Now is the ideal time to think about slurry management, according to DairyCo extension officer, Chris Coxon.
He recommends farmers think carefully about the following points:
1. NVZ storage regulations
In just over a year’s time dairy farmers will have to demonstrate that they can store slurry for five months in order to comply with NVZ regulations. Those farmers who haven’t made a plan for this yet should start planning now.
DairyCo’s Dairy Wizard publication can help with the calculations for this future planning.
2. Is there adequate storage space?
Some farmers may be aware they need more slurry storage, but they might not know about all of the options available, which include installing a separator, or, diverting the surplus water from the parlour wash down to an irrigation system.
The DairyCo publication Cost Effective Slurry Storage provides guidance in these areas and can help farmers to choose the right option for their farm.
3. Don’t forget that “closed periods” may now apply
For those with adequate slurry storage facilities, we are now technically into the slurry spreading “closed period”. This applies to arable cropping on all soils and grassland on light land soils. When you have heavy grassland soils the closed period will apply from 15 October.
4. Check that your slurry scraper is ready for winter
And if it’s not, repair or replace it now to help keep yards as clean as possible.
5. Check slurry pumps, channels and valves
A quick check of the pathway of your slurry system through to the pit will decrease the likeliness of problems occurring when it’s used at full capacity. Just be wary of the potential for toxic gas build-up in channels and slurry pits when you are doing checks.
• To order your copy of the Dairy Wizard or Cost Effective Slurry Storage, call the DairyCo publications line on 024 7647 8702, email email@example.com, or visit the DairyCo website at www.dairyco.org.uk.