12 December 1997

Slurry injection keeps sward sweet

INJECTING rather than spreading slurry reduces cattles aversion to fertilised grass, helping to maintain intakes and sustain yields from grass.

Roger Wilkins of the Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research, North Wyke, Devon, discussed a trial at the BGS meeting, which compared feeding behaviour on untreated grass with grass treated with slurry spread or injected. "Cattle showed an aversion to grass spread with slurry for over six weeks," said Dr Wilkins.

"When untreated grass was available cows consumed little of the grass spread with slurry until 42 days after spreading. At this time cows were eating three times more untreated than treated grass.

"When only treated grass was available, cows reduced their grass intakes, reducing yields rather than eating the contaminated grass." But the trial showed that cows grazing grassland injected with slurry began consuming some treated grass within one hour of treatment. &#42