THE benefits of using a cubicle lime in order to reduce the ‘bug challenge’ confronting dairy stock are well accepted. But the development of Slurrycal brings this approach to cow management on to a completely new level.
As increasing numbers of milk producers in Northern Ireland are now finding out, the product performs tremendously well as a highly effective bedding lime while, at the same time, almost eliminating the need to mix slurry prior to its spreading on land.
In addition the product also acts to boost the overall fertiliser value of slurry.
Slurrycal’s Leslie Dwyer takes up the story: “From a bedding point of view, Slurrycal comprises a mix of ground limestone and high pH lime with a pine disinfectant. The end result is a cubicle dressing with an overall pH of 12.3 that is effective and user friendly.
“But that’s only part of the story. The product is formulated with a blend of cutting edge additives, which act to encourage the growth of aerobic microorganisms within a tank or lagoon.
“In turn, these act to ensure that the slurry is converted into a liquid with a uniform consistency. One of the most obvious indicators of this is the lack of a crust on tanks containing Slurrycal-treated slurry.”
He added: “The development of a balance between aerobic and anaerobic conditions within tanks also ensures that the breakdown of valuable nutrients such as nitrogen and sulphur is minimised.”
The Chestnutt family milk 270 autumn/winter cows on their farm near Portrush.
“We have been using Slurrycal consistently for the past two years,” confirmed William Chestnutt.
“Our main tank holds 400,000g of slurry.
“And, traditionally, it is emptied in the early spring. We have found that after a period of six months, if it is consistently filled with Slurrycal treated slurry, there is no crust on the surface of the tank, whatsoever.
“What’s more, it requires a minimal level of agitation to get the tank fully mixed prior to spreading.”
William is quick to confirm the cost benefit this generates.
“But there is also a strong health and safety dimension coming into play.” he said.
“Less agitation means less potential exposure to dangerous slurry gases for both animals and those carrying out the spreading operation.”
Leslie Dwyer and local stockist Keith Rosborough from KW Agri were recent visitors to the Chestnutt farm.
“The Slurrycal application rate is 200g per cow per day,” Keith explains.
“Demand for the product is growing, as is the recognition of its multi-faceted action.”
Slurrycal exhibit at this year’s Royal Ulster Winter fair. The company will be on Stand P94 in Pavilion 2