Dairypower’s slurry aeration system increases grass growth

With many farmers currently spreading slurry across Scotland, now is the perfect opportunity to consider improved slurry safety on farm.

Slurry contains a mixture of gases created by bacteria during the decomposition of slurry, including methane, carbon dioxide, ammonia, and hydrogen sulphide. All of these are unpleasant, and several of them are also deadly and combustible.

However, there is the smart slurry aeration system from Dairypower, claims to be a safer and smarter solution to agitating slurry. Commonly used on beef, dairy and pig farms, the system has many benefits such as the elimination of tractor agitation, reduction of harmful gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide, better air quality and greater grass regrowth.

Dairypower, which already provides other slurry management systems, believes this smart system to be the most cost-effective, and environmentally friendly method of keeping slurry in a homogeneous, pumpable state. Introduced to the Irish market in 1998, there is now more than 4000 systems in operation worldwide.

The smart system works on a low-pressure, high-volume basis. A roots style blower pump and energy efficient drive unit supply air via the Dairypower patented rotary valves to non-return outlet valves fixed to the base of the tank. Each outlet branch sequentially aerates a section of the tank, until the entire tank is fully aerated. The simple physical action of rising air bubbles, mixes and moves the slurry and creates an aerobic environment with no need for further agitation.

It can be custom designed to the specific size and shape of the slurry storage facility, and can be retro-fitted to any tank, regardless of size and structure.

The most hazardous time when agitating slurry is within the first 30 minutes, when the hard crust is being broken. As the crust is broken with tractor agitator, threatening gases are released. One incorrect move when agitating slurry could be fatal.

Hydrogen sulphide cannot be smelled at high concentrations with the gas usually released in substantial quantities shortly after mixing begins in any part of the tank. This is hugely unsafe for farmer, and livestock, as any exposure to such gases can be catastrophic.

Tractor agitation requires additional labor units and tractors on farm. Cattle have to be moved when agitating slurry, and there are risks associated with moving eccentric cattle mid-spring.

The smart slurry aeration system does not let a hard crust develop on the slurry. Therefore it is a lot safer as it prevents the build-up of dangerous concentrations of hydrogen sulphide and methane, producing better air quality and therefore no need for move animals.

The system ensures complete consistency of the slurry, resulting in no blockages in tankers, hence reducing machine handling whilst ensuring total safety when spreading.

With fertiliser prices increasing rapidly, the system will also help reduce chemical fertiliser usage, and make the slurry more valuable with an increase in nitrogen values, especially ammonia nitrogen which has been shown to rise by up to 70%.

Grass regrowth also benefits, as grass grown by utilizing aerated slurry has recorded a 14% higher growth rate than that using non-aerated slurry which is always ready to spread.

The system typically runs four to six times per day, and operates at a very low cost of less than £1 per day, making an average return on investment of four to six years.

For more information see www.dairypower.com, or contact your local dealer Fullwoodhead Dairy Supplies on 01292 262341.

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Andrew Naughtie

News reporter and author at @websalespromo