SlurryBugs boosts essential soil carbon needed for maximum production
Research has shown that UK soils have become degraded over the last 200 years – largely as a result of intensive agriculture. Degredation means soils become eroded, suffer compaction and lose organic matter.
“The decline of organic matter from soils causes a loss of carbon which reduces the soil’s quality and fertility. That means it costs more to get full productivity from the soil whether for grass or for cropping,” says leading soil scientist Dr Fernander Aller.
The Environment Agency estimates that soil erosion is costing farmers £82M a year because of lost productivity caused by the presence of lower levels of organic matter.
“Carbon is certainly the most important element of soil. There are various types of carbon – some are very difficult to degrade others are more easily degradable. But carbon in soil is the key component for soil structure by providing energy for biological processes, providing nutrients for plants and other forms of life and for improving the soil’s physical properties such as water retention,” says Dr Aller who has been involved in soil research at Lancaster University.
“The addition of SlurryBugs to farm slurry has been proved to reduce loss of carbon during storage. Research carried at Lancaster University comparing slurry treated with SlurryBugs with untreated slurry, showed carbon emissions from slurry treated with SlurryBugs were reduced by 67% after five weeks compared with untreated slurry where carbon emissions increased by 37%.
“The reduction in carbon emissions from the treated slurry means more carbon is being retained. When this was measured it showed that there was a 300% increase in the dissolved carbon present in the slurry treated with Slurry Bugs but in the untreated slurry the dissolved carbon had reduced by 19%.”
These initial results, in conjunction with previous research showing slurry treated with SlurryBugs also enhanced its nutrient value, makes slurry treatment an essential tool in combating reduced soil fertility and improving soil organic matter. SlurryBugs also promotes more competitive and sustainable agriculture by reducing the inputs of mineral fertiliser and increasing the value of farm waste.