Testimonial Jean-Pierre Guérit Financially it is around 35% better Goat breeder 2011 Périgné 79170 Deux-Sèvres Crop/Production Jean-Pierre and Philippe Guérit (Gaec du Chêne Vert), are goat breeders in France (Deux-sèvres). The farm : 80 hectares with 26 ha of wheat, 6 ha of colza, 9 ha of corn, 14 ha of mixed crop of wheat and rye, 17 ha “10 plants”, 1 ha of spelt, 7 ha of natural meadows / 500 dairy goats (Saanen and Alpine) / Kid fattening. Product/Usage Bactériolit (since 2005) / Valorization of manures Testimonial My first contact with SOBAC was a day that I was irritated; I was spreading manure but it was not decomposed enough and did not want to come out of the spreader. I was really angry. The commercial agent who was just passing by told me: “I have a solution for your manure” and it all started like that. I did a trial in 2005 in one goat shed, and soon, we turned everything into Bactériolit. After two months of trial when we saw the results, there was no hesitation. And when, we saw the outcome on the fields we had spread with manure… First, when we took the manure out, we did not feel like manure anymore. It did not smell. It had the smell of soil, of real manure. It was pleasant. The atmosphere in the goat sheds completely changed You have to live with it to understand. We don’t have this ammonia smell which gets into your head anymore. We also noticed it on the health of the animals. Every single year, the fertility rate improves as well as the dairy production. Costs have decreased. It is a whole. The following year, we completed with Bactériosol in order to compensate the lack of manure. Last year, we did 80% with our manure and next year we should be able to do 100%. We will then stop using Bactériosol in order to work only with Bactériolit. It is crucial for us to gain more autonomy. If you have a tour of the farms working with SOBAC I am sure the farmers will complain less than those who don’t work with it. From the moment you start working with SOBAC, it is that you are willing to change the way you are working. For us, it has been 5 years and it is like night and day. We have stopped using around 20 tons of fertilizers and from the first year with SOBAC we cut down nitrogen by 50%. We are willing to work clean. The environmental side came along, it clicked. I don’t talk about it because the farmers around me don’t have the same approach. Here, it is every man for himself. I work along with a colleague who has 135 ha et goats just like me but I talk about it with him. He knows how I work but he is conventional and it is like that. It has to be a personal will to change. Everyone has its own consciousness, but nowadays, 300 units of Nitrogen on wheat, it is crazy. Working like that also involves growth substance, at least three fungicides and certainly insecticide. Whereas when you are down to 100 units, one fungicide is enough and it does not need growth substance or insecticide. It is true that we won’t go after 80 quintals but we will do 55 to 65 quintals and the margin will be much more interesting. Financially it is around 35% better Nowadays, drought is no matter to me anymore. We have done the first cut and, I can say that, we are going to do pretty well this year. Forage is guaranteed. It is true that if it had rained more, we would have done 17 or 18 bales of mixed crop of wheat and rye instead of 15. And now, if it rains, the corn will not be for loose. The first thing I have noticed concerning my soil, when I started working with SOBAC, is that the roots of the plants were developing deeper in the ground. We have gained 10 to 15% of working time and we use 10 to 15% less diesel oil since the soil is easier to work We are not working the soil, it is working by itself. Micro-organisms and warms are doing the job. The crops are more homogeneous. In between a crop of wheat with Bactério and a traditional crop of wheat, during a drought year, the difference is huge; the field with Bactério does not suffer as much. That is for sure. My fields are drained faster. Yes, we are in advance comparing to others. We are getting ready for the governmental measures which are coming up. We have to anticipate. When you don’t do so, you are “dead”. At the beginning, I started with “10 plants” crops. We have 80 hectares with 25 to 30 hectares of alfalfa, but we were not able to hold up with alfalfa, it was not enough. We started on “10 plants” because we did not need to use weed killers anymore and it is environmentally friendly. That was 5 years ago. We started on mixed crop of wheat and rye 2 years ago in order to stop doing so much corn, mainly because of the drought. We had to adapt SOBAC’s offer. We noticed that the goats are not eating triticale because the bots are too sharp and are hurting their mouth. There are always some improvements to make. Before, the goats used to refuse to eat almost 30 % of the production, now it is around 2%. It is amazing. Concerning the dairy production, we went up to 900 kilos, which is about 850 litres On a vet point of view, we really have to have a big problem in order for him to come to the farm; otherwise we never have to call him. Goat breeding is special. You have to feel when the goat is going to be sick. Often, when they are actually sick, it is too late to do anything. It is a different world. We don’t work in curative but in a preventive way. There are some regions which are more in the move than the others; where farmers are more aware of the existing problems and solutions. Here, I have no idea where they are heading to. There are some farms of 500 to 600 hectares with people wanting to absorb everything, it is unbelievable. If people are not yet willing to take the steps it is because there are some powers behind agriculture. Technicians, they are doing their job. I work with a commercial agent not with a coop. The one coming to my place has been her for 3 or 4 years. I have told him: “Don’t try to change my mind, it won’t work. Now, I know where I am going”. I have even told him the other that if it was not for SOBAC, I would not probably still be here today. I was tired of the system. But it seems I m going to stay. I am more independent. Subsidies represent only 3 % of my turnover now. A crop producer, if we stop giving him subsidies, he dies. When I was young, I knew mixed farming, and it is that king of farming that I would like to do. The CAP system, I don’t like it at all. That is why we started with goats; subsidies are low. By changing technique, when see the earnings we have, we know we are going to improve our margin Moreover, with the way we work we respect our soil. Soil is our job. I have known SOBAC 7 years ago and it was only known in Brittany and Aveyron, now it is worldwide. It is booming. The other day, we went by a small path with my wife. I told her: “See, there is no nitrogen, nothing”. She was proud of me. We are proud again. It is true that we were not taking car of our soil before. It has changed. I am proud to put a SOBAC sign at the gate of my fields. I have always been in love with my job. I could have become a professional soccer player or a musician but I was attracted by farming. Results They use Bactériolit to optimize the value of manure. No more smell (ammonia smell). The value of manure was optimized. Better health of animal. Fertility rate improves. Dairy production rate improves. Reduction of costs. No more use of fertilizers. Margin will be much more interesting : around 35% better). Better resistance to drought. Better rooting. working time reduced by 10 to 15%. Consumption of diesel reduced by 10 to 15 % Crops are more homogeneous. Fields are drained faster. Less vetenary fees.