Established solution for optimised and safe application of manure in the Poland Project

Author: BalticSea2020
Year published: 2016

Work at the pig farm in Przybkowo, Poland is in full swing. The manure storage tanks were completed during 2015, and in the spring of 2016 the system to be used for secure dispersion from tank to field was decided upon.

The hilly landscape of the area around the farm in Poland together with the fact that the soil consists largely of sand, disqualify a number of spreading methods. Certain types of soft trailer hoses would become bogged down and destroy plants and roots, as well as raise the risk of their twisting and breaking. Big, heavy “barrel spreaders” require large tractors and cause extensive soil compaction damage whilst also being time-consuming given the amount of fertiliser to be dispersed. The project also needs to take into account two spreading seasons, autumn and spring. Spreading after harvest and prior to the winter crop is a relatively vigorous process, but, when undertaken in early spring, i.e. when the plants need nourishment the most, then it needs to be such that the plants are not broken or damaged. This work is governed both by regulations (spreading is not permitted before 1st March) and by weather conditions at the site – if it is rainy and the ground is soft, then spreading is not possible.

The Solution
The objectives of the chosen solution are to:
- Minimise nitrogen losses to avoid purchasing of fertilisers and any negative climate impact
- Apply the amount of phosphorus that we know that plants take up and thereby avoid overdosing, with leakage as a result
- Minimise the impact on arable land in the form of soil compaction or damage to growing crops
- Minimise the operational costs of spreading
- Streamline both the use of personnel and the time required for spreading
- Create conditions such that the majority of the manure can be spread in the spring

The project has chosen a two-part solution where the whole is built around a framework (pumping liquid fertiliser through soft hoses to the edge of the field), and then a system for application of the manure on the field:

From storage lagoons to field edge
Liquid fertiliser is pumped through soft hoses running from the storage lagoons to the edge of the field. Normally, the hose is laid out in about 1-2 hours, depending on how far from the lagoons it needs to be drawn.

Connection to tractor drawn feed hose/hard hose at the field edge
The tractor is equipped with a system built upon manure being pumped directly to the tractor via feed hoses connected to a hard trailer hose (which is drawn around on the field) and then on to the tractor's spreader system – a dribblebar (in Swedish, a släpslangsramp). The advantage of a dribblebar is that the manure is distributed and deposited directly on the ground, which means that more nutrient will benefit the crop roots. Such a rig is able to operate 24/7 until all the manure has been distributed. In a few exceptional instances, barrel will still be necessary in fields that are too small for it to be profitable to draw a hose out.

The hard hose can also be used for irrigation. It is also easier to drag and causes less damage to the roots and plants than do soft hoses. The system is suitable for use in both autumn and spring.

Dribbelbar. Photo: BalticSea2020