The Heida dairy cattle company in Mildam (near Heerenveen) has used liquid manure treatment since 1998. As a result Mr Nanne Heida has been able to limit the use of fertiliser on pastures considerably: he used to apply the equivalent of about 200kg pure nitrogen per hectare, but now applies the equivalent of just 95kg pure nitrogen per hectare
Mr Heida also observes, “The colour of the grass has also remained the same – an indication for the level of crude protein – and the same applies to the fodder yield and fodder composition.
This year five cuts were pitted with an average of 3,000kg dry matter per hectare. By the way, I use a grass mixture without clover.”
Mr Heida also analysed the accounts for the nitrogen savings. Taking account of the purchase of the AgriMestMix slurry improver, he reckons it is saving his company €4000 per year, given the current prices for nitrogen fertilisers.
AgriMestMix ensures continuous bacterial action, both while in the stalls (storage period) and during the spring. This means that the organically bonded nitrogen from the slurry is immediately available. Mr Heida can use that to limit the amount of nitrogen suppletion proportionately. This approach means that the same amount of fertilisation can be achieved over the whole growing period with only limited fertiliser purchases.
The Heida company aims to optimise all aspects of its business operations. In addition to milk production (the 125 dairy cows are milked by two milking robots), this also definitely applies to raw feed production (50 ha grassland and 10 ha maize silage), which is mainly on drought-sensitive sandy soil.
With one eye on the new manure regulations, Mr Heida is positive about using AgriMestMix. That applies in general, as well as specifically for his own company. The nitrate directive encourages the use of this slurry improver.