06 March 2015 | Online since 2003



10 May 2006|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 groundwater 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.


Download



Comments


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

To post comment without approval login or register

Display name

Please enter your name

Email (optional)
Comment

Please enter your comment

Post Comment

Your comment submitted successfully.Please wait for admin approval.

Some error on your process.Please try one more time.



Jobs


27 February 2015
Personal Assistant
Effective coordination and management of SLT dairies to ensure productive time usage, including the scheduling of meetings, b...

24 February 2015
Support Workers
Highlands Farm, Woodchurch. Do you want to make a difference to people’s lives?...

27 February 2015
Farm Worker and Sprayer Operator
Friendship Estates Ltd is a family run farming business growing mainly grass and manufacturing horse feeds, pet food, herbs a...

25 February 2015
Area Sales Manager - Flooring and Laminates
Actively prospect for new business and farm existing accounts within assigned territory. Area Sales Manager - Retail....

2 March 2015
Receptionist
The role is primarily to reception maternity and gynaecology clinics but will also involve childrens clinics both at Barnet a...



Top stories you may have missed
2 February 2015 | Arable
Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Is EU membership damaging UK farming?

Membership of the EU is damaging the British farming industry, according to...


29 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

Drones 'rapidly changing' agriculture

BASIS has launched an accreditation for pilots of Unmanned Aerial Systems (...


23 January 2015 | Arable
UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have potential to double

UK wheat yields have theoretical potential to more than double over the nex...


23 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Crowds flock to LAMMA 2015

Britain’s farmers flocked to Peterborough for the first day of LAMMA’15 to ...


22 January 2015 | Cattle
Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

Don't blame supermarkets for milk crisis...

The crisis in the dairy industry is not the fault of supermarkets, accordin...


16 January 2015 | CLA
Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Families affected by HS2 face 'major wor...

Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited three rural businesses in Cheshi...


16 January 2015 | Machinery and Equipment
John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

John Deere unveil new 6R tractor range

Spearheading the John Deere range of mid-size tractors from Mannheim, the n...


14 January 2015 | Animal Health
Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Monthly TB checks more effective than ba...

Regular testing for bovine TB could significantly reduce the number of infe...


12 January 2015 | News
Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Government regulations hampering UK agri...

Single-issue policy-making threatens to hamper, not help, the progress of U...


8 January 2015 | Cattle
2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2015: The year ahead for the beef market

2014 has been a “rocky old year” for the beef industry but better prices ar...