Wet Ground Makes a Mess of Slurry in Ireland

IRELAND - The wet weather during the late summer and autumn has created difficulties for livestock producers trying to apply slurry and animal manures.
calendar icon 15 October 2008
clock icon 2 minute read

Poor ground conditions is preventing farmers from travelling the land with machinery for spreading, creating a problem on individual farms. With poor weather conditions, livestock have been housed by night since mid September in some areas and many are now looking at full time housing from late October.

Some Individual farmers have up to 40 per cent of their tank capacity full already with the closed period for spreading fast approaching.“

Teagasc advice is to spread slurry in the spring to maximize the utilization of the nutrients by growing crops. This year, farmers who waited until later in the year to apply slurry are now having difficulties due to the wet weather in August and September. This situation is being exacerbated by the need to house stock earlier.

Speaking at a dairy farm walk in Kildare today, dairy specialist George Ramsbottom advised farmers as part of their grassland management strategy, to start thinking about their nutrient management plan for 2009 now. “Higher prices for artificial fertilizers have increased the monetary value of the nutrients in slurry and animal manures.

These organic fertilizers can make a valuable contribution to the fertilizer needs of the farm. The atrocious weather this summer and autumn has reinforced the importance of using slurry early in the year to reduce the quantities of artificial fertilizer applied. Many farmers are now caught and are unable to spread slurry due to the bad ground conditions.”

The dairy farm walk focused on setting up the grazing platform for the spring by closing off paddocks early enough in the autumn. George Ramsbottom said that planning your spring grass should begin now, by planning to close off forty to sixty per cent of the grazing area by 1 November to ensure adequate grass covers for early spring grazing. This can reduce costs by up to €2 per cow per day.

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