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Bemest op z'n Best: Optimal manure application

This multi-year programme focuses on halving ammonia emissions from the application of manure in the agricultural sector. This is a procedure that can still be substantially improved. We refer to it as “Bemest op z'n Best” (Optimal manure application). Will you join us?


Halving ammonia emissions

Bemest op z’n Best is an innovative programme aimed at halving ammonia emissions. In this context, our focus lies on technological and other innovations, and on improving the procedure for applying manure. Ideas on how to do this can be drawn from practice, and tested in practice, together with stakeholders.

In this way, we will work intensively together to improve manure application, with the ultimate goal of creating a better balance between farmer, citizen and nature. The programme centres on linking the various parties. Collaboration and joint development offer the best chance of developing workable solutions that benefit everyone.

How it works

We work together with practitioners such as farmers, contract workers, machine builders, and consultants.We understand their interests and we know where the challenges lie. We believe that the key to innovation is also held in this practice, and we want to work together to find solutions that benefit all parties. Where possible, we facilitate the development and future implementation of the innovations.

How we do this

  • By making an inventory of and evaluating practice-based innovation proposals.
  • By researching and assessing these proposals for innovation.
  • By stimulating and guiding the further development of these innovations.


Our scope for implementing the programme is as follows:

Bemest op z’n Best focuses exclusively on innovations intended to be applied more or less simultaneously with loading manure or spreading manure. This means that the programme does not cover innovations in animal management (including grazing), feeding strategies, barn modifications and manure treatment. The programme is aligned with developments taking place in other links in the N-chain. The innovations should therefore be aligned both with the manure products that are currently available, and with manure products that emerge from innovative barn systems or processing techniques. The programme covers all forms of manure application, and therefore also the various agricultural sectors. The main focus of the programme is the application of manure products in dairy farming. We are interested both in the technology, and in how this technology is used.


This programme is based on co-creation

We invite everyone who is involved in that administration of manure to think with us and submit innovations. We will screen the ideas on different aspects, such as the expected impact on ammonia emissions, feasibility and expected side-effects.


Once you register we will invite you for an intake interview. In this interview, we will outline the details of your idea together, to give the reviewers a good impression of your idea.

After the intake interview, we will anonymise (number) the ideas, so that the assessment teams can make an objective assessment. In this way, we make sure that prior knowledge, opinions, and personal preferences do not play a role in the assessment. Each idea will be assessed by two teams of independent researchers. In doing so, they will use a carefully devised screening protocol. As part of this screening, we will look at factors such a reduction in emissions, applicability, side-effects, market prospects and support base.


The two assessment teams will compare their findings and formulate a final assessment. This will lead to one of three results:

  • Green: the idea moves to the next phase.
  • Orange: there is not enough information to assess whether the idea can make it through the preliminary screening. The parties submitting these ideas will be asked for more information about their idea.
  • Red: the idea will not be investigated further – in its current state. This may be due to various reasons, for example that it falls outside the scope of the project (the application of manure) or that it has too little or no impact on ammonia emissions.

Research & Development

We will study the innovations that make it through the initial selection and potentially develop them further in collaboration with the programme experts. In this context, we ask for substantial input from the applicant.

About us

The programme consists of a programme team, specialised project groups, a steering committee, and a sounding board group. The programme team (PT) is the linchpin of the programme. All disciplines are represented in this group. The PT directs the project groups, consults with the steering committee and the sounding board group, bears responsibility for the project, and forms the link to all project group members. Koos Verloop, from Wageningen University & Research, will act as programme manager. The steering committee was created to make sure that the programme functions according to the agreements in the grant award. The sounding board group advises the programme on the course to follow. In doing so, they integrate signals from the various units.

The project groups and their role

This project brings together experts from across the entire sector. This allows us to correctly assess and test submitted innovations, and actively contribute to the further development of ideas. The parties represented in the project groups are:

  • Wageningen University & Research
  • NMI
  • Louis Bolk Institute
  • Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
  • Delphy
  • RIVM
  • Cumela
  • Fedecom
  • PPP Agro
  • De Marke

In addition, we work closely together with experts from organisations such as LTO and PBL.

Submitting your idea

Get in touch

If you have an idea that might contribute to reducing ammonia emissions during manure application, please get in touch! You can submit your idea via this form. Then e-mail the form to innovatiemestaanwending@wur.nl

We screen all submitted ideas four times a year. We will do this in 2023 on March 31, June 23, September 29 and December 15.

We will contact all applicants to provide additional explanation and answer any questions you may have. Confidentiality is crucial in an innovation process, which is why we process all ideas with the greatest care.

If you have any questions, please email us at innovatiemestaanwending@wur.nl.

Please note

Bemest op z’n Best focuses exclusively on innovations intended to be applied more or less simultaneously with loading manure or spreading manure.

This means that the programme does not cover innovations in animal management (including grazing), feeding strategies, barn modifications and manure treatment.

See section Scope for more information.

Marieke Rinsema