The price of nitrogen fertilisers has increased during 2021 due to increasing energy prices, and the Russian attack on Ukraine by end of February 2022 has only worsened the situation. The result is that nitrogen fertilisers in April 2022 is about three times more expensive than at the beginning of 2021. Other mineral fertiliser nutrients, such as P and potassium (K) has increased dramatically in the same period due to the increasing energy prices. This situation raises the question whether we could utilise the nutrient in livestock manures better? Currently, around half of the nutrients in livestock manures are lost. A higher Nutrient Use Efficiency (NUE) of livestock manures would mean reduced environmental and climate impact of farming as well as less dependency on mineral fertilisers.
Agro Technology Atlas comprises scientifically validated descriptions of about 70 technologies for reducing the climate impact and environmental load of farming, and securing an optimal resource economy in primary food production. Among these are especially three groups of technologies that contributes to increased NUE in fertilisation with livestock manures*. These are:
A proverb says that "An accident rarely comes alone.". It is in this case fair to turn this around and say that "A good agro-environmental technology has several advantages." and all three mentioned technologies provides more benefits than the basis for an increased NUE of livestock manures. For example, an aerobic digestion is also providing additional energy production, and slurry acidification, especially in-house acidification, contributes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from livestock farming.
Please find the scientific substantiation for the above in https://www.agrotechnologyatlas.eu. For slurry acidification, see under "Other housing systems", "Storage systems" and "Spreading and outdoor handling".
* Whereas the NUE is not a standardised and fixed term, the used definition in this news post is that it is a percentage describing the share of the fertilised nutrient that is taken up by the crop. A NUE of 90% for nitrogen (N) is for example corresponding to a crop uptake of 90 kg N in case the crop is fertilised with 100 kg N.