"Surface spreading has a major drawback in that it smothers the sward which can lead to dead areas, uneven growth and contamination of herbage all of which contribute to poorer utilisation of the grass. It also represents a potential source of water and air pollution as slurry lying on the surface is vulnerable to run off following rainfall, spreading from a vacuum tanker leads to problems with odour and there is also a greater risk of gaseous losses to the atmosphere. This last point not only represents a loss of nutrients but is also a source of greenhouse gases.With this in mind a comparison of techniques was arranged as part of a slurry handling demonstration arranged by the Nidd Catchment
Dairy slurry was applied at the rate of 44m3/ ha. One half of the field had the slurry surface spread, the other half had it injected with an injector.4 weeks later the difference between the swards was marked as the pictures below show. Although no measurements were taken of the amount of grass growth it was clear that the area that had been injected had more bulk, was more even and had no dead areas. The host farmer had always used surface spreading but having seen the effect he was convinced that injection was the way forward for him. A further benefit of injection is the short period of time before the sward becomes useable again. Part of the demonstration site was injected on the morning of the demonstration and 6 hours later, as shown below, the slurry had disappeared from the surface. This demonstration clearly showed how injecting slurry can have major agricultural benefits through improved sward utilisation compared to surface spreading.Just as importantly injection brings a number of environmental benefits.
• It reduces nutrient loss through greater availability of the nutrients and increased grass growth.
• It reduces the risk of run-off.
• It reduces odour.
• It reduces gaseous emissions."
Watch our feature on Ear to the Ground, where they discuss the advantages of slurry injecting.
season 26 episode 16.
can be viewed on RTE player.
An extract of our feature in the Irish Farmers Journal.
Aerial shot of the Terra gator injecting slurry. Watch it in action here