Do the Sums to maximise the benefit of Slurry
Timing and application method will help increase the number of nitrogen units in your farm's soils
The most important consideration when spreading slurry is timing, while the second is method of application. Focusing on getting slurry out in the spring instead of during summer months is worth the equivalent of an extra six units of nitrogen per 1,000ga spread.
The method of spreading also has the potential to increase the efficacy of your slurry by adding three units of nitrogen per 1,000ga spread. This improvement can be achieved by switching from a splashplate system to a trailing shoe option for example.
If someone changes their spreading dates from summer with the splashplate to spring with the trailing shoe, there is the potential to get the benefit of nine extra units of nitrogen per 1,000ga.
Spreading in spring costs nothing extra, but improving the method will lead to an increase the cost of spreading.
However, there are other benefits to the trailing shoe andband spreading systems over conventional splashplate systems to consider:
- Flexibility -- The trailing shoe will give you more spreading options in the spring since it can be used on grazing fields because there is not as much smearing of the grass with the slurry. This allows the farmer to apply slurry on pastures with heavier covers without disrupting the grazing rotation significantly.
This allows farms that may be restricted on the total amount of chemical phosphorus that can be applied more opportunities to use slurry to boost grass growth on the grazing platform.
It also suits the contractor, since it spreads the workload of slurry spreading over a much longer period than the traditional windows of early spring and during the silage season.
Applying slurry to pastures with heavier covers has the added advantage of reducing nitrogen loss to the air.