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Making the most of manure

A "MUCK carpet" is being used by Eblex to show livestock farmers how different types and levels of manure can affect grassland.

A "MUCK carpet" is being used by Eblex to show livestock farmers how different types and levels of manure can affect grassland.

The two-metre (2.2yd) by four-metre (4.4yd) installation has been developed to show the effects of different application rates, associated nutrient levels and the relative costs of buying equivalent fertilisers.

The piece of kit, developed with Creedy Associates, can also cut on-farm costs and improve efficiency.

Eblex beef and sheep scientist Dr Liz Genever said: “Feeding grass and forage crops properly with slurries and manures can boost growth. This means bought-in feed requirements can be reduced with potential savings to the business.

“However, for it to be done effectively, we need to look more closely at what is being spread and at what rate. Otherwise, requirements will not be met and nutrients could be wasted. We want to encourage more livestock farmers to evaluate what they are putting on, looking at the nutrient needs of a specific field with a soil test and applying slurry or manure when and where appropriate.

“We are encouraging producers to use manures and slurries as a source of nutrients that saves them money, rather than a waste product that needs to be got rid of. Overall, our focus is on improving grassland yield and utilisation to ensure production is maximised off grass, which helps to reduce cost of production.”

 

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