is an innovative project under European Funding supplied by the programme Horizon 2020. The focus of the project is the national introduction of the mechanized and automatized application of nutrient rich waste water from animal production and biogas reactor into the German market under new regulations. International competition rising and volatile costs and climate change related seasonal water shortages increase as well as recent changes in German laws increase the attractiveness of this system for the European and especially the German market.
Closing nutrient cycles and support sustainable production methods in the reality of German agriculture are additional interesting aspects of the Green DROP project. To archive this performance Green DROP uses an intelligent fully automatic control system. This control system is supplied with relevant data to weather, soil properties and condition and measures all relevant data in real time using multipurpose sensors. This real time optimization reduces surface runoff and increases the efficiency of fertilizers. A tailor made irrigation pattern for each area of the field is given at all times.
Up to 50% savings in conventional fertilizers
The innovative technology makes it possible to control the application not only by altering the speed of the pivot, but by individually opening and closing valves according to the requirements. These settings can be changed and checked on any mobile device from anywhere in the world. This eliminates long drives and waiting periods to check or set up the irrigation system. This means that not only water and fertilizer consumption but also labour costs decrease significantly .
First trials demonstrated that Green-DROP is able to use otherwise hardly accessible nutrients in wastewater, and therefore realizes up to 50% savings in conventional fertilizers. The technology can be used on any scale, but is optimized for areas of more than 50 ha.
Full potential of the new technology
Over the following 3 years the test sites will be installed and optimized for different sources of nutrients (biogas reactor residues, manure etc.) After a complete evaluation and further adaption of the system potential clients will be identified. Poland, Spain and Czech Republic seem to be the countries with the biggest market for this technology.
After successful market introduction training in operation and maintanace will be carried out in an appropriate extent to ensure that the full potential of the new technology is used.