State of affairs of manure Processing in Flanders

Every year, the Flemish Coordination Centre for Manure Processing organizes an inquiry about the situation and evolution of the manure processing in Flanders. All data on 2016 can be found in the full report (only available in Dutch).

 

Summary results 2016

From the analysis of the data on 2016, it was concluded that in 2016, 41.5 million kg nitrogen from animal manure (including export) was processed by 121 installations. De yearly treated amount of manure is continuously growing, but the observed increase in 2016 was remarkably larger than in 2015. This could be due to the coming into force of a new manure action plan in Flanders, further reducing the amount of manure that can be applied on the agricultural fields.

The largest part (almost 86%) of the nitrogen processed in 2016 was realized by the treatment and export of pig manure (in total 17.8 million kg N or 42.8%), together with de treatment and export of poultry manure (in total 17.7 million kg N or 42.7%).

Strong increase biothermal drying

The amount of nitrogen processed via biological treatment of the thin fraction of pig manure, cattle manure and digestate is slightly decreased compared to 2015 (-3%), while the nitrogen processed via biothermal drying of poultry manure and the thick fraction of pig manure and cattle manure is strongly increased (+8%). This is mainly due to the increase of the increased treatment of poultry manure (typified by a high nitrogen content), due to the increase of the poultry stocks in Flanders, but also the strong increase of the treatment of the thick fraction of cattle manure. The latter is coupled to the high import of the thick fraction of cattle manure and the increased separation of cattle manure on cattle farms. The abolition of the milk quota and the stringent fertilization limits increase the manure surplus on cattle farms. Therefore, the farmers separate the manure and apply the thin fraction on the fields with fodder crops, the thick fraction goes to the biothermal drying installations in Flanders.

Export of processed manure products

France remains the most important country for export of Flemish products resulting from manure processing (mainly biothermally dried and limed manure). The export to France is increased from 49% in 2015 to 58% in 2016.