The slurry spreading season has opened in two of the three zones – A and B – with zone C set to open at the end of the month

The rising cost of chemical fertiliser has meant that slurry has been highlighted as a way of reducing inputs on farms in 2022.

Teagasc believes that farmers can save on chemical fertiliser if their slurry is managed correctly.

This involves spreading it at the right time and on the fields that require it most.

Slurry spreading

With the spreading season now open in zones A and B, does that mean just because you can spread that you should spread it?

During the recent Teagasc Getting the Best Out of Slurry webinar, the importance of spreading in the right conditions was highlighted.

Speaking at the event, Mark Plunkett from Teagasc said: “The phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) in slurry is quite stable.

“But to maximise the nitrogen (N) it is important that it is spread at the right time of the year and in the right conditions.”

The advice for several years has been to spread the majority of your slurry in the spring, as this is when the most benefit is obtained.

Mark recommended that farmers look at Met Éireann and the Teagasc website to determine if conditions are right for spreading.

He said: “The conditions we are looking for include soil temperatures above 5.5°C, good field conditions and a good weather forecast.”

Other considerations

Before spreading, you should also look at the condition of the land and ask: will it take the weight of a tractor and tanker?

Is getting slurry out worthwhile if you damage the land?

Slurry should not be spread on land that is waterlogged, land that is flooded or is likely to flood, and land that is frozen or has snow lying on it.

You should also avoid spreading on a heavy cover of grass until it has been grazed – particularly if you are using a splash plate.