28 March 1997

Watching waste lines

Muck 97 – the National Waste Management Demonstration – takes place at the National Agricultural Centre, Stoneleigh, on Apr 9 and 10. Andy Collings previews the event

THERES an awful lot of it about. The quantity of muck produced in the UK each year runs into the millions of tonnes.

And, while for most of us such excessive commodity is seen as little more than a costly by-product of a stock enterprise, there are those who would advocate it has a significant value in terms of plant nutrient.

What ever your viewpoint, the Muck 97 event should be of interest to all livestock farmers looking to glean new ways of storing, handling and spreading manure – both liquid and solid.

Over 150 specialist companies are due to exhibit their wares at this years event and organisers report that a considerable number will provide working demonstrations.

Due to start at 11am on both days, these will include solid manure spreaders, slurry tankers, handling machinery and a number of different dirty water disposal systems.

For those looking for ways of managing farm waste, representatives from ADAS, IGER and Silsoe will be on hand to provide practical advice on such subjects as precise application of slurry with N, P and K measurement, diet manipulation to reduce nitrogen excreted, controlling smells and a host of other manure-related topics.

And it is not just manure the event is looking at this year. Farms have other waste products to dispose of – plastic film, spray containers, fertiliser bags – to name but a few. Certain specialist companies at the event will be offering advice on how to package this type of waste and how to dispose of it legally and safely.