Lely – Sustainable farming for the future

Lely is an international family business in the agri sector, founded in 1948 by Cornelis and Arij van der Lely in Maassluis, the Netherlands. They offer innovative solutions and targeted services to dairy farmers. To this end, they provide solutions for almost all activities in the cowshed: from milking to cleaning, and advise the smart organization of the dairy farm using management systems.

Helping their customers worldwide make choices in how they organize and run their businesses with advice and innovative solutions that suit them and contribute to efficient business operations. Their belief in sustainability means dealing responsibly with people, animals, and the environment.

Lely wants to pass the world on to the next generation through sustainable product development and be a reliable partner for the long term for their customers.


“For us at Lely, it is crucial that we stay up to speed with the latest technologies that will allow our farmers to operate sustainably and understand the data behind their operations”

André van Troost, CEO, Lely

Lely Sphere - Sustainable dairy farming

Lely Sphere is a circular manure-handling system for separating mineral streams and creating value from emissions. By separating the different components of manure, the farmer will have:

  • Urine, stored below the separation floor, contains a lot of potassium.
  • Faeces, stored in the dumping pit of the manure robot, contain organic nitrogen and phosphate.
  • Finally, mineral nitrogen is stored in the circular fertiliser silo in ammonium sulphate or ammonium nitrate.

You can use each type of fertiliser to feed the soil and crops optimally, exactly when and where this is needed. By separating urine and feaces, less ammonia is produced. And the ammonia which is produced gets converted into circular nitrogen fertilizer (avoiding evaporation).

Test barns show that reducing ammonia emissions by more than 70% is feasible compared to official standards. With this, you can ‘harvest’ 10 kg to 20 kg of nitrogen per cow per year. In this way, you improve closing mineral cycles as well as the barn climate.

The farm of the future

The vision of the farm of the future is centred around the dairy cow. Repetitive tasks of the farmer are automated, allowing dairy farmers to concentrate on things that are important to him or her. Farms are completely robotised, and operational 24/7. The farm of the future is based on the principle of allowing cows to move freely so that they can behave naturally and their welfare can be improved.

Lely strives for an enjoyable, sustainable, and profitable future for dairy farming. As this future is coming under increasing pressure from population growth, farmers are needed more than ever as the demand for food is likely to increase by 70% by 2050. Furthermore, the impact of farming on the environment is also coming under increasing scrutiny, and regulations are becoming stricter.