Beef finishing and anaerobic digestion fully complement each other

Beef finishing and anaerobic digestion fully complement each other

John McIntosh farms at Dunragit, close to Stranraer in southwest Scotland. He finishes 2,000 cattle on an annual basis with his beef operation complemented by an anaerobic digestion (AD) plant.

The initial investment in AD was made around 8 years ago. The feedstock for the system comprises a mix of cattle slurry and silage – grown on the farm.

John explained:

“In terms of our livestock business, we manage a herd of suckler cows with their progeny supplemented with bought-in stores.

“We have always committed to making best use of all the resources available to us on the farm. Given our location, we can grow excellent crops of high-quality grass.

“This is the main focus of the business, which can be used to drive both the beef and AD operations”

He added:

“We have always regarded slurry as a valuable fertiliser source. And of course, it constitutes a fundamental part of the feed stock mix used for the AD plant.”

The efficient management of an AD operation means that the plant is operating at around 100% capacity on a 24/7 basis. This results in the digestate from the system being produced on a complimentary basis. – ask RH – does it mean creates digestate as well as electricity or does he mean it is readily available.

John takes up the story:

“We have found the digestate from the plant to be a very high value fertiliser. But to make best use of the product, we need to find a more efficient way to store and transport it around the farm.

Given this backdrop, John committed to invest in a 1,000,000 gallon (4,700m3 ) Post-Tensioned Above Ground Slurry Store, as a means of giving him the year-round digestate storage capacity that he needs.

Moreover, he took the decision to locate the tank on a site that is 500m from the main farmyard.

He explained:

“The new set up allows me to pump the digestate from the original store to the new tank via a six-inch underground pipe. A Doda pump meets this requirement in full.

As a result, we can now easily access digestate at any point on the farm, whenever we need to.

Moore Concrete, based in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, was commissioned to design, manufacture and install the above ground store.

“I have been purchasing Moore Concrete products through their Scottish Agent, M J Harrison Supplies Ltd for many years,” John explained.

“This includes concrete drinkers and Ox-Strain Posts for the fencing around the farm.

“Engaging the team to design and install the new Above Ground Store was an easy decision. It was simple, our job was to prepare the site and Moore took care of everything else from appointing the engineer to arranging all the necessary pre and post site checks.”

Moore Concrete’s Jonny McKinney was a recent visitor to the McIntosh farm.

He explained:

“Our Above Ground Concrete Slurry Stores ensure the optimum combination of economy, reliability and durability to fully meet requirements outlined under both the UK & Irish specifications for farm waste management.

Moore Concrete slurry storage tanks are available in three heights: 4.0, 5.0 and 6.0m.  This offers a wide range of capacities: from 74,140 gallons (337m3)  – 1,034,000 gallons (4700m3).

The company offers a complete service: supply & construction of materials for both the base & store. In addition, each store is inspected by a chartered engineer, both pre and post construction.

Post tensioned cables are encased in a PVC sheath to protect them for the lifetime of the store without maintenance. Furthermore, Moore Concrete’s Stores are designed to include a cover which can be easily installed at the time of construction or retrofitted at a later date. Rapid installation is also guaranteed, as part of the Moore Concrete service.

If you have any questions around Above Ground Slurry stores you can reach Moore Concrete on: 028 2565 2566 or or visit our website

April 2024


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