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GOOD HEALTH TO THE SOIL

FARMERS AND SCIENTISTS TESTIFY

GIVE BACK TO THE SOIL ITS TRUE VALUE

"Getting back to the farmers’ good senses", "to appropriate the soil once more , to be proud of being a farmer again , we have heard all those expressions, from the farmers all over the country. All these sentences carrying hope, which allow us to believe in a new agriculture, more sustainable and responsible.

 

THANK YOU TO ALL OF THOSE WHO WERE WILLING TO SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCE AND PASSION FOR THE SOIL AND THE ANIMALS THROUGH THEIR TESTIMONIES.

 


IRELAND - SINCE 2013
Eamonn McLoughney, Ardcroney, Co. TIPPERARY
Holstein pedigree breeder 95 Holstein and Jerseys 111 hectares

 

The only way you’ll ever know anything
is to try it yourself

 

“I am a dairy farmer, from Ballythomas, Ardcroney, County Tipperary, who also rears store cattle. We are farming 111 hectares all grass, apart from a small bit of maize and wheat.

We are milking 95 Holstein cows, with a couple of Jerseys as well. The average yield is 10 000 kg at 4 % fat and 3,40 % protein, 780 kg combine solids, mainly Spring calving, all calves are kept, apart from the Jersey bull calves of course. Everything else is reared here in the farm, either for beef or for replacement stock, either that for the female side, or for pedigree bulls.


Basically, the cows are in calf from January up until about March, fed, pretty simple diet. Once we get to the spring it is grass based mostly with a small bit of buffer up until around June when most of the cows would be in calf. The winter diet consists of high dry matter silage and a blend with beet and some straw for fiber. Later on in the year, when they go to grass they are buffered fed with maize.


Sobac was brought to my attention by a friend of mine, he asked me if I would think about using it, I thought about it for a while, and I enquired around. I was meant to do an awful lot of reseeding, because the pasture had been out for a long long time. So I said, I’ll give it a try. You can’t take second hand advice; the only way you’ll ever know anything is to try it yourself. So, this is coming my third year using it. I use Bacteriolit® in the slurry and go out with it in January.


So far, I have been terribly happy with it, there is one set of paddocks over here that’s out 35 years and they have outgrown the freshly grown paddocks. Where it really showed truth to me last year was in the heights of the drought. Where Sobac had been spread, the grass never died, and that sort of proved to me that the roots had gone down deep enough to access the moisture and the nutrients. Once the rain came, then it took off, definitely outgrew, I would say, probably by 1ton to the hectare on the newer grass.


Bacteriosol® and Bacteriolit® were launched in 2012 and I started in 2013. My réservations when I started using it first were that I had very few people that I could actually go to, for an independent view. I have talked to John Bergin who had been using it and John highly recommended it. It is like any new product, you talk to people and they tell you: “oh Jesus! Fools and their money are easily separated”, so I decided that the best way of figuring out anything was to try myself for one year. If I had seen a difference, then I knew I was not taking second hand information.


There was a big outlay to start off with, the product was expensive, but when you put it over the amount of slurry that it makes, it brings back the costs an awful lot. I have to say that I have been very happy with it. I have had dozens and that’s not an exaggeration, of people coming here, and enquiring from me what I thought about it, was I happy with it, would they use it, would it do the same for them? All I could tell them was my story.

That’s all I can say basically on it, I have been very happy, my grass growth has been good, yields have been up, meal has been slightly back, definitely slightly back this year with the price of milk, but still my average yield is going to hold the same. I am not telling anyone else to use it but if they want to ask about it and want to use it, I will recommend it totally anyway. I can say no more, only that I have been very happy with the products and I hope to stay using it in the future.”



Sean Mc Dermott - Dairy farmer – Eyrecourt – Ballinasloe - Co. GALWAY

“Myself and Nollaig have been farming here for about 12 years now. We were at sucklers and sheep, and then 9 years ago we went into milking cows. Up to now, we are milking just around 100 cows.The farm is all in grass and we use very little meal. Calving is in February March, it is all Spring calving.

We started with Sobac about 3 years ago. We came on it through Brendan O’Toole who was running a meeting at the Meadow Court, Co. Galway. We had, previously, soil sampled our land. We were in REPS (Rural Environmental Protection Scheme) and our P’s and K’s were very low. We had started spreading a bag of 0-7-30 at the start of the year and a bag at the end of the year. When we started with Brendan then, we stopped all that and did not spread any lime. We are working only with Sobac since. First, we spread 3.5 tons of the pelleted stuff and then we went on to the Bacteriolit® though the slurry, that’s what we are mainly using now. We spread 2 500 gallons to the acre and we would usually use it as we are closing the paddocks in October. This year, we spread it in March, we injected it straight into the ground. We just tried it out to see would it work any better during the growing year. I am happy enough with the product so far.

In the first year now, we did not see an awful lot of difference, but from last year until this year now, we have started to see a major difference in the farm, the cows are cleaning out paddocks way better. I can’t say that our milk solids or anything have changed because every year we have been climbing up in numbers, so it is just hard to say if Sobac is having an effect on that or not. It is just when number stabilize that we will be able to say that at ease. Apart from that, the grass is growing, we have no problem growing grass, we have spread no lime, no Ps and Ks in 3 years and the farm is flying.

In April 2015 we did a soil profile. I think there were 50 or 60 people here. We dug the holes with the digger and we could not believe there was such a difference in it. The grass, and the roots of the grass went down so far into the ground. We have fierce worm activity as well. It was an eye opener for me to see what was going on down under the ground.

Since we started the process, I have said that we will give it at least 3 years. If we were to use it the first year and weight up against Ps and Ks we would have probably gone back to Ps and Ks but we decided we would give it a chance and we left it for 3 years and we have seen a major improvement on the farm. Weighing one against the other, cost wise, I think we are working out a bit better with Sobac than going with our Ps and Ks and lime. We are happy enough so far. We are going forward with the product. We have seen an improvement in the land. Like this farm here, the field we are standing at the minute, we took it over last year, and it got no Ps and Ks, no lime for years. We have grazed it 4 times, I have taken 25 bales of silage and we have grazed it once and it is ready for grazing again. We have no problem with the product, it is standing on its own.”



VIDEO - TESTIMONIES



Eire

DAIRY CATTLE

USER
SINCE 2013


Eire

BEEF CATTLE

USER
SINCE 2013



EIRE

USERS' TESTIMONIES

Beef cattle and dairy cattle


HUNGARY

DAIRY CATTLE

User since 2010

 

«I got more oats and straw
in the harvest this year,
I am going to use Bacteriosol® again»

 

"I used both Bacteriosol® and Bacteriolit® on my farm. The fields are recovering really quickly. There is an upsurge in clover and the grass is growing really well. The cows and calves have done particularly well this year. Last year the calves seemed to struggle, however I have some calves weighing 400kg already this year. I would put it down to the quality of the grass".
Kim McCall, Aubrac Pedigree Breeder, Calverstown, Co. Kildare

"I got more oats and straw in the harvest this year, I am going to use Bacteriosol® again".
Anne Strahan, Organic Grain Grower, Littleton, Co Tipperary

"I used Bacteriosol® with half Nitrogen, and to my surprise I got 3 tons of barley to the acre. I will denitely use it again".
Terry Byrne, Grain Grower and Agri Supplier, Naas, Co Kildare

"Where I put the powder (Bacteriolit®) in the Slurry the cattle clean off the grass evenly. Where I sed SOBAC I have a better response and faster grass growing back. I have denser grass, higher protein, higher fat levels and sometimes 1 day extra grazing".
John Bergin, Dairy Farmer, Nenagh, Co Tipperary

"The slurry didn't smell as much, it was easier to agitate and was absorbed quicker in the ground. Where I spread slurry after three days the cattle got out into the field and they had no problem grazing it. There is something happening in the soil anyway, there is more insects and worms".
Donal Dorgan, Beef Farmer, Ballyhooly, Co. Cork

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