Transfer of manure as fertilizer from livestock farms to crop fields: The case of Catalonia
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Prenafeta-Boldú, Francesc X.
Intensive livestock production might have a negative environmental impact, by producing large amounts of animal manure, which, if not properly managed, can contaminate nearby water bodies with nutrient excess. However, if animal manure is exported to nearby crop fields, to be used as organic fertilizer, pollution can be mitigated. It is a single-objective optimization problem, in regards to finding the best solution for the logistics process of satisfying nutrient needs of crops by means of livestock manure. This paper proposes three different approaches to solve the problem: a centralized optimal algorithm (COA), a decentralized nature-inspired cooperative technique, based on the foraging behaviour of ants (AIA), as well as a naive neighbour-based method (NBS), which constitutes the existing practice used today in an ad hoc, uncoordinated manner in Catalonia. Results show that the COA approach is 8.5% more efficient than the AIA. However, the AIA approach is fairer to the farmers and more balanced in terms of average transportation distances that need to be covered by each livestock farmer, while it is 1.07 times more efficient than the NBS. Our work constitutes the first application of a decentralized AIA to this interesting real-world problem, in a domain where swarm intelligence methods are still under-exploited.
502 - Natura. Estudi, conservació i protecció de la natura
504 - Ciències del medi ambient
63 - Agricultura. Silvicultura. Zootècnia. Caça. Pesca
631/635 - Gestió de les explotacions agrícoles
636 - Explotació i cria d'animals. Cria del bestiar i d'animals domèstics
Is part of
Computers and Electronics in Agriculture
Kamilaris, Andreas, Andries Engelbrecht, Andreas Pitsillides, and Francesc X. Prenafeta-Boldú. 2020. "Transfer Of Manure As Fertilizer From Livestock Farms To Crop Fields: The Case Of Catalonia". Computers And Electronics In Agriculture 175: 105550. doi:10.1016/j.compag.2020.105550.
Grant agreement number
EC/H2020/739578/EU/Research Center on Interactive Media, Smart System and Emerging Technologies/RISE
EC/H2020/665919/EU/Opening Sphere UAB-CEI to PostDoctoral Fellows/P-SPHERE
Gestió Integral de Residus Orgànics
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- ARTICLES CIENTÍFICS 
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