The use of slurry storage is becoming increasingly popular for farmers due to the benefits of natural fertiliser, over chemical fertilisers, leading to enhanced crop growth and substantial cost savings. Whilst there are a number of ways to store slurry, slurry lagoons are proving to be extremely popular due to their cost effectiveness.
What is a Slurry Lagoon?
A slurry lagoon is a hole, dam, or circular concrete structure where farmers gather all their animal waste together with other unusable organic matter, such as hay and water run off from washing down dairies, stables, and barns. They are designed to store organic waste in for long periods of time, allowing for the slurry to convert to fertiliser that can be reused on land to fertilise crops. Cow manure is a great resource for farmers as it’s a natural and nutritious fertiliser that that maximises crop nutrition and minimises nutrient losses in the environment.
What are the benefits of storing slurry in a lagoon?
- Storing slurry in a lagoon benefits the environment as there is a reduction in pollution from agriculture due to a greater capacity to store, so less need to spread when conditions are not optimal.
- Reduction in damage to waterlogged soils from spreading in the winter
- There is less need for artificial fertiliser as slurry can be spread when the land is in good condition and able to utilise the nutrients.
Are slurry lagoons a cost effective solution?
According to Business Wales the most cost effective options for slurry storage are as follows: earth banked lagoons, costing between £8-£12 per cubic metre of storage; then a lagoon lined with a clay or artificial liner; next an above ground metal tank, which costs about £47 per cubic metre; followed by a shuttered concrete store, costing £59 per cubic metre.
Are there any rules around slurry storage?
All slurry stores need some form of approval and after the store is completed, at least 14 days before it is first used the environment agency needs to be notified in writing so the store can be inspected and signed off.
By their very nature, slurry stores are dangerous – they tend to be deep with vertical sides and contain viscous liquid. In the unfortunate event someone falls in it is likely to result in an unpleasant and terminal outcome.
Therefore, such stores should:
- Be properly fenced to prevent unauthorised entry
- Have appropriate safety signs
- Be equipped with tyre ladders or a knotted rope to assist with an escape
- If underground be fitted with a cover which can take traffic loads
- Have a 20-year design life
There a various rules and regulations around slurry storage, to find out more please visit this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/storing-silage-slurry-and-agricultural-fuel-oil
How can we help?
We can supply the materials needed to construct your slurry lagoon or provide you with a large slurry store. If required, we can also install your slurry solution for you. Trading for over 25 years, we are a family-owned business with a background in farming and have extensive experience in the installation of slurry storage solutions.
To find out more, call us today on 0121 351 3230.