Nitrogen surpluses in the soil and nitrate-polluted groundwater continue to pose problems. As laboratory analyses are lengthy and expensive, often no up-to-date information is available on the nutrient content of farm fertilisers such as liquid manure or fermentation residues from biogas plants. Therefore, the amount of nutrients applied can deviate significantly from the amount actually required.
In a project of the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with the Chamber of Agriculture Lower Saxony (Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen), Oldenburg, and the Leibniz Institute for Agricultural Engineering and Bioeconomy, Potsdam, various methods for the on-site determination of nutrient contents in organic fertilizers are therefore being investigated and their results compared with values determined in the laboratory. In the end, a set of effective test methods will be developed that can be used by the farmer.
In order to make the data gained usable in agricultural practice, it is combined with a smartphone app and fed into a central database. This allows the measured nutrient concentration to be automatically compared with other available farm data from animal husbandry and feeding or previous nutrient analyses. The farmer then receives information on the nutrient content via the app and can spread the required amount of liquid manure or fermentation residues.
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