Farmers can now make more money from selling cow muck than they can milk amid falling supermarket prices, according to Yorkshire-based farmer.
David Metcalfe, the owner of Yorkshire Dales-based Metcalfe farms, has revealed that 33 litres of milk produced by his cows currently makes a loss, while the 100 tonnes of slurry produced is helping to balance the farm's profits.
Falling prices, which have left many supermarkets selling milk cheaper than water, have left many dairy farms in the region losing up to 10p for each litre of milk they sell. However, Mr Metcalfe now sells the 200KW of electricity produced by his 900-cow herd to the National Grid.
According to Mr Metcalfe, who set up the business with his brothers Brian and Philip and Stokesley-based anaerobic digestion firm JFS & Associates, the energy produced by the cows has also cut power bills for the three sites by 60%, while halving fertiliser bills thanks to the amount of nutrients in the slurry.
"It is incredible that we are losing money on the milk and making profits from the slurry, but it's given us another angle to our business and helping to mitigate our milk losses," Mr Metcalfe commented.
He added: "using the slurry to make money looked good on the plan, particularly as the Northern Powergrid main goes through our yard which helped cut costs, but it has done better than we expected. There are very few things where that happens."
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