Grass and crops contain a variety of nutrients that are used to feed the cows. Cows convert these into milk and meat. Everything that remains ends up in the manure. Nitrogen, for example, is partly released as urea, which quickly transforms into ammonia. The ammonia evaporates, ending up in the air and in deposits elsewhere.
This deposition of nitrogen ensures that the soil becomes rich in essential nutrients. This is beneficial for arable land, but causes a problem in nature reserves. The soil becomes acidified and plants that grow well in an excess of nitrogen suppress other plants. This also has consequences for the animals that live on those plants. As a result, biodiversity decreases. A second problem is that excess nitrogen emissions can have a negative effect on people's and animals’ health.
Due to the effects on nature and public health, international environmental covenants set ceilings for a maximum level of emissions that may be released into the atmosphere.
Because you can no longer use evaporated nitrogen for fertilising crops, you have to purchase extra fertiliser to close the mineral cycle on your farm. By reducing nitrogen losses, you can use the collected nitrogen as a circular fertiliser, which benefits both you and the environment.
For a sustainable and future-oriented dairy farm, it is therefore important to reduce nitrogen emissions as much as possible and reuse the valuable components in manure as optimally as possible. With this in mind, we developed Lely Sphere.