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Q&A: Does acidification reduce the smell of slurry?

A reduction in smell could be beneficial to farmers and nearby communities. Some say acidification could help a little.

An inevitable part of livestock production is manure and therefore, some issues with smell. Sometimes the smell can limit the efficient use of manure, since the spreading of slurry on fields near habitation, especially under certain weather conditions, can be bothersome to communities. If the smell of slurry could be reduced farmers would have more flexibility to spread the slurry when and where they see fit, without worries of bothering neighbours and nearby communities. Understandably, many are looking for ways of reducing the smell, and one of the most frequently asked questions related to slurry acidification is whether it can help with this.

The answer to this question is two-fold. First, what is of course known is that ammonia smells bad, so reducing ammonia emissions through acidification should reduce the smell. However, the smell of slurry comes only partially from ammonia, and there isn’t much confirmed evidence of acidification notably reducing the smell of the slurry. The lack of evidence can to some degree be attributed to the fact that the reduction in smell is difficult to measure. Second, even though a significant reduction in smell hasn’t been conclusively proven in studies, people working with acidified slurry have reported a reduction in smell, and acidification is commonly thought to reduce the smell of the slurry.


This post is a part of an FAQ series. Find the previous parts here.



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