Nutrient- and soil protection management

For a sustainable agriculture

Topic area
Agriculture and forestry, incl. value chain
Environment, biodiversity, nature conservation
Climate protection and climate change

Disaggregation level
Agricultural services
Air pollution control
Environmental protection
Climate protection
Knowledge transfer

Project region

LE– Programming Period
LE 14–20

Project period
03.06.2015-11.06.2018 (geplantes Projektende)

EN - 16.10.1. Einrichtung und Betrieb von Clustern

Project initiator
Maschinenring Steiermark im Maschinenring Cluster

Short description

Knowledge on the nutrient content of farm manure and the supply levels of agricultural soils enables more efficient economic and environmentally sustainable fertilizer management for yield-oriented crop production.

Point of departure

Fertilizer analyses offered by the ‘Machine Ring nutrient management’ are carried out in accordance with the applicable ÖNORMs and include exact planning of sampling, the travelling and independent taking of several individual samples from the warehouse (without additional stirring), homogenization of the samples for analysis in the laboratory, safe transport of the samples to the laboratory, and evaluation and plausibility-checked of the laboratory results in the accredited inspection report including annual comparisons.

The examination of agricultural soils includes an eAMA-compatible GIS planning of the sampling, the independent travelling the your field pieces, a drawing and analysis of the samples according to valid ÖNORMs, as well as the preparation of an accredited inspection report with information on nutrients, pH-values, humus contents, the available nitrogen or also to the mineral nitrogen - Nmin in all 3 depth levels up to 90 cm.

Targets and target groups

Farm manure is a valuable operating resource that can be used according to demand, optimized in terms of efforts and yield and therefore in an economically targeted manner. However, their actual nutrient concentration should be known for this purpose. Since nutrient contents are evaluated in practice based on average tabular figures, this often only leads to very rough approximate values in individual cases, as the relevant nutrient densities in farm manures sometimes show considerable fluctuation ranges.

Taking soil samples in accordance with the applicable standards and regulations involves considerable additional time and effort. For example, for a uniform area of up to 5 ha, the representative soil sample must consist of at least 25 probes distributed over a wide area. Here, the nutrient management offered by Maschinenring, with its accredited manure inspection and soil sampling, offers an innovative service with maximum benefit and minimum effort.

Project implementation and measures

The Maschinenring nutrient management uses specially developed lances as sampling devices for liquid manure. With these, on the basis of a sampling plan tailored to the respective warehouse, complete and representative cross-sectional samples are taken without burdensome stirring of the liquid manure. For the sampling of manure in the form of solid manure from heaps or stock piles, an additional lance with motor-driven conveying spiral is available. All procedures in the nutrient management are statistically and mathematically validated by means of preliminary tests in conformity with standards. Professional sample planning, automated extraction and expert evaluation of laboratory results from samples taken with satellite-based precision minimize the work involved in soil sampling and at the same time maximize the significance of the test results obtained.

Immediately after written approval by the customer, the Maschinenring receives the INVEKOS area data relevant for a manure or soil sampling on the basis of its cooperation with the AMA. Taking into account customer requirements, an electronic sampling plan based on GIS is then prepared and transferred to the sampling vehicle. As a result, sample grids and penetration points can be traced exactly via the stored GPS coordinates.

The samples are then transferred to an accredited partner laboratory. The respective examination parameters are adapted to the specific nutrient requirements of the respective crop and are evaluated by nutrient management as area-related supply rates, as well as presented in a practical and user-friendly manner.

Results and effects

The economical and gentle use of mineral fertilizers is causal, inseparable and directly related to the question of the actual nutrient contents of soils and farm manure.
This central question is answered competently and in a practical manner by the accredited inspection activities of the Maschinenring nutrient management. The decisive factor is not only to apply fertilizers more intensively, but above all in a well thought-out, efficient and targeted manner. Increased demand and prices on the mineral fertilizer market could further increase the cost gap here. The nutrient management derives an individual fertilizer concept for the farm from the concrete actual measured values of farm fertilizers and soils, as well as the applicable guidelines for appropriate fertilization. The difference between the actual nutrient content and the nutrient requirements of a crop can thus be carefully balanced economically and at the same time in an ecologically targeted and sustainable manner.

This enables the farm a foresight planning of costs as well as to monitor and compare them precisely with previous management periods.


The Maschinenring nutrient management not only provides the farm with raw measurement results, but also the know-how about the current nutrient contents in soils and agricultural fertilizers. An advantage that can be directly converted into optimum yields, as well as efficient, cost-saving and sustainably responsible management. And this hand in hand with a significant societal relevance for the protection of water, air and soil resources through modern agriculture.