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Keywords:

  • Pig slurry;
  • farmyard manure;
  • storage;
  • application to land;
  • equipment;
  • nutrients;
  • farmers’ attitudes;
  • UK

Abstract. A survey was undertaken in 1996, by postal questionnaire sent to a stratified sample of 1500 pig producers in England and Wales; 576 (37%) responded. The survey provided data on manure production, manure storage and application strategies (timing, techniques and nutrient recycling to crops).

Total pig manure production, in England and Wales is estimated to be at about 10.03 m t per year, with about 45% as slurry and 55% as FYM, according to this survey, where calculations have been based on undiluted outputs of excreta. About 45% of slurry is stored in above-ground tanks or earth-banked lagoons. Above-ground tanks most commonly held an amount of slurry equivalent to 3–6 months production, but earth-banked lagoons were more variable in capacity and over 20% could hold more than 9 months production of slurry.

Annual statistics on fertilizer use indicate that farmers make little allowance for the nutrient content of manures. However, the results of this survey suggest that farmers generally make a genuine effort to allow for the nutrients applied, but that they currently fail to be assured by the advice available to them or their confidence is lacking for other technical reasons. Autumn represents the peak period for spreading, with 30% of slurry and 50% of FYM applied at that time.