Slurry and manures contain nutrients and although not necessarily in the correct ratio for a particular field or crop it is still a fertiliser and their nutrient content should be valued and not treated as a waste.
The nutrients in slurry are valuable, not just in the saving of fertiliser costs but also in their role in conditioning soils and the nutrient of the crop.
Testing your manure and slurry will indicate its nutrient level. It is important to get a representative sample of the whole heap or lagoon and then work out the ‘available’ nutrients i.e. those that the plant can access and not use the ‘total’ figures. The nutrient value of manure and slurry can be calculated using current fertiliser prices for nitrogen, phosphate and potash. Manures and slurry also contain useful amounts of sulphur and magnesium.
Manure or slurry applications should ideally be targeted on fields with a low phosphate or potash index. It is important to avoid run off so do not apply to frozen, waterlogged ground or within 10 metres of surface water or on sloping ground.
Manure spreading must be accurate to ensure the decisions made on where to use manure and fertiliser purchases are correct. There are two kinds of inaccuracy, wrong rate of application or uneven spreading. Inaccuracies will affect crop yield, quality and can increase nutrient losses to the water or air. Before spreading any manure the condition of the spreader should be checked and calibrated.
Arranging a nutrient management plan will maximise production and ultimately profit from nutrient inputs whilst avoiding or minimising adverse effects on the environment. By using an NMP it will also ensure that legal requirements are met and review changes in nutrient levels and production (e.g. increasing soil fertility to support a higher stocking rate or altering soil nutrient status to suit future crops). By reviewing a plan it will help to minimise the cost of supplying nutrients and avoids wasted spend on unnecessary or unused nutrients. This will also help reduce the risk of damage to the environment.
Our experienced FACTS qualified Forage Specialists will build up your nutrient management plan from the soil up. As part of our comprehensive service we will undertake soil and slurry analysis and build your crop nutrition program.
There are a wide range of slurry or manure analysis available to cover all major and micro nutrients:
1) A standard slurry or manure analysis
Includes checking the levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium and Dry Matter.
2) A more in depth complete slurry or manure analysis
This check levels of Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium, Magnesium, Dry Matter, Calcium, pH, Sulphur, Copper, Zinc and available Nitrogen.
For more details about a Nutrient Management Plan, improving your homegrown forage or for forage advice, please contact your local account manager or send us an online enquiry:
Contact a Forage Specialist
To maximise the quantity and quality of any crop it is important to begin with the soil. It’s important to understand what nutrients are already in the soil as this can help reduce fertiliser costs and improve the nutritional value of the crop.
With the right nutritional guidance and support, one Yorkshire-based producer is now well on her way to realising the true potential of her herd.
We have a wealth of expertise within our UK team. Let our youngstock, forage and nutritional specialists help you and your business.
Contact our team today