Last Thursday (27 August), at the invitation of the study association in Noordbroek (Groningen) and surrounding areas, a demonstration was given at Mr Vermue’s farm to show what the effects of improving manure quality are. Enthusiastic interest, increased nutritional value of the grass and a fresher stable climate were only a few results achieved with better quality manure.
The hot discussion topic during the study evenings nowadays is increasing the use of your own animals’ manure. “Where there’s muck, there’s brass”. The trick is also to take the use of manure up to the next higher level, now that legislation and regulations are imposing more rigid restrictions.Mr Vermue wants to get more out of the manure. For this reason he has used manure for his fields since February this year with a quality level that is clearly higher than ‘normal’ liquid manure. A simple treatment makes sure that his manure contains more nitrogen, by limiting evaporation losses. This innovative agriculturalist also helps improve the climate during the storage of liquid manure, which creates ripened manure instead of rotted manure. According to the farmer, improvements are visible very quickly, because they create a fresher climate in the stalls, and mixing or emptying the pit will therefore be needed less often. Especially for this evening, Mr Vermue had fertilised one field with normal liquid manure and another with treated liquid manure. Two profile cuts were also made for soil assessment as well as a fresh grass analysis. In short, all means for testing the results were there.

The field fertilised with treated liquid manure shows clear differences in turf density to the naked eye. A walk through the fields soon convinces all present that the well-fertilised pasture contains a lot more grass. In addition, the fresh grass analysis shows that the crude protein levels in the grass fertilised with treated manure have increased by no less than 8%! The grass from this part of the field also shows improved digestibility. The results of the profile cuts were obvious too. The soil fertilised with treated liquid manure shows active soil life with visible moulds as a striking element. This contrasts with the soil that was fertilised with untreated manure. Moulds in the soil are crucial because they provide nutrients for the crops. In addition, moulds are able to bind nitrogen and are therefore able to reduce the nitrogen losses.
After the field trip, we went to the machine shed for a bit of theory and a presentation about how the quality of manure can now be improved in the simplest way. People now agree that more may be expected and should be expected from today’s manure quality as it is currently used.
source: Stichting Duurzaamheid Scoort! (Durability Scores Foundation)