Almost everyone will have heard of Worthy Farm, Pilton, Somerset, famous for its annual, high profile and very successful Glastonbury Festivals. Last year the event raised more than £2million for a variety of deserving charities. But trading as AJM Eavis, Worthy Farm is also a highly successful dairy farming operation that runs on some 600 acres of grass and 100 acres of maize for silage.
The Pedigree Holstein Friesian herd consists of 400 milkers with around 300 followers and they use an Aberdeen Angus bull to run with the replacement heifers, just in case they miss with AI. Herd average runs at around 12,300 litres – which is highly respectable when you consider they don’t use artificial fertilisers, relying totally on regular slurry applications.
Farm Manager, Steven Kearle explained, “Having Glastonbury Festival smack in the middle of the farming year does mean that we have to plan our silage and grazing programme to fit in around the event which pretty much consumes the entire month of June, into July. In effect we lose access to around four hundred acres during that period and it does need some time to recover before grazing can continue.”
Handling the slurry waste from 700+ cattle has been very much planned so that the entire grass acreage receives up to four applications of slurry per year – depending on weather conditions. Slurry is applied by tankers with a spread plate system, operating at 12 metres in each pass. Organic applications are monitored carefully to ensure they are applied within the strict guidelines of NVZ. Worthy Farm recently invested in two, tandem axle Major 3500 gallon tankers with 650 x 24 flotation tyres to minimise compaction and rutting.
“When we decided to look for slurry application options, we reviewed everything the market had to offer, commented Steven, “our research showed that the clear choice was for tankers from Major, which have an excellent reputation for build quality, reliability and balance with the tractor for transport and field application.
Added Steven, “on the road, these tankers are fantastic – our drivers absolutely love them. Getting the best quality tanker system from Major, with the best after-sales back-up from Smart Agricultural means we have an investment that will pay for itself over and over through years of reliable performance.” he concluded.