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Careful application of slurry this spring

As the date for permitting organic fertiliser spreading passes it is important to plan carefully how best to apply nutrients to grassland in the coming weeks and months from an economic, productivity and environmental viewpoint.

As chemical fertiliser prices have increased significantly for this spring it is worth noting that value of organic fertilisers has also increased with 1,000 gallons of slurry nearly doubling in value and is now worth €54. These tips will help to maximise the returns from slurry applications and protect the environment:  

  1. Ensure the capacity of organic manure stores, at a minimum, is sufficient to meet the storage requirements for your county
  2. Prepare and implement a nutrient management plan to ensure the nutrients in slurry are targeted to where they are most needed, (consult your advisor)
  3. Apply slurry in spring where ground conditions are suitable and soil temperature is consistently greater than 6 degrees
  4. Do not apply slurry where heavy rainfall is forecast within 48 hours
  5. Organic manure application rates must match grass growth rates to maximise nutrient uptake
  6. Apply a 5m buffer zone from drains and watercourses when spreading organic fertilisers. 
  7. Ensure the tractor driver is aware of the location of drains, watercourses, wells, karst features, etc. when spreading organic fertilisers and observes the relevant buffer zones
  8. Use LESS equipment to minimise ammonia losses and maximise N availability