Is umbilical slurry spreading better value than a conventional tanker?
Umbilical slurry spreading systems have some big advantages over conventional tanker systems
Weather permitting, in a few weeks spreading of slurry, farmyard manure and chemical fertiliser can resume in the 'Zone A' counties. By 1 February, spreading will be taking place all over the country again.
The key point is to get your slurry out early (if the weather permits) in order to get the best nutrient recovery and cut your fertiliser costs.
However, the caveat is that in practice the weather often doesn't permit slurry spreading in January, and bringing heavy machinery onto land after the heavy winter rain can lead to all sorts of difficulties down the line.
One possible solution that a lot of farmers overlook is umbilical spreading, which means spreading without the use of a heavy tanker.
Spreading slurry with an umbilical spreading system is still a rare sight across Ireland, but it is a system that always wins new fans once the going gets heavy in terms of soft ground.
The umbilical system has three key advantages over a conventional tanker system: higher work rates, lower spread costs per acre and much less soil compaction because there are no heavy tankers.
One of the common misconceptions when it comes to umbilical spreading is that it only suits a farm with one large block of land around a central yard sat in the middle.
While the shape of the farm is important in terms of logistics, some key developments in hose strength and pump capacity mean the umbilical system is considerably more adaptable than people think.