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Thread: Slurry or Manure

  1. #1

    Slurry or Manure

    I'm looking ahead 4 years when the current agricultural tenant's tenancy ends.

    I'm planning then to stock the ground and to overwinter some cattle in the current shed. We're talking small scale here, approx 50 acres, dexter cattle, the shed I'm thinking of could probably overwinter 40 cattle, the remainder would go to an outlying farm which has a winter shed with slurry tanks.

    The current 40 cattle shed has a concrete floor, so if I'm to collect slurry, that means a lot of expense to transform to slurry capture. The alternative is just to use it as is and spread the dung.

    With the dung, I will have to leave it in a dunghill from November until the following November, then put it on once the cattle are in again, although some of it could be used for the crop silage.

    Is there any advantage of slurry over manure nutrition wise?

    Is there any economic sense in transforming to a slurry tank system?

    Are there any innovations that automate the scraping of the concrete floor?

    Are there any grants to refurbish cattle sheds?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Re: Slurry or Manure

    Creating slurry is a pros and cons thing like most things.

    Pros=

    Slurry can be sucked/pumped by tanker. It is easy to handle, it can be sent out using umbilical which is a very easy way of moving big volumes with minimal mess.

    Can be applied to grass or stubble or bare land with no real problems- solid manure needs to be rotted down first or you contaminate your sward.

    Is a good source of ready available nutrients for grassland.

    Potential saving in time and effort where bedding is concerned, maybe less straw required= less strawy manure has to be hauled out again

    Cons=

    Can be a pollution risk when it is stored improperly or applied wrong.

    It is expensive to haul long distances (contains water).

    Not everyone has a tanker or an umbilical kit.

    Animal maybe not as clean as when on plenty of deep litter- depends on system.

    Can be a pain if lots of rain water enters the store- more volume to spread.

    Usually fields are minging wet right when you have your slurry store at the fullest

    Toxic gases risk to people

    Have to be careful on choice and use of bedding and building design- tanks or slats settle out etc.

    Generally higher initial investment required on buildings and infrastructure, pumps, drains, yards, roofs, slats, concrete etc- straw housing doesn't even need a concrete floor to work!


    I would hesitantly say that neither option is hassle free. It is expensive to build stores but the saving is in time and reduced use of bedding which is not cheap these days.

    Get either method wrong and it is an utter nightmare. A hybrid of both might make sense and give you the benefits of both.

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