty with manure analysis lies with the sampling.

Today it is mostly sampled intermittently and analysed by classical “wet-chemistry” methods. The disadvantage with this intermittent sampling is that it does not give sufficient data to enable mapping of nutrients over the field.

In contrast, continuous analysis of manure by NIR as it is pumped from pits or lagoons can give a reliable estimate of nutrients, and fields can be more accurately mapped with GPS with regard to the nutrients applied over different parts of the field.

Farmers can then make better decisions about applying fertiliser to their crops. Some of these are supplied by the manure, so if farmers know the composition of the manure that is being applied they only need to supplement the manure with commercial fertilizer, which is much more expensive than manure.

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