Project: Animal manure as fertilizer for crop fields

Description: Intensive livestock production might have a negative environmental impact, by producing large amounts of animal dejections, which, if not properly managed, can contaminate nearby water bodies with nutrient excess. However, if the animal manure could be transferred to nearby crop farms, to be used as a fertilizer for the crops, then the problem of pollution/contamination would be mitigated, transforming manure from a waste to a resource. This valorization of manure from waste to a resource falls within the principles of circular economy, but the transportation of manure also comes at an environmental and economic cost. It is a single-objective optimization problem, in regards to finding the best solution for the logistics process of satisfying nutrient crops needs by means of livestock manure. This project investigates a centralized optimal algorithm to solve the problem, based on a realistic simulator that considers numerous real-world constraints, which have not been addressed by related work. Case study is performed in Catalonia, Spain, in agreement with the Department of Agriculture, Government of Catalonia..

Collaboration with: Francesc Prenafeta (IRTA Barcelona, Spain)

Techniques used: Geospatial analysis, GIS, Internet of Things, big data analysis, modelling, simulations.

Started: September, 2016

Status: Finished

Publications: Andreas Kamilaris,  Andries Engelbrecht, Andreas Pitsillides and Francesc X. Prenafeta-Boldu, Transfer of Manure as Fertilizer from Livestock Farms to Crop Fields: The Case of Catalonia, Computers and Electronics in Agriculture Journal, vol. 175, no. 105550, August 2020.
Andreas Kamilaris, Immaculada Funes Mesa, Robert Savé, Felicidad De Herralde and Francesc X. Prenafeta-Boldú, Can animal manure be used to increase soil organic carbon stocks in the Mediterranean as a mitigation climate change strategy?, In Proc. of EnviroInfo, Nicosia, Cyprus, September 2020.
Andreas Kamilaris, Andries Engelbrecht, Andreas Pitsillides and Francesc X. Prenafeta-Boldu, Transfer of Manure from Livestock Farms to Crop Fields as Fertilizer using an Ant Inspired Approach, XXIVth International Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (ISPRS) Congress, June 2020.