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Know your slurry – a beginner's guide
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Know your slurry – a beginner's guide

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Peter Thomas Keaveney and Matthew Halpin take you through the key equipment you need to know about before the slurry season opens.
Peter Thomas Keaveney and Matthew Halpin take you through the key equipment you need to know about before the slurry season opens.

1. Splash plate

First up we have the traditional splash plate. For those of you who don’t know, this is not a reference to the old lad who sits in the corner of the pub on a Friday night spouting muck about his past.

The humble splash plate is, however, used for spreading another type of muck and works by discharging liquid slurry through a tube and on to a plate which splits the flow of the slurry and distributes it evenly across the soil surface. This is the most common application method and is adaptable to all types of tanker.

The trusty old splash plate.

2. Dribble bar

New to many but now more popular since the inception of TAMS grants is the dribble bar. And, before you say it, it’s not the lads on a Sunday night in Coppers after a full-day session.

The dribble bar is a series of stiff outlet hoses where slurry is distributed onto the soil surface. The hoses trail just above the ground. Benefits of this method include minimal nutrient loss, more accurate application and less gases being released into the atmosphere.

A dribble bar doing its thing.

3. Trailing shoe

The trailing shoe might be mistaken for the poor lad struggling to lift his feet after a hard days shopping with the girlfriend, but for those of us with slurry on our minds this week, it means something else.

The trailing shoe application system slightly slits the ground with a metal shoe and slurry is uniformly distributed through hoses into these slits in the soil surface. By doing so, minimum grass is contaminated. This method was designed for the application of slurry to the soil surface with minimal contamination to herbage. Other benefits include significantly reduced slurry odour.

A trailing shoe in action.

4. Disc injectors

Disc injectors are not medical procedures and we can confirm that disc injecting does not need to be carried out by your local GP.

Disc injecting should, however, be carried out by farmers looking to get their tanks emptied this week. The system is the best method possible for slurry absorption. Injecting can be carried out on heavier covers of grass and ultimately results in a more accurate application.

5. Agitators

We all have agitators in our lives whether it’s your father, your mother-in-law or even just that annoying corner back you couldn’t shake off during the challenge match last weekend.

However, the only agitator that matters to farmers who are looking to spread slurry is the vital piece of equipment needed for the usual pre-slurry ritual – agitating. The agitator is used to mix the slurry solids and the liquid slurry which would have split in the slatted tank over the course of the winter period. We remind all people to be extra cautious while agitating.

Stay safe

Working with slurry can be extremely dangerous. It is crucial that you stay safe during the work. Read this testimonial from a Co Galway farmer who was seconds from disaster.

Read more

When can you spread slurry?

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