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Slurry Management Advice from SEPA: February 2020

Following the recent prolonged period of wet weather, some livestock farmers in the South West of Scotland have become concerned about their current slurry storage capacity.

SEPA has provided the following guidance for farmers:

Where farmers are concerned about slurry building up in stores and unsuitable ground conditions for spreading, as, in previous years, SEPA will consider allowing slurry spreading to occur under the following conditions.

Farmers who need to spread slurry now due to an imminent risk of slurry stores overflowing should contact their local SEPA office for advice in the first instance.

  • A written request to spread is required (via letter, email or fax).  Initial notification may be given by telephone when calling the local office in the first instance, but this must be followed up with a written request.
  • Check to see if alternative slurry stores on other farms/holdings have the capacity that could be used or if there is an AD plant operating nearby that could use the slurry.
  • Do NOT fully empty the store(s).  Calculate the amount of slurry that needs to be removed from the store(s) to provide on average 2-3 weeks capacity within the system. This figure should be agreed with SEPA.
  • Only apply slurry to land that is regarded as low risk - select fields that are flat or less than 5% slope, are the driest on the farm, and have no watercourses or ditches as boundaries (check your RAMS map).
  • Applications rates should not be in excess of 20m3/ha.
  • Any suitable field which has a watercourse as its boundary should not have slurry applied within 30m of this watercourse.  In this instance, slurry applications should be restricted to the centre and the area of the field furthest away from the watercourse.

Do everything possible to minimise pollution.  If pollution arises, enforcement action may be considered.