16th January 2024

Slurry Management Open Day for farmers and agricultural contractors

Farmers and agricultural contractors are invited to attend the College Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise (CAFRE) Slurry Management Open Day on a dairy farm near Banbridge.

Ian McClelland, 64 Moss Rd, Banbridge, BT32 3NZ – Tuesday 30 January 11am

As the end of the closed period approaches these events will provide timely advice for both farmers and agricultural contractors when applying slurry in the coming weeks. Farm tours at both events will highlight best practice when applying manures to maximise nutrient use efficiency, whilst ensuring water quality is not impacted. The tools and technologies available to farmers and contractors allowing more precise and efficient use of the nutrients in slurry will be demonstrated and discussed at the events.

Speaking ahead of the Open Days, CAFRE Senior Technologist Aveen McMullan commented: “Slurry can be a valuable source of nutrients, but only if managed correctly. Good management of slurry is needed to maximise nutrient use efficiency, ensure productive grass growth and minimise losses of nutrients to the environment. Poor or inappropriate management of slurry represents a significant threat to water quality.”

CAFRE Technologists and Advisers will deliver practical workshops and demonstrations with a focus on optimising nutrient management practices for the incoming season to ensure economic and environmental benefits. 

Aveen McMullan will look at the nutrient value of organic manures and demonstrate how the nutrients in slurry can be used to achieve improved grass growth. 

Andrew Thompson (CAFRE Technologist) and Gareth Beacom (CAFRE Adviser) will provide a practical reminder of the Nutrient Action Programme guidelines and regulations designed to ensure slurry application does not adversely impact on the environment. They will make use of LESSE equipment to highlight the key points for attendees.

Joe Casey (CAFRE Technologist) and Rachel Megarrell (CAFRE Adviser) will demonstrate nutrient management planning in practice using real farm situations and referring to the Soil Nutrient Health Scheme maps that will become available to everyone as the scheme progresses.

Rachel Cassidy (AFBI Catchment Scientist) will share the findings of ongoing catchment based research and real-time water quality monitoring results.

Gareth Greer, NIEA will provide an overview of water quality status in Northern Ireland and review the factors contributing to water quality issues.

The final presentation will be made by Jonathan McFerran (DAERA Green Growth) and will outline a recent project aimed at developing models for processing livestock slurry to reduce surplus phosphorus within Northern Ireland agriculture.

Additionally, there will be a display area where organisations including Rivers Trust, Lough Neagh Partnership, Health and Safety Executive and Rural Support will be on hand to provide advice and support. An exhibition of commercial slurry equipment by leading machinery manufacturers will also be in place at the Greenmount Campus event.

For more information and to register to attend these events, please visit the CAFRE website.

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