ARCHIVE: Nitrate Vulnerable Zones (NVZs) - Guidance for Farmers. Standard values, manure sampling (Leaflet 3 - PB12736c)

Protocol: The standard methodology for sampling slurry and solid manure for analysis

For slurry
  • At least five sub-samples, each of 2 litres, must be taken.
  • The sub-sample must be taken from a slurry vessel, and;
    – if reasonably practicable, the slurry must be thoroughly mixed before the sub-samples are taken, and
    – each sub-sample must be taken from a different location.
  • But if a tanker used for spreading is fitted with a suitable valve, the sub-samples may be taken while spreading, and each sub-sample must be taken at intervals during the spreading.
  • The sub-samples must be poured into a larger container, stirred thoroughly and a 2 litre sample must be taken from that container and poured into a smaller clean container to provide the sample for analysis.
For solid manures

The samples must be taken from a manure heap.

  • At least ten sub-samples of 1kg each must be taken, each from a different location in a heap.
  • Each sub-sample must be taken at least 0.5 metres from the surface of the heap.
  • If sub-samples are being collected to calculate compliance with the whole farm limit for pigs and poultry, four samples for analysis must be taken in a calendar year (one taken in each quarter) from manure heaps not more than 12 months old.
  • The sub-samples must be placed on a clean, dry tray or sheet.
  • Any lumps must be broken up and the sub-samples must be thoroughly mixed.
  • A representative sample of at least 2kg must then be sent for analysis.
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