Slurryquip founder Richard Fitzpatrick is no stranger to the industry. He founded Slurrykat in 1994, building up the company over 14 years before selling it in 2008 to concentrate on running his 3,200ac cotton and grain farm in New South Wales, Australia.
It was there he gained a deeper understanding of different methods of distributing fertiliser and after forming Slurryquip in 2013, he began a journey of developing innovative slurry management and delivery machinery.
His latest innovation, the NPaK system won him the One to Watch Award in this year’s Innovation Arena.
While the machine is still in the final stages of development, it could change the way farmers approach nutrient management.
More than just slurry application
The patent pending Slurryquip NPaK system allows farmers to better manage nutrients on-farm, helping to reduce emissions and the amount of chemical fertiliser required.
Slurryquip has integrated fertiliser and slurry spreading into one machine.
The machine has a tank for holding the liquid fertiliser brew which can contain either liquid CAN or urea but also works with fine ground lime, small seeds or molasses.
With an optional sensor, the machine can automatically test the nutrient content within the slurry and supplement it with liquid fertiliser before being spread, giving the desired nutrient level.
The system can be retrofitted on to any existing slurry tank or umbilical system.
Studies suggest spreading granular urea leads to lower efficiency and higher losses to the atmosphere through volatilisation.
Trial work which is currently ongoing has shown a reduction in volatilised nitrogen by around 10% when compared to granular urea while using the system.
Richard explains that this is due to the nutrient mix reaching the plant roots much quicker.
He says the system helps to reduce volatilisation of urea and speeds up nutrient uptake in dry conditions.
Slurryquip is now beginning to prepare for commercialisation next April.
- Name: Slurryquip.
- Location: Down.
- Founded: 2013.
- Employees: 40.
- 2021 innovation award: One to Watch Award.