FYM & Slurry

Swarm Hub is a sustainable resource management information hub with a specific focus on south west farms.

The managing manures section is a great resource when considering efficient and effective use of farm yard manures (FYM) and slurry. The pages in this section are summerised below.


Manure use efficiency

Lists top tips for efficient use of organic manure in arable and grassland systems, guidance on spreading systems and how spreading methods effect of nutrient availability and managing manures of organic farms. Read more here.

Diffuse water pollution

These pages offer system specific short, medium and long term guidance on managing diffuse pollution. Areas covered include, soil management, fertiliser management, manure management, farm infrastructure changes, crop breeding, land use changes. Information on each management practice is presented in a why, how, what format and links to further information downloads.

Click on a system/enterprise to find out more

Combinable crops
Combinable root
Indoor Pigs
Lowland grazing
Mixed farming
Outdoor pigs
Upland grazing

Nitrate Vulnerable Zones

Guidance on nutrient application, storage requirements, record keeping and derogations. If you unsure if your farm is within an NVZ, you can find out here.

Slurry Storage

Determine your storage solutions and allow SWARM Hub to talk you through the process, considerations, and costings related to the construction on an earth lined lagoon. Read more here.

Nutrient Management Planning

Breaks down nutrient management planning into easy to follow steps, highlights the benefits of implementing a plan, and demonstrates what other farmers are doing on-farm. Read more here.

Think Manures

Nutrient content of slurry

If you do not know the nutrient content of your manure, how do you know what rate you should be applying them and how much bagged fertiliser is required? Read more here.

Manure analysis

This page takes you through how to prepare manure and slurry samples for analysis and the interpretation of the results. Read more here.

Spreading rate

Photographic representations of different spreading rates of manure and slurry form various origins and the average nutrient provision. Read more here.

Spreading methods

Limitations of broadcast spreading (with emphasis on nutrient loss) and descriptions and comparisons of other methods to consider. Read more here.

Spreader calibration

Issues associated with uneven spreading, guidance on how to maintain and calibrate your spreader, and best practice when spreading. Read more here.

Nutrient Management Planning

See above section of the same name. Read more here.

Get the most out of your manures with the Farm Crap App by assessing your manure application rates with photographic aids, calculate available nutrients and estimating artificial fertiliser savings.

Farm Crap App pro for Android Devices (through the Google Play Store)

Farm Crap App pro for Apple Devices (through the Apple App store)

Produced in Northern Ireland, this downloadable resource stresses the importance of not entering the shed for 30 minutes after mixing starts. The main danger is the presence of the odourless hydrogen sulphide, which has the potential to kill with one breath. Safety precautions are outlined including good ventilation at slat level, space between top of slurry and the slats, avoiding bending down and removing lids.

If you use gas monitors, the resource stresses that they are only effective if properly maintained should not be used as a substitute for the Slurry Mixing Code (also outlined). As gas can rise rapidly, you may not have sufficient time to escape. However, monitors are a useful tool for determining if it is safe to return to your shed.

Face masks will not offer any protection, and escape hoods should only be used in an emergency.

Remember, never enter the tank.

Download ‘Mixing slurry safely’ by HSENI here.

The most common slurry related accidents are being overcome by toxic gas, drowning and injury as a result of structural failure. Many incidents involve multiple fatalities as rescuers also find themselves in trouble. Slurry gas poses multiple hazards, as it is flammable, toxic and can cause asphyxiation.

Gas is released whenever the slurry is disturbed and will be released quicker or in larger quantities if other substances are added. As it is heavier than air, the gas will collect at ground level in poorly ventilated areas.

The information sheet provides detailed safety precautions. A short summary of which is that when there is no ventilation system in place, it is best to work on breezy day. Your activities should be communicated with everyone on farm and those likely to enter the farm, all cattle and livestock should be removed from the building and all mixing points should be covered. It is important to leave the area ventilated for a minimum of 30 minutes before returning. Remember, as the gas is flammable, naked flames have no place here.

Gas monitors are a useful safety measure but may react too slowly to rapidly rising gas concentrations. In addition, they may be ineffective without expert maintenance, calibration and storage.

If someone finds themselves in danger, do not attempt to retrieve them or stop the pump unless date to do so, The vest course of action is to call for help.

Steps should be taken to prevent unauthorised entry to the store in the form of perimeter protection. Below ground store covers should be able to withstand the adequate weight stress and gaps between slats should be no wider than 75mm. The information sheet provides a list of structural requirements for such.

Modern stores can be designed to eliminate the need for entry.

The information sheet also outlines the maintenance requirements of scraping points and ramps, and slurry storage towers. Indications that there may be an issue include leaks, blowing or crashing, spalling or flaking concrete, and corrosion.

Download ‘Managing slurry on farms’ by HSE here.

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A resources management web information service for south west farmers.

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A free mobile app to aid your record of farm data and optimise your natural manure use.

Mixing slurry safely. Booklet from hseni

Slurry gas can kill with a single breath. Keep yourself and those around you safe.