Farmers can save money by using pig slurry as a fertiliser on their farms in 2016, according to Teagasc’s Gerard McCutcheon.

The Teagasc Pig Development Officer said that pig slurry is an ideal replacement for artificial fertiliser products on both tillage and grassland farms.

“Pig slurry can be spread on all farms, but some tillage farmers are saving themselves a lot of money by using pig slurry.

“It is also an ideal fertiliser to use on grassland farms, especially for silage swards. As a general rule of thumb farmers should spread 2,000 gallons/ac,” he said.

In comparison to artificial fertiliser costs, he said, that at current market prices pig slurry is worth €26.59 per 1,000 gallons as a fertiliser.

The pig specialist said that pig slurry is an effective product to build up soil Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K) levels, as research shows 1000 gallons slurry is the same as a 50kg bag of 19-7-20.7.

However, he said that farmers will not see the financial benefits of using pig slurry unless they reduce the amounts of artificial P and K used on farm.

There is no point in people using pig slurry unless they are reducing the physical amount of artificial Phosphorous and Potassium levels.

Research from Teagasc shows that the nutrient value of pig slurry is closely related to its solids content, which is influenced by the amount of water added to pig diets.

It says that good manure management will result in reduced storage and transport costs for pig producers and a product with a higher nutritive value for farmers.

Pig manure which contains 4.3% solids is of reasonable quality, it says, while good quality pig manure will have a solids content of 5%.

Factors to consider when spreading pig slurry
  • The area of the farm that is going to spread
  • The organic stocking rate of the farm
  • Crops grown after application
  • Nutrient status of the soil
  • Proposed chemical fertiliser usage on the farm
  • Tonnes of concentrate feed fed to grazing animals the previous year