Recycling slurry and manure back to agricultural land, when done correctly, can provide a valuable source of organic matter and crop nutrients back to the growing crop. Applying at the wrong time, in poor weather conditions or at a time when there is no demand from the growing crop risks nutrient losses to the environment, can lead to air pollution and is also a financial loss to the business.
It is generally good practice to apply slurry under cool and damp conditions and use Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS) techniques (also referred to as precision application), which minimise the contact of the slurry with the air, such as dribble bar, trailing hose, trailing shoe, or injection to further reduce emissions. The use of high trajectory splash plates and rain guns for applying slurry is no longer permitted; smaller farms have until January 2027 to move away from an inverted splash plate to use precision slurry application techniques.
All farms applying organic manures to land must have a RAMS (Risk Assessment for Manure and Slurry) land plan. The person applying the organic manures also needs to have sight of and follow the RAMS plan.