29 September 2000

Slurry squeezed to give ideal bedding

NEVER buy bedding again may be a rash claim for a German-built slurry separator which made its UK debut at the Dairy Event, but it is one many visitors considered with interest.

The Fan Separator squeezes liquid out of slurry to produce a solid residue which can used for bedding. First point to note is that the word Fan is formed from the initials of the manufacturers family and has no bearing on the system employed.

Slurry is pumped into an auger and screen press where water is forced through the screen and the solids pass out at the end. The moisture content is controlled by imposing a restriction on the outlet end to create a greater squeezing effect within the unit.

UK importer Jim Vyse says fears of bugs being conveyed back to the cowshed are groundless. "Tests have shown that there is absolutely no problem.Cell counts and mastitus infection are primarily controlled in the milking process."

Mr Vyse also points out that the resulting liquid waste is much easier to handle than semi-solid slurry – and slurry store capacity can be reduced significantly.

"There is also the important point that storage space normally used for conventional bedding materials, such as straw or sawdust, can be used for more profitable purposes."

Price of the Fan Separator is about £12,500.

Slurry turned into bedding with the Fan Separator. Over 3000 have been sold worldwide, says the company with many farms using the dried material immediately without further processing.