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I can’t imagine farming without it now. The amount of hassle it takes out of slurry management is nothing short of amazing

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John Pidsley

Thornton Hey Farm, Cheshire

Dairy farmer - 60 milkers, 30 young stock

What prompted you to use Epizym?

“I had a problem. In 1997 I changed the bedding from sawdust to chopped straw to benefit the cows. I have a 50,000 gallon lagoon and a 160,000 gallon slurry tank, both of which are emptied every four months. We were having big problems with blockages when emptying the tank as the straw was forming a thick crust that wasn’t breaking down. Both systems would need to be stirred before emptying which was an expensive, time consuming task that usually took several days. We often found there wasn’t enough time to do it thoroughly, so the slurry varied in consistency and the nutrients didn’t get applied evenly. Thicker slurry stuck to the leaves and contaminated them, forcing us to wait longer before we could graze the land. This was a real problem as we were totally dependent on grass.

I saw an advert for Epizym in Dairy Farmer and gave it a try from the autumn of that year.”

What happened next?

“Treatment was easy. I simply mixed the Epizym with warm water and poured it into the reception pit before it was pumped into the tank, ensuring the bacteria were introduced into the liquid part of the slurry and not wasted on the surface.

The treated slurry is so much easier to handle. There is very little crust and the slurry has a more even consistency, even before mixing. This has greatly reduced the time and energy spent stirring the stores before spreading (it only takes me an hour to an hour and a half now), reducing hassle and allowing us to take advantage of weather windows for spreading. When I put the thinner slurry on the land I saw that the grass was growing noticeably quicker almost straight away. So much so, that by the springtime, I was able to drastically reduce the amount of fertiliser I put onto the land, buying only a couple of bags as an ‘insurance policy’ almost.”

"I’ve now been using Epizym Cattle for eight winters with good success. The product is unquestionably effective as a slurry digester provided it is always applied correctly. This I am able to apply to either mowing or grazing land without problems and with little odour throughout the growing season. 

How much money have you saved?

Obviously fertiliser saving is the key area, and the fact that I have lower contractor costs is a substantial saving. Also, with greatly reduced mixing time, diesel savings come into the picture.

See the table below for John’s annual saving on a relatively small non intensive farm.

What other benefits have you noticed?

I’ve noticed Epizym treated slurry doesn’t stick to leaves so contamination risk is reduced on silage grounds and we can get the cows back to grazing sooner.

Would you recommend Epizym products to other farmers?
The benefits I have enjoyed since first using Epizym Cattle back in 1997 are certainly worth having, and I would most certainly recommend the product to other dairy or cattle farmers. But to achieve these benefits I would stress it is important to always adhere to Epizym's easy-to-follow instructions and apply the product correctly."

John Pidsley’s Annual Savings

Fertiliser saving £8,625
Contractor saving £300
Diesel saving £200
Less cost of Epizym - £250
TOTAL saving £8,875

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