4000T Slurry Tanker: John Playfair Agricultural Contractor, Ballencrieff Farm, near Haddington, East Lothian

John Playfair Agricultural Contractor’s new Abbey 4000T tanker is being used six days a week all year round.

The machine has been modified to enable it to cope with the rigorous amount of work it faces in shifting liquid waste from a malting operation.

“Some days it’ll just do two runs, but most of the time it can be up to six or seven runs a day,” says John Playfair. “It’s rigorously used and it’s standing up to what we’re doing.” 

He adds: “It’s got a high road spec, with air brakes and extra lights, and we’ve also had a bigger pump fitted as well as a self-fill option on the side and the front.

“We might also put a spreader bar on the back: at the moment, it goes through a rain gun, but we can’t cover all the fields like that, so we might put it through an applicator.”

The waste mostly goes on the business’s own fields, although John is hoping to get licences to spread it elsewhere. “We’ve found benefits from the liquid waste,” he says. “We’ve not used any slug pellets here at home for years now. We think the pH of the effluent deters the slugs. And if it goes on at the right point in the crop development, we’ve found we can also increase the protein in the grain.”

As well as contracting and having a retail garden compost firm, John also runs a large farming enterprise. Last year, the farming side of business combined about 1,500 acres of crops.