Low rainfall means slurry application recalculation

by 5m Editor
3 March 2006, at 12:00am

UK - Applications of slurry are likely to have higher levels of nitrogen this spring due to low winter rainfall, leading to calls for producers to recalculate top-up rates for crops. Met Office figures suggest most UK regions had just 70% of rainfall normally expected for Dec/Jan, and this has had a knock-on effect on dilution of manure and slurry in open farm stores. Industry figures suggest a 2500 litres/ha (1000gal/acre) application delivers 10kg/ha (8 units/acre) over a typical winter, but where rainfall falls by 30%, this can rise to 17kg/ha (14 units/acre) with later application dates - an increase of up to 75%. Ensuring nitrogen applications don't exceed crop needs or groundwater limits in areas including Nitrate Vulnerable Zones is a concern, say advisers. Typically, nutrient values for slurry are based on 6% dry matter. But it is likely that many will be higher - increasing amounts of available nitrogen, according to Gillian Young, dairy consultant with Devon-based The Dairy Group. Source: Fwi

5m Editor