Our agricultural consultants share their knowledge of slurry... Organic manures can be positive for arable farming and offer a variety of significant benefits these include:

Organic Manure Nutrient Levels

There is huge scope for many farms to use slurry, digestate and farmyard manure more effectively. This makes sound economic sense and is beneficial to the environment.

Slurry is rich in essential nutrients such as nitrates, phosphate and potash. When properly applies these nutrients are highly beneficial for soil health and crop growth. Standard slurry contains 2.6kg of Nitrogen, 1.2kg of phosphate and 2.5kg of potash per ton. Farmyard manure also contains more essential nutrients and standard figure include 6kg of Nitrogen, 3.2kg of Phosphate and 9.4kg of Potash per ton.

These nutrients are very valuable for soil health and crop growth; Nitrogen plays a vital role in plant growth, photosynthesis, and protein development in the plant. Phosphate is essential for energy transfer and root development. Potash is crucial for enzyme activation, water regulation and plant health.

Slurry also offers an extended supply of nutrients, with nutrients available to the crop spanning multiple years, so the full net benefit is not experienced in the first year of application but over the following several years

How to improve slurry

How to Improve Organic Manure Levels

Applying slurry to fields enhances the organic matter content in the soil. Soil organic matter means all living, or once-living, materials within, or added to, the soil. Organic matter adds to soil fertility and overall soil health by enhancing the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil. Increasing the soil organic matter:

  • Improves the soil structure, by increasing the number of pores which hold water, air and nutrients
  • Improves infiltration, water holding capacity and drainage
  • Reduces risk of compaction and erosion
  • Enhances drought resistance
  • Contains and supplies nutrients
  • Provides a food source for soil microorganisms 

These benefit together improve the soil’s ability to thrive under volatile weather conditions.

How to Reduce Artificial Fertiliser Cost

Organic manures provide unique blends of nitrogen, phosphate and potash, which are difficult and expensive to replace with artificial fertilisers. Most growers have seen better crop performances after slurry applications, leading to a reduction in chemical fertiliser usage.

By reducing artificial fertiliser usage/purchase, it reduces the exposure to a volatile market to an arable enterprise, as we saw in the spring of 2022, when the prices of fertiliser rocketed more arable farmers started to explore the use organic manures as a replacement for artificial fertilisers. By using more organic manures, there is assured nitrogen, phosphate, and potash for crop growth at reduced cost than the potentially volatile international markets. 

Current Value £/ha of Slurry:

2024 slurry value


  • N % available to crop> Depends on soil type, time of year and whether or not incorporated
  • P & K% available to crop> At index 2 + all P &K can be counted, although it is released over several years
  • Fert value and nutrient content based on Ammonium Nitrate, Triple Super Phosphate, and Muriate of Potash
  • Application cost assumes £3/m3 for 40m3/ha

Muck for Straw Deals

Many dairy and arable neighbours exchange muck, whether that is FYM or Slurry as a mutually beneficial agreement between both farms. It is a way to introduce organic manures onto an arable farm, reduces the artificial fertiliser spend and removes a by-product. For the dairy farm, it offers a bedding/feed for livestock and removes a waste product which has high nutrient value.

Call our agri consultants on 01666 817 278 for more slurry advice. And if you would like assistance calculating the value of your manures, we'd be happy to help. The tonnes of slurry needed to cover the straw value:

Call our agri consultants for slurry advice

For more advice on organic manures and ways to improve slurry, talk to our Agricultural And Dairy Farm Consultants today.