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21.10.05
Cornwall FWAG Help Farmers With A Cash Injection

Slurry injected into the land can act as a 'cash injection' to the soilCornwall FWAG took part in a joint venture last Thursday, 20th October 2005 at Trink Farm, St Ives highlighting how slurry injected into the land can, in effect, act as a 'cash injection' to the soil by reducing fertilizer costs.

Following an introduction from John Forster of West Penwith Farm Business Centre, John Laws from IGER delivered an informative talk that proves the old adage that 'Where there's muck, there's brass'.

Said Mr Laws: "Terrific nitrogen losses can occur from spreading slurry through ammonia being lost to the atmosphere. By using a trailing shoe or shallow injector, not only will the emissions be reduced, but the farmer can save up to 30% of his fertiliser bill."

All the farmers present worked through a quick and easy method of establishing approximate value of their slurry, which they could then take home and use in their home situation to put what they had learned into practice. With 50% of available Nitrogen from slurry being lost to the atmosphere, mostly in the first 24 hours after spreading, it makes good economic sense to look in detail at the management of this product.

"With the recent increases in oil price, the commercial value of slurry is well worth consideration" says FWAG Officer Jillie Dale. "Using the Quantofix to measure the Nitrogen content of the Knowles slurry, it was shown that the Nitrogen value alone is worth £5 for every tanker load, which when added up over a whole season comes to a considerable sum of money to be saved."

Other benefits of injecting or using the trailing shoe are that smells are greatly reduced, there is a reduction in crop contamination, a uniformity of spreading and the cows can follow on in a matter of days after application.

Says Jillie: "This change in attitude from viewing slurry as a waste and instead looking on it as an asset is beginning to be embraced by the industry. Contractors are now starting to invest in the specialist equipment required. Local contractor, Tim Osborne has just had an injector delivered so that he can offer this service to dairy farmers in the Penwith area."

Cornwall FWAG is working with farmers across the county through the Farm Environment Link Project offering free soil and slurry testing to help enable farmers to maximize on this under-rated asset. With the high costs of oil, affecting both production price and transport of artificial fertiliser, making the most of the assets already on the farm has never been so important.

For further information please contact Jillie Dale of FWAG on 01872 224005 or email: jillie.dale@fwag.org.uk.

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in FWAG through the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund (EAGGF).

Anyone considering a new horticulture, food and land based industries project is advised to speak with Maria Ford, at Government Office South West on 01752 635015 before commencing development, as there are now only limited funds available due to the successful uptake of funding by the agricultural sector in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

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Editor's notes:

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Clare Morgan
Media Relations Manager
Objective One Partnership Office
Castle House
Pydar Street
Truro TR1 2UD
Mobile: 07973 813647
Telephone: 01872 223439

cmorgan@cornwall.gov.uk

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