Testimonial Paul Besson Since I started working that way, I feel so much better in my head Cattle breeder 2010 Naucelles 15250 Cantal Crop/Production Paul Besson is cattle Breeder in Cantal, in France. He is settled since 1983. He breeds 80 calving Limousines. His farm : 110 hectares / 5.5 hectares of grain crops / 8 hectares of corn / 40 hectares of temporary meadows / 56.5 hectares of meadows. Product/Usage Bactériolit (since 2003) / Valorization of manures and slurry. Bactériosol concentré (since 2004) / Natural fertilization of cereals and grasslands. Testimonial Paul Besson is not the kind of person who does things by half. When Patrick Fabre, one of SOBAC’s co-managers, came to see him 7 years ago, the cattle breeder let himself get seduced by the speech of this man of the land. No trials, no test field, he turned the whole farm into Bactériolit and Bactériosol and he does not regret it at all. As he says, he was " getting tired of unloading trucks full of chemicals ", all of it for deceiving results. At 52 years old, Paul Besson has the calm strength of a man who made the right choice. " In 2000, I upgraded to current standards the buildings of the main farm site of 75 hectares, located 13 kilometres away from here. I brought up to standards the stables and asked myself the question of enhancing the value of the manure and litter. After some failed trials with a product based on algae, I met with the technician from SOBAC who is covering the area. He then came back with Patrick Fabre and we went deeper into the subject. I placed my first order on the fall of 2003, for products treating the effluents. So, I started with Bactériolit and then I added Bactériosol to treat the fields I could not spread with manure as I did not have enough. I did not do any trials. I took a risk, but, that’s the way I am. I trust people. Those men knew how to convince me, they did not have fine words like those who tell you that your yields are going to increase. They managed to convince me about the quality of manure that we obtain thanks to Bactériolit. That’s what I was looking for. They also told me: " don’t expect miracles, it is not a supernatural product which is going to boost your fodder production in a second ". They told me I was going to see, through the years, a constant evolution of the structure of the soil, of the flora and a difference on how the cattle gaze. Since I was sick of chemical fertilisers, they arrived at the right time. And in my head, I was looking for a product like that. We developed a mutual trust. Today, the risk I took, I don’t regret it. I had heard about it through a nephew who has a friend who works with SOBAC. I started on a drought period, in 2003. I already had my system with the effluents; it means that I was spreading manure during winter and litter during spring. So, I spread my manure as I used to, in the end of May, after I had taken out the cows for a first cut on the meadows. In the beginning of July, I made the hay, I picked up the litter because it had not melted, it was not compost. In 2004, I did the same again, and there, I noticed that what they were saying was true. When I took the cattle out on the meadow I had just spread with manure, the cows went everywhere, without seeking for a place where I had forgotten to spread manure. Whereas before, it was obvious, they would gaze where there wasn’t any manure. In 2004, when spring did not see more rain than in 2003, I immediately noticed that the manure had deteriorated phenomenally After 2 or 3 weeks, we could not find anything left. Before it used to look like small cakes or cow dung. Another observation after spreading the manure treated with Bactériolit is the flora which changed. Clovers started growing where I had never seen any before and wild alfalfa appeared too. Nowadays the cows don’t refuse to gaze anymore. From the first day I started working with SOBAC, I stopped using nitrogen. I used to spread 500 kg/ha of chemical inputs; it represented 35 to 40 tons of fertilisers each year. And now, I use 5.5 tons of Bactériolit The cost is divided by half I took over my brother’s farm when he retired and I am growing corn which I am going to fertilise with manure treated with Bactériolit. SOBAC’s system questions everything we learned at school. Fertilisation, as SOBAC sees it, is not considered enough. You always work in a way which does not let you benefit from your effluents but encourages you to buy what is missing to the soil. I am not the only one who has thought about it and who prefers to do the opposite. It would be a shame not to use everything that is produced on the farm since we have the technique to enhance the value of those effluents. Today, the manure that will be spread in a month (August), and the manure that we used to have and which was untreated are like night and day. I almost spread powder. It is compost, it works very well. As for the technicians from the Chamber of Agriculture, some of them are into organic farming and say that it is not a bad solution. Some competitors also came by. People were laughing at me when I started. And now, those same people are trying to sell me products that they call first cousin of Bactériosol. When you look at the Chambers, a whole system is working. Chambers, technician, Coops, input sup¬pliers. They all pay each other. It is hard to shake it up. Last year, I had to buy fodder. We had had a dry summer and no rain at all in autumn, so, we were a little short on grass. Some colleagues, who have same size farms and are bombing their fields with chemical fertilisers, had to buy much more fodder than I did. I am more independent and I improved the quality of my fodder even if in terms of quantity it has not increased. The yield is as good as it was before but better in terms of quality In 2006, on a depressed field where I had spread treated manure, we were not able to make the hay before the end of July, because of the weather. All of those who made their hay at the same time as I did told me that it was uneatable, whereas mine was exceptional considering the weather we got. The idea is starting to work its way through. The problem is breaking old habits and former suppliers too. We never really asked ourselves if something else existed. During winter, I give my cows a ration made out of 80% grass silage and 20% hay. It means that they eat about 3 or 4 kilos of hay each day. I had this ration before working with SOBAC mainly with the SALERS which are not as sensible as LIMOUSINE in terms of diarrhoea. Since I started working with Bactériosol and Bactériolit, I have dry cow dung, clean cows, summer and winter alike. Even out on the fields, they don’t have liquid excretion whereas before, when I was taking the cows out to a nice and green meadow, they would poop everywhere. It was a mess. And during winter, I don’t even want to talk about it. With grass silage, it was all soft. In relation to meadows, cows graze almost everything. The grass keeps its appetition; there is also more floral diversity The cattle behave well and do not moo all the time. They feel at ease and they benefit from it. This year, with my batch of big males, I reached a 1,700g growth per day on 60 days. It means that the cattle felt good, that they ate well and that the calves were good too, there was milk. I am not alone. Some people came here in order for me to explain what I do. Then, around me, many people have entered the same process. They believe in the experience I tried to pass on to them. In the beginning, I did not start this approach for economic reasons. It was environmental for me. I was getting tired of unloading trucks full of chemical fertilisers to reach an efficiency bellow the one I get with SOBAC’s concept. And then, after being called polluter so many times, we want to react. It was running in my head for a long time, I wanted to work better with my effluents. And I found the product which matches my expectations. It works. I am more flexible on my farm. Grass can wait a little bit And in relation to meadows, if it is a little hard or if it has grown a little too high, the cows don’t mind. They eat, they don’t moo. It is a long term process. Since I started working that way, I feel so much better in my head. It is another job. Even in the job itself, spreading 40 tons of fertilisers each year is not done in one day. Before, I used to take manure out once I had ensiled the fields. I was stocking it on the fields before spreading it in autumn, and it doubled the work. Now, in the second half of August, when it is cooler and the days shorten, I spread my manure without asking myself if there is grass or not. Technically, I am very satisfied and I have way less worry. I was the first one in the family to enter the process and two of my brothers followed my lead. They have great results on grass and corn. Many colleagues from CUMA have followed me too. Close by, there is a big dairy farm where they produce cheese. The major problem when you have a farm like that is fertilisation, with or without nitrogen... They need grass but not too grown. With that system, they have found the solution to their problem. They don’t spread mineral fertilisation anymore and they have more flexibility on the use of the grass. Before, a change of fields could have great conse¬quences on the cheese. Thanks to this product, they have found a balance between their lands. Results He uses Bacteriolit to optimise use of effluents and Bacteriosol to improve soil fertility and quality. Quick evolution of manure and slurry. Easy spreading of effluents and grass management. Flora Improvement Cost of fertilisation divided by 2. Better animal health, improved digestibility. Simplification of working conditions Origine Témoignage d'un sélectionneur limousin sûr d'avoir fait les bons choix, utilisateur de Bactériolit.