7 July 1995

Slurry flow helped by bacteria

A BACTERIAL cocktail launched at the Royal Show by Genus is said to make slurry flow more easily and enhance its nutrient value.

The additive contains 12 bacteria selected to break down slurry and reduce its odour.

"The main benefit is that it allows farmers to manage slurry more easily," says Genuss Andrew Perry. "Because the bacteria are digesting slurry, crusting is reduced and less time needs to be spent mixing it."

Five to six hours mixing is all that is required, according to Genus.

"When ground conditions allow, spreaders can work almost straight away," says Mr Perry, who believes it will especially benefit those producers planning to use umbilical spreading systems.

Contamination reduced

He claims a greater volume of liquid, treated slurry can be applied more evenly. As it runs off grass more quickly, it reduces herbage and silage contamination.

Genus also expects the treated slurry will have a higher nitrogen content. The reason is that the nitrogen in the slurry is used by the added bacteria and bonded to the slurry rather than being lost as ammonia.

Cost is £60/kg pack, sufficient to treat slurry from 10-12 head of stock. Genus estimates that at £4 a cow the product is cost-effective given reduced labour and power costs of mixing slurry of £7.50 a cow.