Closing mineral cycles

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.

Separate manure streams

Lely Sphere combines the good permeability of slatted floors with the advantages of a solid floor. We preserve the slatted floor structure by closing the slats with the stainless steel separation strips. These strips are sparsely perforated with holes 8 mm wide. The urine can easily flow into the pit, while the faeces remain on the floor.

Separating faeces and urine is the key to achieving better control over manure and its use. By separating the different components of manure you will have: 

  • Urine, stored below the separation floor, which contains a lot of potassium.
  • Faeces, stored in the dumping pit of the manure robot, which contain organic nitrogen and phosphate.
  • Mineral nitrogen, stored in the circular fertiliser silo, in the form of ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate.

This allows you to fertilise each field much more precisely based on the needs of the crop.

Housing and caring

An animal-friendly and productive environment contributes to optimal cow health and well-being. It also lengthens the lactation cycle. By choosing the best and most comfortable design for your barn with the right resources you can improve cow health. Milk yield also increases and costs go down.