New pump solves sand-laden slurry headache at dairy farm

A dairy farm in Cheshire that was having trouble handling sand-laden slurry, has solved the problem with a new pump and help in the set-up of its reception pit.

cattle in sand-bedding on slurry farming article
Sand-bedding has numerous benefits, but sand-laden slurry can cause major problems if the pump set-up isn’t right.

Woodhey Hall Farm, which has 1,250 cows, was being forced to fix its slurry pump every week, as proprietor Paul Robinson explains: “The seals on the pump kept failing, so it was taking up way too much time for us with repairs and maintenance. In theory, it was a perfectly good pump for ‘slurry’, but we soon saw that for sand-laden slurry, it’s a totally different story. You need a much sturdier pump, and the right set-up.”

To try to find the right solution for pumping the slurry from the reception pit up to the separator, Mr Robinson spoke to Landia. He added: “Sand-bedding definitely has its health advantages for our cows: Less lameness, less need for antibiotics, and in general, less dust, but you need to engage with a company that has the right kit and a proper understanding of how to handle what is a difficult, abrasive slurry.”

sand-laden slurry pump on farming article
The new Landia pump has been supplied with hardened components.

Landia worked closely with Woodhey Hall Farm to emphasise the need to keep the sand-laden slurry moving as quickly as possible and whilst as fresh as possible.

Paul Davies from Landia commented: “When a reception pit is too large, and the sand-laden slurry too spread out, a pump can easily become overwhelmed because the second stage of the process becomes far too heavy with sand. It becomes almost as if trying to pump sandpaper, which not surprisingly, is very damaging to the pump.

“To make the system as efficient as possible, we installed our pump vertically, so as to minimise the contact made between the sand and the pump, though for sand applications, we always supply our units with hardened components. The need for spare parts is inevitable in this application, but it is possible to minimise wear and protect against abrasion for as long as possible.”

Mr Robinson, continued: “The Landia pump just hasn’t stopped since its installation – and we know we can call on them for advice if we need it, so it is good to have back-up. We’ve made significant savings, and overall, everything is much easier to handle.”

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