Working with various partners, including the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD), we recently developed a new manure system focusing on soil life. We all know that soil life is rapidly deteriorating, in part due to the injection of manure. The toxic substances which subsequently develop in the soil are absorbed as the crops grow. One of the consequences is a decline in the numbers of meadow birds.
We started by developing a floor consisting of rubber and concrete.
The system was developed to ensure that the manure is immediately separated from the urine, resulting in a huge reduction in ammonia!!
A robot collects the solid manure (the thick fraction).
In collaboration with A en S Techniek, we developed a machine that converts this fraction into stackable manure which is very valuable to both the dairy and the arable farmer. Arable farmers are increasingly calling for quality manure for their land due to the significant decline in yields caused by soil depletion issues. This is therefore a win-win situation for the dairy and the arable farmer who will see significant improvements in their yield and the health of the herd.
With this floor, our objective is to immediately separate manure, thus avoiding the creation of liquid manure.
All this is designed to reduce ammonia emissions to the maximum possible extent.
The floor is not installed at an incline and has no trenches, small holes and the like.
The entire floor allows liquid to pass through, meaning that the urine is quickly removed and very little mixing occurs
A manure robot pushes the thick fraction that remains lying on the floor to a central point in the stall.
This is where our manure system, Immix, is located, which adds straw according to need and mixes the two components to create a stackable solid manure. Once there is sufficient manure in the system, it is moved below ground level to a manure storage facility.
So far, we have found that it is possible to create effectively stackable manure with relatively little straw.
Our new stall floor is being tested and developed at the Van Leeuwen family’s organic dairy cattle farm in Stompwijk (NL).
Last year, a new free stall barn was constructed here for 60 dairy cows. Because soil life is a high priority for this farm, one of their requirements was the ability to produce solid stackable manure. This is difficult to achieve with standard stall floor systems. The manure mixed with straw on these floors is far too wet, so it cannot be stacked!
They also preferred not to have a manure scraper in the stall, which is why we are testing a manure robot here. Furthermore, because they are organic farmers, they wanted to have access to two manure flows. The solid straw manure can be used early in the spring and the thin fraction during the growing season. This takes into account the needs of the soil and we also expect higher crop yields.