Insights from Local Dairy Farmers
-Maximising Slurry Efficiencies

Actiglene-Making the most of Slurry
Denis Hegarty milks 190 cows at Coole West, Carrignavar, Co. Cork. He started using Actiglene immediately after the cows were housed last year. Denis explained how easy it was to use the product:  “I apply the Actiglene evenly over the slats every couple of days at a rate of 25Kg per 50 cows/week. The product is safe to handle so it can be easily applied manually from the bag. The first thing I noticed is how it prevented a crust forming on the slurry. This meant less agitation and a more uniform liquid slurry that was easier to handle. It also breaks down the organic matter on the slats maintaining a hygienic and clean environment for the animals” said Denis.

 
Denis Hegarty, Coole West, Carrignavar, Co. Cork

What is Actiglene?
Actiglene is a blend of marine calcium, bacteria, clay particles and a seaweed extract that acts as a bacteria activator. It increases the total and available Nitrogen in slurry by 39% and 62%, respectively. Sulphur levels in slurry can improve by up to 19% using Actiglene. On-farm trials have shown that extra N in slurry can result in an extra 1 ton of dry matter yield per hectare.

 

Denis stated that he spread it on silage paddocks the day after harvesting and got an immediate response. “The weather was too dry to apply chemical fertiliser in the form of CAN, so the only option available to me was to go in with slurry, the Nitrogen and Sulphur appears to be more available to the plant with the Actiglene treated slurry” said Denis. The absence of ‘crusts’ in slurry treated with Actiglene minimises agitation time, saving on tractor ‘wear and tear’ as well as diesel when pumping. This results in a more even uniform application eliminating unnecessary sludging and burning of grass. 

 
Denis inspecting a silage paddock that received an application of Actiglene treated slurry (without any chemical fertilizer application) 10 days after cutting

Farm Safety
Recent awareness generated by the National Farm Safety Campaign has highlighted the inherent dangers that slurry gases pose to both farmers and machinery operators. Actiglene has been shown in trials to reduce Hydrogen Sulphide gas in slurry by up to 80% and Ammonia by up to 52%.  Denis also noticed a reduction in odours when spreading the Actiglene treated slurry, this is important in terms of safety and nuisance smells.

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