Can the costs of animal slurry management be reduced while at the same time limiting emissions into the air?
The workshop that was held in Cremona as part of the International Dairy Cattle Show was an opportunity of discussion and in-depth study of the topic in the light of practical tests in the field. The first experience carried out during the Life Arimeda project (www.lifearimeda.eu) concerns the distribution of digestate with fertigation systems. The tests were conducted in two farms, one with a pivot and one with a dripline. The results showed the possibility of splitting the distribution of the digestate during the irrigation season with truly reduced costs. To obtain a good efficiency it is necessary to combine adequate techniques also in the distribution of the digestate in pre-sowing. The possibility of replacing the mineral fertilizer in pre-sowing and coverage on maize and winter cereals using precision equipment was evaluated by the Geseffe project (costruzionirurali.unimi.it/geseffe/). The activities carried out at three farms made it possible to demonstrate how the machines used are capable of distributing slurry and digestate with high precision and dosing the quantities according to the needs of the crops. Economic sustainability is guaranteed when the management of the effluents is carried out with good techniques and above all by reducing the amount of rainwater and washing the milking plants.
The use of techniques that improve the uniformity of distribution and reduce nitrogen losses makes it necessary to plan the distributions adequately, planning the doses to be distributed according to the characteristics of the effluents and the techniques to be used. The Gezoo project (costruzionirurali.unimi.it/gezoo/) wants to demonstrate the advantages that can be obtained by using a web application for the management of fertilization using livestock manure and integration, if necessary, with mineral fertilizers.
Figure: The use of adequate equipment makes it possible to distribute the effluents limiting nitrogen emissions.
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