A multi‐agent simulation model for spatial optimisation of manure allocation

Bart Van der Straeten, Jeroen Buysse, Stephan Nolte, Ludwig Lauwers, Dakerlia Claeys, Guido Van Huylenbroeck

Research output: Contribution to journalA1: Web of Science-articlepeer-review


The EU Nitrate Directive has spurred many countries to regulate manure production and manure application. Farmers have three allocation options: spreading manure on their own land, transporting manure to other farmers' land or processing manure. The manure problem can be seen as an allocation problem. To better understand this allocation problem, we have developed the spatial mathematical programming multi-agent simulation (MP-MAS) model. This model has been applied in Flanders, Belgium, a region with a high concentration of livestock. The model evaluates the cost efficiency of policy intervention in the manure market through obliged processing. We propose to further optimise the policy using a regionally differentiated manure pressure indicator, which is directly derived from the dual outcome of the mathematical programme. This indicator increases transparency in the manure and processing market, leading to better decision support about location and type of manure processing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Environmental Planning and Management
Issue number8
Pages (from-to)1011-1030
Number of pages31
Publication statusPublished - 2010


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