GIS systems to support in-field manure systems


Project Lead: Mr John Williams, RSK ADAS Ltd (Project Lead);

UK Partners: Prof. Dave Chadwick, Bangor University; Prof. Tom Misselbrook, Rothamsted Research; Dr. Yuelai Lu, University of East Anglia.

Chinese Partners: Dr. Ma Lin, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Prof. Fusuo Zhang, China Agriculture University.


Project Summary: 

This project will assess the potential of developing frameworks to improve the nutrient use efficiency (NUE) of organic manures at both regional and farm levels in China. We will assess the suitability of two UK decision support tools, the GIS-based ALOWANCE (Nicholson et al., 2012) for spatial optimisation of intensive livestock farms, centralised composting and anaerobic digestion plants etc. and MANNER-NPK (Nicholson et al., 2013) for optimising manure NUE at the field and farm level.

An estimated 3 billion tonnes of livestock manure are applied to agricultural land in China annually (Chadwick et al., 2015) and there is a need to promote nutrient management strategies that integrate manure nutrients with those supplied from manufactured fertiliser applications. Integrated nutrient management strategies are key to meeting optimum crop demand and reducing the impact of excess nutrients on the environment. A significant barrier to improving manure NUE in China is the lack of appropriate tools that provide clear guidance on spatial distribution and nutrient supply characteristics of different organic materials.

This project brings together leading professionals and researchers in the UK and China to assess whether the UK frameworks could be used to build decision support tools relevant to Chinese agricultural systems.