Efficacy of manure nutrient prediction and variable rate technology to improve nutrient use efficiency on Wisconsin dairy farms

PI: Matthew Digman


Digman is an assistant professor of biological systems engineering at UW–Madison. His research interests include impact of autonomy on agricultural machine forms, application of sensors to predict chemical and physical properties of agricultural materials, and fractional utilization of herbaceous biomass.

Postdoc: Joseph Sanford (pictured above) is an assistant professor in the School of Agriculture and faculty researcher for the Dairy Innovation Hub at UW–Platteville. His research interest is in agriculture wastewater management including management of farmstead and edge of field runoff, nutrient management, precision manure application, water recovery and recycling, pathogen inactivation and transport, and emerging agricultural contaminates such as PFAS.

Manure is a valuable resource for maintaining soil fertility on Wisconsin dairy farms. However, over-application causes soils to become saturated with nutrients, which can lead to surface and groundwater contamination. On-spreader manure nutrient prediction and variable rate application are promising new technologies that could minimize environmental risk while improving utilization of manure as a plant nutrient source. This project will assess the efficacy of the underlying technologies of current and novel precision nutrient application systems. This research will be conducted with guidance from Matthew Digman, assistant professor of biological systems engineering.

Publication in Remote Sensing – February 2022

Publication in Remote Sensing – March 2022 

Rebecca Larson