York & North Yorkshire

North Yorkshire cash cows turn muck into 'brass'

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Media captionThe slurry can be used to make electricity

A dairy farmer is making more money using the slurry produced by his cows for energy production than he is by selling their milk.

Cow muck is scraped off, piped into an anaerobic digester and broken down by bacteria to produce methane gas.

The gas is then used to produce electricity to power his farm and also sold into the National Grid.

David Metcalfe, from Leyburn, North Yorkshire, said: "The milk is losing money, the slurry is making money."

He said his cows each produced about 33 litres of milk a day, or 10,000 litres a year, with current milk prices ranging between 23p and 25p a litre.

The 900 cows also create about 100 tonnes of slurry a day.

Image caption Where the magic happens - inside the digester

That electricity that is produced cuts the farm's power costs by 60%.

Mr Metcalfe said: "We looked at the economics and it looked viable.

"It's given us another angle to our business."

The extra bonus is that the processed slurry is re-used as a fertiliser, halving that bill.

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