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Measuring the food chain

Measuring fresh taken probes in our mobile lab on the farm

The cycle measurements are mainly intended for dairy farms and take a full day. Peter will then come to your company with a mobile lab in his van.

We measure every link in the cycle: the soil, the feed/ration, the drinking water, the milk, rectal manure, urine and slurry/raw manure. Peter does some of the measurements himself according to a measurement protocol he developed himself. He also uses other analysis results (other soil analysis, feed analysis, milk production data…). The aim is to arrive at a global overview, in which the influence of a measure on the further course of the food chain is examined.

The pH, electrical conductivity (mineral salts) and redox value (oxygen level) are measured for each of the samples described below.

  • What the cow enters: feed and water.

    • Feed: we measure what the cows are eating: the winter ration, or grass and what is supplemented in the barn.

    • Drinking water from the drinking bowl, possibly before and after filters or treatments.

  • What comes out of the cow: milk, manure, urine

    • Fresh milk from the cooling tank: we look at milk production data.

    •  Spontaneous fermentation of the milk: we check whether the milk is spontaneously fermenting or rotting.

    • Fresh dung: after rinsing and sieving, we see how well the feed has been digested.

    • Fresh urine from 6 to 10 cows: the samples are best taken when the cows are tied to the feed fence. When cows graze, possibly during milking.

    • Emission from the barn: I measure the concentration of NH3, H2S, CO, methane and O2 under and above the floor in a few places.

  • What comes on the soil: slurry, raw manure, fertilizer,…

    • Liquid manure (slurry, liquid manure, digestate): in addition to pH, EC and redox measurements, we do also a measurement of ammonia emission. In addition, a recent conventional slurry analysis is useful.

    • Dry manure, compost: I cannot measure emissions for these, because the system was developed for liquid manure.

    • Other: fertilizer, lime, rock flour.

  • The soil himself:

    • 2 soil samples are taken for the Vanhoof-test. These are best taken and measured before Peter comes to measure all the other items. It is best to sample a very good and a weak plot. More info on that below. The results of the Vanhoof test indicate how functional soil life can be under optimal conditions.

    • Soil profile analysis of those 2 plots: we go into the plots together and look at soil structure, rooting depth, compacted layers, earthworms, ... We use our innovative profile spade for this. We need at least half an hour per plot for this.

    • Other soil analyses: my own measurements do not show which minerals are too much or not enough present and available, so a conventional analysis is also useful, preferably including trace elements.

  • What comes from the soil:

    • the crops, yield and quality,

    • feed analyses, preferably a complete analysis including minerals and trace elements,

    • general company information (e.g. recycling guide).

Due to the holistic approach, the farm is considered as a whole. Because we include many things in the assessment, it also requires some preparation by the farmer. It saves a lot of time if the following information is ready or forwarded to Peter in advance (if available):

  • Silage and feed analyses

  • Calculation of the ration

  • milk production data from the last period of time

  • Soil analyses: Eurofins or other, preferably with minerals and trace elements and not older than 3 years

  • Slurry analyses 

  • other interesting analyses

On the day of the measurements, Peter will start around 9.30 am and will be busy all day. It is useful if you can take samples of urine in the morning when the cows are tied to the feed fence. Afterwards, Peter analyses the samples in his van. He does not need any help, but you can watch and discuss the measured results at the same time, if you like to. The van should be placed on a place in the shadow and does need power grid connection.

The measurements are usually ready around 4:00 pm (or later). After that, Peter needs at least 2 hours to discuss the results with you. It's nice to do this right a way, because we will remember all details. This takes some time, but then you get the most profit out of this day. If you have already discussed some results during the day, less time is needed at the end.

If you want to know more, please contact Peter by mail:, phone/whatsapp: 0048 513 776 441 or via the contact form.

In this video you can learn how to get lower costs by cooperating with the power of nature in the whole food chain on your farm. Very interesting theme under the existing conditions!

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