Low-emission slurry spreading is an ever-growing area due to requirements through schemes such as GLAS, and obligations in derogation to spread all slurry after 15 June using such equipment.
When a farmer is applying through the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), they will generally be subject to an €80,000 investment ceiling. However, if making an application through the Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) Equipment Scheme, they have an additional investment ceiling of €40,000.
Where two or more eligible farmers are in partnership, this ceiling increases to €60,000.
With the growing pressure on agricultural emissions, it would not be surprising in the near future to see all slurry being spread with low-emission systems
Minimum investment through the scheme is €5,000. Work carried out by Teagasc has shown the advantages of using low-emission equipment, with a trailing shoe reducing ammonia emissions by 28%, when compared with a traditional splash plate, a week after application.
With the growing pressure on agricultural emissions, it would not be surprising in the near future to see all slurry being spread with low-emission systems.
While other advantages such as increasing the N value of 1,000 gallons by approximately three times are clear, the real advantage that was seen in the early parts of 2019 was how farmers were able to get out to heavy covers with slurry.
With strong covers present, spreading with a splash plate leads to high contamination of grass.
A slurry tank is eligible for investment but only when it is purchased along with a low-emission spreading attachment. The trailing shoe attachment is only eligible when purchased with the slurry tanker. It must be able to part the grass and place the slurry directly on to the soil, rather than on top of the grass.
Again, a shallow injection attachment must also be purchased with a tanker and it must place slurry below ground level, directly into the soil. A dribble bar attachment, also known as a band spreader, can be purchased without a tanker. It is the only attachment which can be retrofitted to an existing tanker. General dribble bars are not required to cut a slit in the ground.
If purchasing an umbilical system through TAMS, the farmer is required to purchase the base pump, hose reel and fittings
However, a system that cuts a slit on the ground but places the slurry on top of the ground, such as a slurry spike, is classified as a dribble-bar system.
If purchasing an umbilical system through TAMS, the farmer is required to purchase the base pump, hose reel and fittings. One of the spreader attachments must also be purchased and an option exists to purchase up to 500m of lay-flat hose.
For any of the spreading attachments, the reference cost is based on the spreading width.
There can be a large variation in costs, so it pays to shop around.