14 April 1995

Muck 95 aids best use

Muck has a value – but only if it is used so its value can be realised. Muck 95 provided plenty of scope for visitors to discover how muck should be stored, handled and spread. Andy Collings and Andrew Faulkner report. Pictures by

Barry Wyles

EACH year, the UK produces over 190m tonnes of muck. In nutrient terms, this represents a value of £190m.

So theres money in the midden. But discovering the best way of getting muck to the field, so its full financial potential is realised, continues to tax the ingenuity of farmer, agronomist and spreader manufacturers.

This years Muck event brought forward a reputable crop of new developments – particularly for umbilical application systems, to the point where the event could, with good reason, have been entitled: "Pump it, dont hump it."

Many farmers who have endured brim-full slurry stores this winter will have studied the potential for a system which allows spreading of slurry to continue on fields where a conventional tanker might have sunk out of sight.

Variety of techniques

Attempts to use slurry more effectively – and in an environmentally acceptable manner – resulted in a variety of different application techniques being demonstrated. Finding favour with the agronomists was the open slit system which placed slurry 4-5cm under the ground to reduce nutrient loss.

The solid muck side of the business appears to have taken a back seat this year in terms of new developments but, as with slurry, the overriding message was to value the material and use it.

After all, there are costs incurred in producing muck – efforts should be made to recoup them.

Muck, glorious muck. Loading equipment, solid manure spreaders, slurry tankers and injection equipment at last weeks Muck 95.