Open season: When can you start spreading slurry?

The end of the closed period for slurry spreading, chemical fertiliser and farmyard manure is in sight, with spreading once again being allowed over the coming days and weeks.

Broken down into three separate zones – A, B and C – going from the south-east and east to the north and north-west, the three regions have opening periods which kick off at various dates between January 12 to February 1.

What zone are you in?

  • Zone A: Carlow; Cork; Dublin; Kildare; Kilkenny; Laois; Offaly; Tipperary; Waterford; Wexford; Wicklow;
  • Zone B: Clare; Galway; Kerry; Limerick; Longford; Louth; Mayo; Meath; Roscommon; Sligo; Westmeath;
  • Zone C: Cavan; Donegal; Leitrim; Monaghan.

Slurry is the cheapest form of nitrogen (N), phosphorous (P) and potassium (K) on farms. Slurry should be spread where grass covers are low and on soils deficient in P and K.

Also Read: Using LESS is a more efficient way to spread slurry

However, you should be mindful of the weather forecast. Just because the nitrates directive allows for spreading to take place – from the above dates on – it does not mean it is the optimum time to spread.

Safety around slurry spreading

Most importantly farmers should take care when spreading slurry and avoid taking risks.

  • Agitate on a windy day, open all shed doors and work upwind at all times;
  • Remove all livestock and control pets;
  • Agitate/ventilate and stay away for 30 minutes;
  • Keep tank openings secure and do not enter the tank at any stage;
  • Avoid working alone.