Quite recently it was John Deere that drew attention to its slurry / manure sensing system. Initially it was on display at last year’s Agritechnica at German partnering companies Fliegl and Kotte Garant. At Agribex in Brussels John Deere was even awarded with a silver medal for this so-called Organic Nutrient Management System with Near Ifra Red (NIR) sensors. I wanted to write an article about it and since the project is still ongoing, the importers did not want to talk about it, so I ended up at Deere’s Strategic Marketing department in Mannheim (D). If you Google, you won’t find a lot of information or publications about it. The thing is, John Deere is not the only company and also not the first company working on slurry / manure sensing with NIR sensors. Initially it was German firm Zunhammer that developed a NIR manure sensing system in 2008. The applied for a patent as well. In The Netherlands, John Deere partners with Vervaet, manufacturer of self-propelled slurry applicators.
Another Dutch company, Veenhuis Machines, is also working on a solution to analyse manure on board of transport tanks. Veenhuis focusses on transport rather than on applicators though. Both John Deere and Veenhuis expect to have the first system available end of this year. A very promising outlook, since the systems enable to apply slurry as if it was (liquid) fertiliser! Enter the rate of N or P you want to apply and the system applies the correct rates site specific regardless of the slurry output in m3 per hectare!
A first article on this revolutionary way of applying slurry was published in Dutch magazine Boerderij no. 27 of April 1st and a second article appeared in TREKKER Magazine 308 of May.