Trailer Builder D-TEC has demonstrated a revamped tanker trailer fitted with a Near Infra-red sensor. This sensor measures the mineral levels in the transported manure or bio-gas cargo, such as nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, in real time.
D-TEC has been working on making Near Infra-Red usable on manure tank trailers for more than two and a half year. Soon, D-TEC will complete the NIR-pilot project at the Government. We have since analysed over 2,300 freights, with an accuracy of 15% for nitrogen and 20% for phosphate. The accuracy for dry matter and potash were not definitely established, but also seems to be heading in the right direction.
Real time nutrient composition
This innovative NIR system can be inspected at the IAA. Van Vlastuin explains how the system works: The manure is measured by a Near Infra-Red (NIR) sensor in the sampling tube of the tank, enabling real time detection of the levels in the manure (nitrogen, phosphate). The composition of the various nutrients (including nitrogen, phosphate and potassium) in slurry can differ significantly, both between different animal species and within a single batch of slurry. A D-TEC manure tank trailer fitted with a NIR sensor offers end users the possibility to be able to anticipate on the composition of the manure in real time. Nutrients can be added until the correct proportions of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium have been achieved. This means that the user can apply the total manure requirement on a parcel in a single processing action.
Near Infra-Red will produce cost savings
Many arable farmers spread animal slurry on their crops. This produces a significant financial benefit in relation to artificial fertiliser. After all, you have to pay for artificial fertiliser, while also animal manure can be obtained whereby you frequently even receive money for it. Analysing a batch of slurry in advance with a Near Infra-Red Sensor facilitates more accurate manuring. This produces a saving of between € 30 and € 60 per hectare for those arable farmers who already use slurry. The difference with manuring with artificial fertiliser is even greater, a saving of approximately € 140 per hectare.
More stringent European legislation
Finally, Van Vlastuin has one more tip for all European farmers: 'Currently, several European countries are tightening legislation for registration of manure transports. D-TEC has had the solution to this for quite some time already, the ADR-system (Automatic Data Registration). This system links the complete transport documentation to the business administration and minerals accounting.