Slurry is a combination of the solids and liquids that are undigested by animals. During the digestion process animals may only absorb 5%-20% of the nutrients in their feed, with the reminder left in their manure. Grazing animals naturally recycle back onto the pasture. For housed animals slurry has to be stored and re-applied to the ground safely.
Many farmers view slurry management as a disposal exercise with little thought being given to maximising the fertiliser value of the material. However, according to Michael O’Grady, Sales, Marketing and Business Development Manager, Abbey Machinery, attention to detail on the timing of slurry application, choosing the correct application rate to deliver the nutrients required by the crop and selecting appropriate spreading technology will reduce the use of purchased chemical fertiliser and help the farm to become more profitable.
There are environmental risks associated with applying slurry and to minimise these risks it is important to consider the timing of application, weather factors, soil type, field aspect (ie. hilly vs flat), proximity to water courses etc.
Application systems such as the Abbey Dribble Bar, the Abbey Trailing Shoe and the Abbey Tri-App spreading systems maximise the nutrient recovery value from the slurry and minimise any negative impact to the environment. Getting the most from slurry involves the adoption of an appropriate management strategy - important issues are:
l Ensure there is suitable preparation of slurry by effective mixing prior to spreading.
l Ensure nutrient content of slurry being applied matches crop requirements.
l Ensure whatever Applicator is selected is correctly set up to optimise in-field performance.
The key areas of slurry management are as follows:
1. Slurry Preparation – Abbey high pressure pumps rapidly mix slurry into a homogenous solution that can be easily applied.
2. Slurry Transportation – Tankers and Umbilical Systems to get the flurry from the yard to the field.
3. Application Systems – from inverted splash plate to Trailing Shoe & Tri-App.
4. Minimising environmental impact,
5. Avoiding field compaction.
For information contact Abbey Machinery on +353-67-26677 or visit www.abbeymachinery.com (David O’Malley, +44 7393 116850, Territory Manager, Abbey Machinery).