Next-generation slurry management system ticks so many boxes on Co Antrim dairy farm
Sean Connolly, his father Malachy and son Ronan milk 240 high merit Holstein Friesian cows on the outskirts of Loughgiel in North Co Antrim.
Their dairy enterprise has been developed over many years with a clear focus placed on breeding cows capable of producing large volumes of high quality milk.
Sean explained: “The cows are currently averaging 8,000 litres. Calving takes place between September and April. This allows us to maximise the price bonuses that are available for winter milk.”
The Connolly farm is home to two unique aeration units, which have served to revolutionise the management of slurry on the farm.
The technology associated with these state-of-the-art systemsis now available exclusively in Northern Ireland from Easyfix slurry technology.
Sean continued: “There is no requirement to mix the aerated tanks. This brings with it very significant health and safety benefits.
“In addition we do not have to take animals out of their shed when taking the slurry out of the tanks below them.
“Not having to mix slurry is saving us at least 10 hours of someone’s time when it comes to emptying a tank.
“Aeration also takes away the smell associated with slurry. When we go in to empty a tank, we are dealing with an homogenous liquid that is so much more easy to spread.
The Connolly family’s experience with aeration can best be described as an ongoing process.
“There was a gap of a few years between the installation of the first and second systems,” Sean confirmed.
“Currently, 50% of the slurry tanks on the farm are aerated. If it was feasible to have an aeration system placed in all the tanks, it would be the number one investment priority for the farm.”
Easyfix’s Enda Corrigan was a recent visitor to the Connolly farm.
He confirmed that the new slurry system is proven to reduce ammonia emissions by 51% while also acting to increase the soil availability of the nitrogen, potash and phosphorous in the slurry.
Enda added: “The continuous liquid state, which the slurry finds itself in, eliminates the need for agitation and/or mixing.
“This makes for a safer environment from the point of view of both the animals and the farmer.”
Easyfix Slurry Technology acts to aerate all the slurry in a tank on an intermittent basis, courtesy of a unique “timed compression system”.
This action creates a slurry that is fully oxygenated at all times. The end result is the production of a homogeneous liquid, containing an even distribution of all the nutrients contained in the slurry within the tank.
Sean continued: “There is absolutely no smell in the house. Maximising safety standards, when it came to managing the slurry produced on the farm, has always been a priority.
“We had initially installed an earlier version of the new technology in one of the oldest sheds on the farm, so we knew the principle of aeration when it came to agreeing the second installation.”
Enda Corrigan went on to point out that, looking forward, livestock farmers will have to act to reduce the Carbon Footprint of their businesses while, at the same time, lowering the level of gaseous emissions from their farms.
He continued: “The new Easyfix Slurry Technology provides a proven solution to both these challenges.
“It benefits farmers in their quest for lower emissions, a reduced Carbon Footprint and increased slurry nutrients. The consequent reduction in artificial fertilizer usage acts to boost farm profits.”
The new Easyfix Slurry Technology can be fitted in both new and old underground tanks, above ground tanks and lagoons. It is equally suited for use in dairy, beef and pig enterprises.
For further information, contact Enda Corrigan on 07983 134069.