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Testimonials and results

Testimonial
Kim McCall, Irish Aubrac breeder
Kim Mc Call
We gained productivity
Aubrac breeder
2015
Co. Kildare, IRELAND

Crop/Production

Kim Mc Call is a Aubrac and ewes breeder in Co. Kildare, Ireland. 

The farm: 85 hectares, all in one block, consists of some wood lands and the rest is all permanent pasture / 70 Aubrac Cows  and 85 ewes.

Product/Usage

  • Bactériosol concentré (since 2012) / Fertility of soil
  • Bactériolit (since 2012) / Optimised use of effluents

Testimonial

The farm is 85 hectares, all in one block, consists of some wood lands and the rest is all permanent pasture. We have a suckler herd enterprise comprising of 70 pedigree Aubrac cows and about 80 to 85 cross bred Rouge ewes. 
We got to know about SOBAC, first of all, my wife met Christophe and Marcel Mezy in France at the Cournon show. I was not at that show but the following year I went and she introduced me to Christophe. Then a couple years later Christophe came over here and explain the principle again to me, and we went from there.


My observations, so far, have been very positive. We are into our 3rd year of using SOBACC’s products. It’s cumulative, it does not happen quickly, but it happens all the time and once it gets going, the yields go up, and we get less and less water logging. I have noticed a big turnaround in the farm. 2012 was really the crocks for the farm, we had unlimited rainfall from the year 2007 to 2012 and the farm had lost productivity. I think my farm would not have been unique in that, so we needed to build fertility, and to keep our fertility. And, I did not want to go down the chemical route, because if we got another wet summer, all the chemicals that’ll be put into the soil would just wash back, straight back out again into the water tables, so that was not the intention. The intention was to build fertility and to keep fertility and the SOBAC’s products Bacteriosol and Bacteriolit were the 2 products that really grabbed me and said this will work, it’s worked for others. From what I have read from the testimonials, they were very much commercial farms that were using it, they weren’t hobby farms and then if it was good for them, it was good for me. 

 

What I have noticed immediately, was the ease with which the farmyards manure broke down, and when it was spread, how quickly it was absorbed by the soil

 

The slurry seemed to take a very small amount of time to agitate, compare to what some people say, the tractor could be there all day agitating whereas for me, even in the large tank, which holds just under 90 000 gallons, he agitated it for less than an hour. There is no smell and with the slurry you can actually, walk behind the guy spreading it and you would be down wind of it, and you’ve obviously got a bovine smell of it but there is not this “take your head off” smell. It is just a small slurry odour rather than an acrid smell.

 

Like I said, we are in year 3 now. So the first year, it was slow, that’s possibly because the soil needed that year to actually work but certainly year 2, year 3 it has been very productive. The hay seems to dry quicker, because not as much moisture in it, or the dry matter is higher. We gained productivity, last year we had 70 cows in one group in the shed and they received 2 bales of haylage per day plus 5 bales of straw per week, and they were very content, if they weren’t content they would certainly have told me. 

 

Results, I suppose is the first reason why to keep using it

 

I am seeing huge changes in the field, some would be more subtle like, you’ll often go into a field and say “where is that patch of nettles gone?” I remember it there, it is not there anymore. The big changes would be, I have one field that got, you could say in a word, trashed, I had horses in it for 2 winters in a row, and they damaged it a lot. They panned it, they poached it, they would have grazed out certain areas, left certain areas. So that field needed a lot of recuperation, a lot of people would have said resow it immediately. But that really would not have solved the problem of compaction. So, I have used SOBAC’s product, it has taken 3 years and now the productivity of that field has bounced back, the cows are happy on it whereas 2 years ago they could not wait to get out of it. Now, they can’t wait to go in there. 


I suppose, having run it fairly extensively up to then, I have now gone a little bit more intensive, because I feel I have the ability to do so, and have not noticed any health effects because of that.
I have 3 cows that are now cow-calves and I am feeding them extra meal just to get the muscle content up. Unfortunately, I have to do that because I am paid for carcass weight and not paid by the amount of Omega 3 that is in their muscles. So until that comes along, grass fed beef won’t fetch the premium that it should.

 

Lambs are doing very well. We try and dose less, and their lambs are going, I would say, 2 to 3 weeks earlier than in previous years. The whole reason, I think why Sobac has stuck me is that, it is giving me now a balance to use in both good years and bad years. The years 2007 and 2012 hopefully won’t return but they will return in time, weather wise, and we need that stability which you are never gonna get if you follow conventional farming and you end up chasing your tail.

 

Sobac, might not be the be all and end all but it certainly balances the farm


Lambing would be about 1.7, last year was a bit higher it was nearly just under 2. Calving is always 100%, I would not have it otherwise, there are no free rides here. Even for old cows, they have to do their bit otherwise they are gone. 
Definitely last year, I’ve noticed a big difference; the weanlings were 30 to 40 kilos heavier than the previous year. I have not weighted them as yet at the moment but it looks like they will be similar to last year. I fed 3 tons of creep for 36 bulls. It worked out very economic. We had cows, or bulls still on the cow doing a little under or a little over 2 kg/day. We sold bulls off the cow, just weaned, the average weight was 380 kilos. Which the year before was 350 so there was our 30 kg difference.
The heifers are gaining around 1 kg to 1.1 kg a day, the bulls would be 1.3 upwards. That’s with the cow, on grass only, with the minimum of creep, really the last 4 to 6 weeks before weaning, just to ,basically get them used to, to the alternative diet, as opposed to milk. 


One thing I have noticed is the consistency of the fields, paddocks, where we would have had quite a few thistles, docks, especially buttercups, which is a sign of compaction and acidification of the soil, I am noticing, all these weeds are still in the paddocks, but they are a negligible amounts, maybe gate ways, around water raffs. Certainly the buttercup has made a huge regression from one field that looked like it was 100% buttercups is now 95% grass, clover mix and just about 5 or under % of buttercups. That has been outstanding, and I have actually pointed out to certain farmers who would pass that field on the road and asked them have they noticed a difference and they have all said Yes.


We hosted a soil profile a year ago and I think it was amazing for seeing my own farm from the grass level down. Most of us look at our farms from the grass level up. Looking down to nearly 2 meters it was striking to see the colour of the soil and the permeability of the soil using the worm runs.

 

In the field that had received SOBAC products, the root run was down to 1.5, 1.6 meters and the other one it was about 1 or 1.2

 

The colour of the soil was outstanding, on the one that had had it, it was a dark brown that went down to 90 cm, and the other one it was only 40 or 50 cm. They were side by side, you could not say I had gone from one end of the farm to the other; they were exactly the same area. They were 50 meters apart. That struck me. And after doing that, I very quickly put Sobac on the control field, and I have noticed this year, certainly in some of the dryer areas, the grass is still green whereas before it would have burnt off. 
 

Results

  • Yields Increase.
  • Less and less waterlogging.
  • Farmyard manure broke down very easily.
  • Manure absorbed very quickly by the soil. 
  • Less odour of the manure.
  • Higher dry matter
  • Increase of productivity