Prepare to Empty Your Slurry Tanks as Weather Conditions Change

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Time to empty your slurry tanks as weather set to turn
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With reasonably good ground conditions and the continuation of favorable weather for a few more days, now is an opportune time to empty your slurry tanks.

However, it’s important to note that the good weather and ground conditions won’t last, and spreading slurry is prohibited during waterlogged conditions or when heavy rain is predicted.

Weather conditions are expected to take a turn by Sunday, with unsettled conditions and rain spreading across the country, followed by more showers next week.

Targeted Application

When spreading slurry, aim for a targeted soil index of three and focus on fields with an index of one or two.

It’s essential to avoid the common tendency of spreading slurry on the same fields, which may be easily accessible or the only option due to delayed spreading. Instead, prioritize effective slurry utilization to improve and maintain soil fertility.

Cattle slurry is a valuable source of organic nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).

By using slurry wisely, you can reduce chemical fertilizer costs, as a 1,000-gallon slurry has the nutrient content equivalent to a 50kg bag of 6-5-30 fertilizer.

Thus, maximize the effectiveness of slurry application to enhance soil fertility.

LESS Techniques

In some cases, fields may not receive slurry due to grazing activities, as spreading slurry would delay grazing. Employing Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) techniques not only increases N efficiency and reduces ammonia loss, but it also facilitates a quicker return to grazing.

On average, using LESS will give you 50% more N and reduce ammonia loss by 60%.

LESS offers more flexibility for grazing as it contaminates a smaller portion of the sward, allowing quicker grazing with reduced chances of rejection or poor cleanouts.

Slurry Safety

Safety should always be a priority, especially during slurry agitation. Take extra caution when agitating slurry that has been in tanks for an extended period.

Safe agitation guidelines from the Health and Safety Authority:

  • Agitate on windy days;
  • Remove all livestock and control pets;
  • Open all doors and control access;
  • Agitate/ventilate and stay away for 30 minutes;
  • Work upwind at all times;
  • Do not enter tanks – even when empty;
  • Keep tank openings secure at all times;
  • If possible, avoid agitating alone.

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