The £ value of fym

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
I can buy in cattle fym for £4 tonne delivered to my farm. I then compost it which gets rid of any weed seeds and spread at 12 t/ha which is the equivalent of 20 t/ha of fresh manure. This is costing me just over £100/ha for the muck, composting and spreading.

Is that asking too much to recover the costs, it would mean the following two crops would have to have a yield gain of 1/2 tonne to get the money back.

Risky investment or no brainer?
 

Brisel

Member
NFFN Member
Location
North Yorkshire
Send a sample into NRM or Lancrop to get the NPK analysis. Use the available N to work out how much is actually usable by the next crop, taking into account incorporation method and timing after application to allow for volatilisation losses. Count the number of spreader loads & weigh one occasionally as you'll have some weight losses during the composting process which you have allowed for in your OP. The bulk density of muck does vary a lot.

If ammonium nitrate is £173/t then the N value is 173 divided by 345 kilos of N in each tonne = 50 p/kg. Repeat for TSP and MOP to arrive at a total nutrient value and count the organic matter as a bonus. This way you'll have a mineral fertiliser replacement value to consider, not just a yield boost.

Last time I did this calculation using standard RB209 analysis for "old FYM" it worked out at £5/t spread.
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
Send a sample into NRM or Lancrop to get the NPK analysis. Use the available N to work out how much is actually usable by the next crop, taking into account incorporation method and timing after application to allow for volatilisation losses. Count the number of spreader loads & weigh one occasionally as you'll have some weight losses during the composting process which you have allowed for in your OP. The bulk density of muck does vary a lot.

If ammonium nitrate is £173/t then the N value is 173 divided by 345 kilos of N in each tonne = 50 p/kg. Repeat for TSP and MOP to arrive at a total nutrient value and count the organic matter as a bonus. This way you'll have a mineral fertiliser replacement value to consider, not just a yield boost.

Last time I did this calculation using standard RB209 analysis for "old FYM" it worked out at £5/t spread.

I did have it tested a while back it was not far off the RB209 figures.

ImageUploadedByThe Farming Forum1464202974.658671.jpg
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
It's probably costing me a little over £5 tonne but not by a lot. I have always had a hunch it was worth it for the soil quality improvement. But On the other hand I could buy a lot of fibrophos for that sort of money.
 

Joe Boy

Member
Location
Essex
I don't really understand cover crops. My winter barley is up to chest height, shoulder height in places, I'm only going to export the grains off the field, so why are the roots and biomass of a cover crop great for the soil yet my barley roots and biomass are depleting it?
 

Steevo

Member
Location
Gloucestershire
I don't really understand cover crops. My winter barley is up to chest height, shoulder height in places, I'm only going to export the grains off the field, so why are the roots and biomass of a cover crop great for the soil yet my barley roots and biomass are depleting it?


Because your cover crop doesn't take anything from the soil in terms of "grain".

But you are correct, the roots and straw are just as good, and in some ways possibly better too as they is more of them than a cover crop which may not have had long enough to grow enough biomass.
 
I don't really understand cover crops. My winter barley is up to chest height, shoulder height in places, I'm only going to export the grains off the field, so why are the roots and biomass of a cover crop great for the soil yet my barley roots and biomass are depleting it?

They're not depleting it. Its just that potentially the straw will be more C than N and so you need a bit of N based stuff to counter this. Its about cycling things at various times throughout the year. Muck is great but I'm just not sure paying £4/t is sustainable ie maybe its better to put that poorly peforming break crop into a CC instead? But equally if may be worth it but a lot of that tonne is water.
 

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New report underlines need for joined-up action to protect rivers

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