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What happens to the manure produced on dairy farms?

What happens to the manure produced on dairy farms?

Cow manure or slurry can be a fantastic resource for farmers - it's a natural and nutritious fertiliser that helps grass and other crops to thrive.

 

Farmers carefully plan how they remove, store and apply manure. Some simply collect the manure and spread it onto land and others create slurry from manure and water.

 

Slurry is usually stored in a tank or lagoon as it may only be spread at certain times of the year. There are various methods to apply manure and slurry onto land, including injecting it into the soil to help it reach the root of the plant.

 

Some dairy farmers - particularly those with larger farms - use anaerobic digesters to turn cows' manure into energy. The digester breaks down the manure, producing biogas that feeds a generator, which in turn produces electricity that can be fed into the National Grid.

 

Liam Sinclair, Professor of Animal Science, explains more about anaerobic digestion in our environment moovie.