Pig farming is hardly a glamorous lifestyle, and yet it gets even less glamorous when the issue of slurry emerges. As a recent article about comprehensive slurry management explained, though, a “comprehensive management plan for slurry transforms a perceived problem into an opportunity and a valued resource.”
After all, many UK pig farmers view slurry as a management problem, even with recent innovations. As that article also indicated, “Conversion rates that were unthinkable three decades ago have been reached thanks to greatly improved nutrition, genetics, and animal management, but approaches to slurry, which carries a high percentage of the nitrogen contained in feed, have not changed much.”
So, how do you transform slurry into any kind of opportunity? You follow the tips of other pig farmers who have used such innovative answers as:
- Nutrient management plans that time the feed (nutrient content) of the animals to the needs of crops
- Modifying the characteristic of slurry to suite the demand
- Calculating the storage needs
- Developing a treatment process that can be accommodated by housing and available land
Think of it this way: Almost anything you can do about slurry treatment is important, but it has to go beyond just processing it once it is present. For example, investing in systems for treating slurry that has been stored or trapped beneath the slats is inadequate. Why? The animals have been inhaling the fumes and VOCs for a substantial time.
Rather than looking to invest in new tools, consider what the professionals determined: “sophisticated technologies are not needed, but rather modifying habits, redesigning some aspects of the farm,” such as improving housing and cleaning techniques.
Working with the experts at IDS Pigs, your farm can feature housing that is user-friendly and better able to address the demands created by slurry and slurry management. With feeding equipment, too, slurry management can become a much easier, less frustrating issue.