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Photo of Improved utilisation of farm manures and biosolids through the development of rapid analysis via near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS)

Ben Williams

Knowledge Transfer Senior Manager

AHDB Pork Knowledge Exchange

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Improved utilisation of farm manures and biosolids through the development of rapid analysis via near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS)

Home \ Research & Innovation \ Research \ Environment \ Improved utilisation of farm manures and biosolids through the development of rapid analysis via near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS)

Industrial partners: This project is funded under the Defra Sustainable Arable LINK Research Programme. The support of the industrial partners is gratefully acknowledged:

AHDB Dairy, AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds, AHDB Beef and Lamb, AHDB Pork, AHDB Potaotes, GrowHow UK Ltd, Bruker Optics UK Ltd, Grampian Country Pork Buckie Ltd, Agrivert Ltd, SpreadwiseLtd, Severn Trent Water Ltd and Yorkshire Water Ltd.

Duration: 2007 – 2010

Aims and objectives

  • To increase the recycling of organic manures and residues in UK agriculture by developing robust and reliable technology for multi-nutrient analysis
  • To develop the ability for estimating the rate and extent of nitrogen (N) release arising from the organic-N content of manures
  • To reduce the environmental impacts of manure use and increase profitability in crop production

 Findings to date

The research has shown that NIRS can provide low cost, rapid and reliable analysis of:

  • Dry matter*
  • Total N (Figure 1)
  • Readily available N (can be taken up rapidly by the crop)
  • Phosphate (P2O5)
  • Potash (K2O)
  • Sulphur (as SO3)
  • Magnesium (as MgO)

*Dry matter content of slurry samples must be greater than 5%. 

Further information

AHDB Information sheet: Improved analysis of solid manures and slurries