Slurry inoculant SlurryBugs a “no brainer” says Cumbria dairy farmer Thomas Todd
Cumbria dairy farmer Thomas Todd milks 110 Montbeliarde cows at Wyndham Farm, near Wigton – and he’s been a committed user of slurry inoculant SlurryBugs after installing a new underground slurry store.
“We were told to be very careful and not to let the slurry get too thick so we decided to start treating it with SlurryBugs – primarily to prevent too much crust forming and to keep the slurry more alive.
“We’ve used SlurryBugs ever since and the tank stirs up really well every time. I don’t have to waste days of time and diesel stirring the tank before the contractors come to empty it. I can put the pump in the tank first thing in the morning and set it off. Once it has had about three or four hours of stirring it’s absolutely fine. I have no crust at all and no smell,” says Thomas Todd. But it was when he once forgot to add SlurryBugs that the benefits of slurry treatment were made very clear.
“When the contractor came to empty the tank with the umbilical system he asked me if I was still treating it with slurry incoculant. I told him I’d forgotten and he said he thought something was different because the smell was so strong it was making him feel ill.”
After emptying Thomas always adds one pot of SlurryBugs to treat 100,000 gallons of slurry and continues with that level of treatment every month until the tank (400,000 gallon capacity) is full.
Although he has so far not been analysing his slurry for nutrient values he has confidently cut back on fertiliser – at least five tonnes. As well as the slurry being of a more even consistency Thomas has noticed his fields can be grazed a lot sooner after treated slurry has been applied compared with when he was using untreated slurry.
“Untreated slurry sours the grass and cows take longer to come back to it. That’s not the case with treated slurry. I can easily spread slurry on a field and know that I can be grazing it much faster because it hasn’t been soured.
“To me the cost of using a slurry treatment is a no-brainer. It’s not a lot of money. It costs us just about £400 to treat the tank for the year. Just having to stir the tank for one day less means a saving of almost £100 in diesel. Treating slurry pays for itself and more besides.”