Auto Trader Ltd
27 July 2016 | Online since 2003
Briefing Media - FG Classified

10 May 2006 00:00:00|Poultry Husbandry

Time to stop mucking about.....

Where there’s muck there’s money. And now DEFRA has started spelling out just how much cash the contents of a droppings pit can be worth. And at £83 per hectare, the answer is probably a lot more than you thought. The facts are revealed in a new series of booklets called ’Making The Most of Manure’ which point out that maximising the efficient use of muck not only benefits the bank account but also the environment because of the reduced danger of pollution.
The key, of course, is establishing just what nutrients are in the muck in the first place. The only truly accurate way of doing this is by analysis but DEFRA has produced ’standard values’ based on a series of tests. These show that every ton of layer manure which has a dry matter of 30% contains 16 kilos of nitrogen, 13 of phosphorous and 9 of potassium. The figures for litter, with 60% DM, are 30, 25 and 18 respectively. But a crucial factor is how much of these nutrients are made available to the next crop to be grown after application.
Autumn and winter applications of poultry manures will make between 10-25% of the total N available to the next crop depending on the soil type. But a spring application will make 35% available on grassland and up to 50% on arable land where rapid incorporation or deep injection is used.
The DEFRA experts strongly recommend the Spring as the key time to apply poultry manures not only because of these figures but because much less nitrogen is lost to the atmosphere as ammonia (which contributes to acid rain) or in leaching (which pushes up ground water nitrate levels). If poultry manure is applied in September, over 25% of N can be lost through leaching. In January the figure plunges to just 1 or 2%.
The cash value of the muck in the pit is calculated by taking all of this into account. It also assumes an application rate of 12.5 tons per hectare which will supply 70 kg/ha of nitrogen or 50-60% of the total N requirement of a silage crop. On this basis the experts say your muck will save £44/ha in nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium on the first cut of silage and a further £39/ha on later cuts. A similar calculation for broiler litter applied in the spring to main crop potatoes shows a muck value of £154/ha.
With changes to organic rules that make manure and its disposal a critical issue in stocking rates, this a subject that will receive increasing attention. But even for non-organic producers it is clearly an issue worth taking seriously. The three DEFRA booklets which cover arable, grassland and spreading systems are a useful starting point. They are not just informative and user friendly they are also free. Copies are available from DEFRA Publications, Admail 6000, London SW1A 2XX. Tel: 0645 556000.


0 Comment


Please enter your name



Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.


No comments posted yet. Be the first to post a comment

Venezuela | 27 July 2016
Venezuela to reassign private, public workers to agriculture sector

Venezuela on Tuesday said private and public companies will be obliged to let their workers be reassigned to grow crops, in a dramatic move in the middle of the country's crippling economic crisis. ...

Ireland | 27 July 2016
Ministers ‘keen to secure’ best post-Brexit Irish agriculture deal

In the wake of the Brexit vote, farming interests in Northern Ireland are anxious to work with the Republic to secure the best deal for exports, according to Minister for Agriculture Michael Creed. ...

USA | 27 July 2016
Latest cattle reports hint at expansion slowdown

The July Cattle on Feed report confirms the feedlot situation continues to improve in 2016. That's the analysis of Derrell S. Peel, Oklahoma State University Extension livestock marketing specialis...

Australia | 27 July 2016
Green tape strangling farmers’ ability to live off the land

The Productivity Commission released a report last week into the regulation of agriculture. It slammed over-regulation of the industry, with the draft report making recommendations to improve efficien...

USA | 27 July 2016
Democrats say they want to support farmers, but what the heck does that mean?

When the Democrats were drafting their platform earlier this month, Connecticut’s Gov. Dan Malloy asked if anyone would dare to vote against a statement describing farming as a cherished way of life. ...

Trending Now


Top stories you may have missed