17 August 2001

IGER FYM warning

HEAVY applications of unrotted farmyard manure can delay the recovery of swards cut for silage, says the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research.

Its latest newsletter warns that young tillers on plants weakened by cutting can be shaded, buried and scorched by manure.

Manuring also reduces grazing intakes for up to eight weeks so finishing lambs or cattle should get priority over manure application, says institute consultant Bryan Evans.

"Delay until the sward is well recovered. Compost the manure before spreading, and use spreaders and application rates that give an even spread and avoid lumps," he says.

Much nitrogen can be lost as ammonia when manure is applied in summer and cooler conditions in September will allow nutrients to be more efficiently used. &#42