The Value of Slurry Management
For dairy, beef and pig farmers, considering efficient management of slurry can improve the fertiliser value of their waste, along with easier handling and reduced odour.
DEFRA, the EA and ADAS are actively encouraging farmers to value their slurry and improve the management of this naturally available nutrient source which is often neglected. With European legislation forcing farmers to store their slurry for longer, the retention of these beneficial nutrients is becoming a more arduous task.
Investment in sufficient storage offers excellent return on capital, the slurry should be stored during the coldest part of winter and applied when the soils warm in the spring. This improves nutrient application, increases microbial populations and humus formation in the soil leading to improved crop growth.
Fresh cattle slurry can lose up to 80% of its nitrogen value through gaseous emissions, loss of ammonia and leaching from the soil by the time it is spread. Therefore finding a way to introduce aerobic bacteria into fresh slurry as near to the cow as possible is a cost effective way of ensuring nitrogen is retained in its organic form in the slurry. Trapping this nitrogen in bacteria ensures the volatile nitrogen is fixed, and when spread this nitrogen encourages soil micro-organisms and worms for improved crop growth.
Crusting is a sign of lost nutrients as the watery slurry under the crust is generally anaerobic, this is due to less light and oxygen entering the slurry. Stirring slurry is a costly process which causes loss of nitrogen compounds to the atmosphere in the form of ammonia and nitrous oxide. However SlurryBugs is designed to digest through fibrous crusting without disturbing the surface of the slurry and condition the slurry into a homogenous solution.
The decision to manage the nutrients in your slurry will return long term benefits. At least one bag of ammonium nitrate per acre can be saved on 1st cut silage if slurry is treated with an additive such as SlurryBugs & Booster. Spreading becomes easier, smells are significantly reduced and the soil benefits from increased organic nitrogen.