Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Monday 22 January 2018

Choose organic manures over artificial

Ireland must reduce its ammonia (NH3) discharges from farming by 5pc in the period to 2030. Pic Roger Jones.
Ireland must reduce its ammonia (NH3) discharges from farming by 5pc in the period to 2030. Pic Roger Jones.

Step 4 – Use organic fertilisers as efficiently as possible

Organic manures are a valuable source of N, P and K and can effectively replace artificial fertilisers.

To maximise the nutrients in organic manures, it is essential that they are applied at the correct time of the year.

The nutrient content of cattle slurry at different dry matter contents are shown in Table 3.

Therefore, good management at the time of application such as well agitated slurry with even and accurate application will improve the fertiliser value.

Remember to adjust slurry application rates depending on slurry dry matter to deliver the correct levels of P and K to meet crop nutrient requirements.

Applying organic manures to the same field year after year without knowing the soil fertility status may not be the best use of these valuable nutrients.

Consult soil test results and identify fields on the farm with the lowest fertility (Index 1).

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This may result in increased fuel costs for transporting slurry to fields that are further away, but may still be economical when offset by reduced fertiliser costs on these fields.

Irish Independent