Farmer Focus: Home-made slurry tanker tweaks save time

As we went through January, I was constantly watching the slurry store. February couldn’t come soon enough.

Like most of the country, we are in a nitrate vulnerable zone. So, when the annual winter ban on slurry spreading came to an end on 31 January, spreading started on the early grasses.

A few days of this has seen the lagoon back down to a comfortable level.

See also: 5 home-built pieces of slurry kit which improved efficiency

About the author

Tom Hildreth
Livestock Farmer Focus writer Tom Hildreth and family grow grass and maize for the 130-cow herd of genomically tested 11,000-litre Holsteins near York supplying Arla. The Hildreths run a café, ice cream business and milk vending machine on the farm.
Read more articles by Tom Hildreth

A few alterations to the slurry tanker have made tanking an easier and cleaner job too. Home-built mudguards that fit on the 3-point linkage of the tractor save a lot of clart (muck) being flicked onto the road.

I also built a hydraulic slurry pipe attacher. This means I no longer need to get off the seat to attach the slurry pipe.

By not having downtime from getting off the seat I can do another load or two a day, saving me about a week a year.

I know some of you are thinking I could have bought one, but where is the fun in that?

As a final modification to the tanker, I added an electro-hydraulic valve block to cater for the six services now required. Now one constant pump valve and switch box run all of the tanker services.

If you have been living in a cave, you will have missed the news of the milk price drop.

Most farming news outlets and commentators have posted it on Facebook, and it is comical to see that many of those commenting have a limited grasp of basic supply and demand principles.

But hey, everyone is entitled to their opinions. The world was much simpler when people didn’t have a platform to share them… but that’s the world we live in now.

Finally, after being unsure whether to open the ice cream parlour in January, we are pleased we made the decision to do so – as are many of our customers who struggle to entertain their kids at this time of year.

The best weekend we had was below zero with freezing fog, and yet the car park and café were full most of the weekend, proving it’s never too cold for ice cream!

Not sure how we’re going to cope in the summer…