An initiative to reduce a typical dairy farm’s grassland costs by at least £100 per hectare annually is being launched at UK Dairy Day by Envirosystems.
By accurate integration of slurry with bag nitrogen, Slurry-2-Money claims to help reduce bought fertiliser by up to 25% in each of years one and two, with savings of 17% in year three whilst at the same time maintaining grass yield and quality.
On a dairy unit using 300kg/ha nitrogen, the target annual saving by year three is £134/ha based on 34.5% ammonium nitrate at £250/tonne. This has been achieved reliably on commercial farms during the programme’s development, according to Liz Russell from Envirosystems. “Additional savings will be possible on some farms from reduced need for bag phosphate or potash,” she adds.
The scheme’s three essentials are accurate analyses of slurry’s plant nutrient content; slurry and fertiliser application rates calculated using the AHDB Nutrient Management Guide (RB209); and microbiological slurry treatment to improve compositional and physical consistency, and reduce odour.
To support the launch, a free slurry sampling kit with analysis is available to the first 25 farmers who ask about Slurry-2-Money at the Envirosystems UK Dairy Day stand H106.
Liz Russell adds that a non-essential but nontheless valuable practice encouraged by the initiative is applying slurry to the soil surface by trailing shoe or dribble hose, rather than splash plate, for rapid absorption and minimal ammonia emissions.