AHDB has added new updates to its Slurry Wizard tool to improve user experience, ahead of the imminent opening of round 2 of DEFRA’s Slurry Infrastructure grant applications.
Slurry Wizard enables farmers to work out their slurry storage requirements and explore different scenarios to make sure they’re complying with regulations including SSAFO, Farming Rules for Water, Control of Agricultural Pollution (Wales) and NVZ.
By entering basic farm information such as animal numbers, yard and roof areas that capture rainfall, and housing periods, the tool calculates the volume of slurry that the farm will produce on a monthly basis. This data, together with the farm’s current slurry storage capacity, is used to calculate how long it takes to fill the available storage and whether more capacity is needed.
The recent updates include making rainfall data and predictions more accurate, assessing every 1km2 of locality, and making the tool more usable and effective for pig producers by allowing slurry and wash water produced on farms to be accounted for.
There is also a new scenarios option to assess the impact of mitigation actions like diverting rainwater runoff or using a cover or separator, and a wider range of available bank slopes for earth-banked slurry stores and the ability to incorporate slurry bags have also been added.
Slurry Wizard is part of DEFRA’s Slurry Infrastructure grant application. The first round of the grant was available to help replace, build additional or expand existing slurry stores to provide six months storage, helping farmers to improve the use of organic nutrients on farms and reduce pollution. When applying for the round 2 of the grant, a copy of the farms Slurry Wizard storage capacity calculation and rainfall data is required.
David Ball, AHDB lead environmental scientist, said: “AHDB recognises the value of slurry, with its unique value in nutrients, and ability to reduce the need for artificial fertiliser, reduce input costs and reduce a farm’s environmental impact.
“Using Slurry Wizard allows farmers to make the most of their slurry by calculating their current production and capacity and allowing them to explore different scenarios by providing them with a cost benefit analysis for potential system changes, keeping them well informed in their decision making.
“Having sufficient, well-designed slurry storage is essential to make best use of organic manures and minimise harm to the environment. I would encourage all farmers to make use of the Slurry Wizard tools and if they’re considering investing in their slurry systems to apply for a DEFRA grant.”
For more information on AHDB’s Slurry Wizard visit: https://ahdb.org.uk/slurry-wizard
To learn more about Defra’s Slurry Infrastructure grant, see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/slurry-infrastructure-grant/how-to-apply-for-a-slurry-infrastructure-grant