How to test slurry
Teagasc has reported that some laboratories across the country are “inundated” with requests from farmers to test slurry samples.
The state agency has urged farmers to test their slurry to determine its value in light of “record-high” artificial fertiliser prices.
According to Fergus O’Rourke, Teagasc Manorhamilton, farmers can determine the ‘the label’ of their slurry by using two methods.
During a recent webinar that Teagasc Sligo/Leitrim/Donegal held, he explained:
- Laboratory testing;
- Using a hydrometer or avail of laboratory testing.
- Several labs that analyse soil and BVD samples now offer this service;
- You can collect 1L of agitated slurry;
- Send to a lab as soon as possible after obtaining your sample;
- A cost of approximately €60-€80 will apply;
- Turnaround date of approximately ten days.
Hydrometer ‘Home Test’:
- You can purchase a device, known as a hydrometer for approximately €50-€60 to perform this test;
- Similar to the above method, you can collect a sample from the gate valve of the slurry tanker, following tank agitation;
- Then, place slurry in a tall container/bucket;
- Place the hydrometer in and allow time to find the level;
- The hydrometer will deliver a result (DM %). At that point, you can then determine what the nutrient content is of that slurry.
Earlier this year, we published an article from a safety watchdog, which warned that slurry season brings renewed levels of risk.
The HSENI appealed to farmers to take care when working with slurry.
The closed period for spreading slurry will come to an end in Northern Ireland at midnight on January 31st, 2022.
The mixing of slurry comes with many risks as it produces a “dangerous” mixture of gases.
These include methane, carbon monoxide, ammonia, and the extremely poisonous gas, hydrogen.
It has compiled a slurry mixing code, which it has urged farmers and agricultural contractors to follow.
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