Grant for a trailing shoe

Grant for a trailing shoe

When Devon farmer Philip Friend saw the
difference between grass where slurry had been spread by a trailing
shoe compared with grass that had been treated with a normal
splash-plate applicator, he decided to look into buying a trailing

“We had been spreading with a splash-plate
applicator while a contractor used a trailing shoe.  At the
time, you could hardly see where the training shoe had been used,
but the difference in grass a few weeks later was obvious,” he

So, when Philip read about the South West
Agricultural Resource Management (SW ARM) scheme and the
opportunity for free on-farm advisory visits and capital grants, he
requested an advisory visit under the Soils for Profit part of the

Farming in partnership with his wife, Sue, and
son, Richard, Philip raises beef cattle and sheep on the
184-hectare farm with 32 hectares devoted to arable crops.

“The adviser who did the farm survey confirmed
my thinking about the benefits of a trailing shoe for spreading
slurry and digestate, but he also looked at the condition of the
soil on the farm,” said Philip.

“It was an interesting day.  He dug small
pits and examined the condition of the soil and explained what the
problems were.”

The adviser drew up an action plan for the
farm, identifying ways in which the Friends could make best use of
resources such as soils, manures, nutrients.  Two pieces of
equipment recommended in the plan qualified for small capital
grants under the SW ARM scheme.

“We were successful with the grant
application,“ said Philip.  “We are getting the trailing shoe
to make sure all the nutrients go on to the land, so as well as
reducing greenhouse gasses, we should save money on the amount of
inorganic nitrogen fertiliser we buy.

“We are also buying a GPS system for the
tractor so we deliver slurry and digestate accurately.  With a
12-metre spreading width, it will be impossible to see the previous
trail so we don’t want to miss areas or overdose others.

“We’ll also be trialling it on the cornfield as well – that
will be something new for us and ‘which should reduce inorganic
fertiliser cost on this marginal land for cereals.”

For more information refer to the P C Friend in
the approved projects