Environment agency offers free slurry advice to Welsh farmers

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Environment Agency Wales is offering Welsh farmers free advice about slurry storage and spreading. Slurry is an important fertiliser source, and good storage and spreading can increase the profitability on any farm. However, it can also pollute nearby rivers during heavy rainfall if precautions are not taken. This can result in an expensive court case for the farmer. But with good advice from Agency officers, the risk of pollution can be greatly reduced.

Having a greater capacity for storing your slurry is a good start. If you have enough of a capacity, you can protect your farm and the environment from overflows, and have better control over your slurry.

Keeping rainwater from your slurry is also good practice. It prevents clean water becoming polluted and increases slurry storage space. It also keeps the slurry tank level down to reduce the risk of causing pollution - and a heavy fine. Simple things like covering your slurry tank and maintaining guttering keeps out the rain.

As herd sizes increase and fertilizer costs grow, more and more farmers are understanding the value of their slurry and are looking to improve their slurry storage capacity. 

A number of farmers have opted for earth bank lagoons to help meet this need. While they have many attractions, including relatively low cost, they must meet the basic standards set by law.

Before building your earth bank lagoon, or any other agricultural storage structure please contact your local agriculture officer and arrange a visit for advice on how to make it legal, safe and suitable for the job.

You will also need to fill out a WQE3 form for new or improved structures. You can get this form and help on filling it in from your local Agency office.

Roland Long, an agriculture specialist for the Agency, commented:

“Getting the most out of your slurry can really cut down on your fertiliser costs. But, if we get a lot of heavy rain, it will increase the risk of over flowing stores and the slurry running off wet ground into streams and rivers.

“We have helped farmers in the past with their slurry stores. It has been very positive, with the farmer getting more out of their slurry and cutting down on the risk of accidental spills harming the environment.

“Extra capacity is a good option to make sure your slurry store doesn’t overflow.

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