19 January 1996

Contractor claims injection set to grow

DYFED contractor John Dalton is offering farmers an umbilical slurry injection service.

It uses equipment used for sewage sludge disposal and he reckons demand will grow as livestock farmers come under increasing pressure to reduce smells and run-off pollution of water courses.

High operating costs mean customers pay £12.35/ha (£5/acre) more than for conventional umbilical spreading but much higher volumes can be applied safely. This means less land is exposed to the small risk of poaching that even exists with the umbilical system.

Mr Dalton, Gelli Garneddau, Lampeter, claims land recovers quickly and that injection reduces atmospheric and run-off nutrient losses from the slurry, enhancing the response to applications. "I think the safe storage and application of slurry will become an even bigger headache in future. Inject-ing it in the soil is the way ahead."

A recent RASE survey on 294 members farms indicated that UK farmers are still failing to realise the nutritional value of muck and slurry. Though 74% of respondents said they took the value into account when planning fertiliser requirements, less than half could put a kg of nitrogen a hectare value on it.

Only 11% had ever had their muck analysed and just 24% had carried out soil surveys to evaluate where manures could be safely and easily spread. &#42

The umbilical injection equipment, here being used for sewage sludge, is also being used for injecting slurry. Higher volumes can be applied safely.