While in attendance at the Sommet de l’Élevage agricultural show which took place in France earlier this month, Agriland met a French-based machinery importer who is sourcing slurry systems built in Co. Armagh.
Luc Jeannerot is the boss of the French machinery importer Agro Jeannerot which is based near Switzerland in a region known as Franche-Comté.
He explained he first saw the slurry-systems which are built in Co. Armagh at the National Ploughing Championships and saw an opportunity for the machinery in the French market.
Speaking to Agriland, Luc said: “I buy SlurryKat equipment and sell it to French dealers. We then go out to the farm to set up the machines along with the farmer.”
He explained that the umbilical slurry-spreading system in France was “not that popular” but noted that biogas companies in France have growing volumes of slurry to spread and said “the umbilical system is the best way to increase output”.
“I first discovered SlurryKat at the National Ploughing Championships in Ireland. I said ‘this is something we need to introduce in France’.”
He said that most slurry is spread by tankers in France due to fields being “dispersed” but believes that with growing farm sizes and expanding biogas companies, the umbilical systems will be more common in the future.
Also at the stand was the SlurryKat European sales manager, Niall O’Neill who said the product is gaining traction in the French market now because of “forward vision”.
He explained that from 2025 onwards, the spreading of slurry with splash-plates will be phased out in France and the future of the slurry-system market in France will be for low emission slurry spreading (LESS).
Luc said the umbilical LESS systems can handle “big volumes of slurry” with trucks bringing slurry to the field and an umbilical system spreading in the field.
Niall said that machinery cooperatives known as CUMAs have a strong influence and that the company has been working to raise awareness of its range in these cooperatives.
SlurryKat is based outside Portadown in Co. Armagh and Luc said that machinery produced on the island of Ireland is associated with being “heavy duty” in the French market due to the tough conditions in Ireland.