Latest SlurryBugs research suggests higher nutrient value of treated slurry

Latest research findings show that slurry treated with SlurryBugs could improve the nutrient content and physical properties of dairy cattle slurry during storage.



Figure 1 Total N (as kg/m3) in Untreated and SlurryBugs treated slurry after 8 weeks of storage.

Results after eight weeks of storage showed that slurry treated with SlurryBugs had a higher dry solids and fertilizer content than untreated slurry. The reduction in total solids content in slurry treated with SlurryBugs was lower (9%) than that of untreated slurry (26%) compared to slurry at the beginning of storage. “SlurryBugs is the original slurry additive and has been thoroughly evaluated at various UK research institutions since 2008.

These latest trial results again show that slurry treated with SlurryBugs potentially retains more nitrogen and enhances its nutrient value,” says Dr Maria Fernanda Aller, Senior Environmental Scientist of EnviroSystems, manufacturers of SlurryBugs. The current investigations are being undertaken as part of a four-year PhD study at Lancaster University in collaboration with the Centre for Global Eco-Innovation. The project is part financed by the European Regional Development Fund. These UK trials suggest that SlurryBugs can help to retain more nitrogen compared with untreated slurry. “The research has shown that 1.3 kg N/m3 was lost from the untreated slurry compared with 0.5 kg N/m3 lost from the SlurryBugs treated slurry after eight weeks of storage (Figure 1). “Total N losses from slurry are largely associated with ammonia gas emissions from slurry during storage.

The data suggest that SlurryBugs has the capability to reduce ammonia gas emissions during storage by converting part of the ammonium-N into more stable forms of nitrogen, such as organic N,” says Dr Aller. “Organic nitrogen at the end of experiment was 2.0 kg N/m3 in slurry treated with SlurryBugs compared with 1.4 Kg N/m3 in the untreated slurry.”


Table 1 Amount of different forms of nitrogen in the slurry at the beginning of the experiment and after 8 weeks of storage. Values are in kg N/ m3.

(See Table 1) The concentration of the macronutrients phosphorus, calcium, potassium and magnesium were also somewhat higher in slurry treated with SlurryBugs compared to the control slurry. More research is being conducted to understand the mechanisms responsible for differences in metal content(P, Mg and Na) between slurry treatments, and to help understand and compare the differences between the nutrient content of grassland soils receiving untreated slurry, mineral fertilizer and SlurryBugs treated slurry.


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