Best practice advice for farmers
Spreading should always be undertaken in accordance with the best practice guidance given in the Defra Code of Good Agricultural Practice, subsection 5.4
If possible, to reduce odour and ammonia loss:-
- use a band spreader or injector to apply slurry.
- otherwise, use broadcast equipment with a low trajectory and large droplets. Broadcast slurry (by splash plate) should be incorporated immediately, and at the latest within 6 hours.
- if solid manure, it should be incorporated as soon as possible and at the latest within 24 hours.
Livestock manures should not be applied when:-
- the soil is waterlogged; or
- the soil is frozen hard; or the field is snow covered; or
- heavy rain is forecast within the next 48 hours.
The Code also advises that the best conditions for spreading are where air mixes to a great height above the ground, which are typically sunny, windy days, followed by cloudy, windy nights. These conditions cause odours to be diluted quickly.
Farmers are also advised to avoid spreading at weekends, bank holidays, in the evening or in fields close to and upwind of houses, unless it is solid manure that has been well composted, or slurry that is to be band spread, injected or has been treated to reduce odour.
Livestock manures and dirty water should not be spread:-
- within 10 metres of any ditch, pond or surface water; or
- within 50 metres of any spring, well, borehole or reservoir that supplies water for human consumption or for farm dairies; or
- on very steep slopes where run-off is a high risk throughout the year