15 Apr 2016

15th April 2016 Where there's muck there's...


Friday 15th 42-56F, 6-13C, POO 6.5, lots of cloud with a little blue here and there and becoming breezy. Showers possible early on but becoming brighter and windier. Fleeting sunshine on my walk. Lots of birdsong and lots of mud on the roads. The mud was so thick in one village that I took to the grass verge just to make forward progress!

I have some pictures to share from yesterday's ride of a hose-fed muck spreader. I came across it while riding down a country lane. A container beside the road held a roaring diesel engine which was pumping the pig's 'poo' down the very long pipe or hose. One of the large stainless steel tanker lorries was parked alongside to refill the container. These are a regular sight on the roads. They can look immaculate but the stink as they pass is unmistakable!

Here was my first sight of the muck spreading machine as it rose from a dip in the field after having been to the the far end. The feed hose still has lots of reserve on the reel so must be many hundreds of yards long.

The machine only moves at about walking pace but saves frequent returns to the farm for refills.

I would put the stink level at about 7/10 throughout. Bearable but very unpleasant. The main problem is the eye-watering levels of ammonia.

Here I have waited until the machine was approaching more closely to capture the full spread of the arms and dangling feed hoses. The 'pig's muck' falls continuously as an apparently solid but obviously liquid extension from the multiple hoses. 

The hose supporting arms are hinged and fold neatly alongside such machines by hydraulic power when they have to travel by road.

The long hose is carried on the huge reel mounted on the muck spreader itself. The hose guide roller can be seen on an arm extending forwards. It is important that the machine does not try to turn around during operation or the hose would be twisted. So the machine trundles back and forth always facing back towards the hose running from container.

The hose must be payed out and taken back in at the same speed as the machine moves or it would stretch or go slack.

To allow the driver to see where to steer the entire, under-slung cab rotates instantly and effortlessly by 180 degrees. All such machines keep as closely as possible to the field tracks to minimize crop damage. I presume these tracks are originally set up by tractor GPS because they are always very straight despite hills and traverses of inclines and even being completely invisible from one end of the field to another. The tracks also avoid overlaps from the long arms of sprayers or muck spreaders. Overlaps would double the dosage of whatever was being applied.

Despite the stink I still find such machinery fascinating. I cannot imagine the cost of such a complete set-up but it says something about the importance of pig's muck in feeding the soil. The lower image shows an average sized adult standing just beyond the machine as it came to a halt. It may all move quite slowly but the sheer spread of the arms covers a vast area in quite a short time.


It seems Mars foods has taken fright at the UK government's threat to label foods more usefully for the consumer. We are now told to avoid certain Mar's sauces as being sufficiently toxic not to consume them more than once per week. Too much fat, salt and sugar according to some sources. Thankfully, for Mars, it will need 5 years to change their "authentic" recipes. Not sure about how long they are allowed to delay the labelling.

Isn't it ironic how food kills millions a year globally but you never see an armed police raid on a takeaway or supermarket for selling dangerous "food?" There is a strong anti-vitamin movement amongst the politic-ooze in Denmark yet the majority of the crap Danes eat has no useful vitamins left in it. Nobody dies from vitamins but you are still allowed to sell antibiotic-soaked, minced pig's meat to obese children with lots of debilitating health problems? How does that work? Is there some global, political conspiracy to thin out the weakest members of the human race? i.e. Those unwilling [or unable] to question a diet which will shorten their lives by well over a decade in many cases.  Should save a pretty penny on reducing pension payment periods at a time when there is nobody left to pay taxes towards pensions. Pass the wrench please, Robot?

Today, I was repeatedly pulling off onto the verge to allow vast muck spreaders and stainless steel tankers to go past in the lanes. I was going quite well with no obvious problems after yesterday's ride. Saw several buzzards and a Jay over and in the woods. The Durano Plus tyres are more j-j-j-jarring over the cobbles! Only 10 miles.

Click on any image for an enlargement.


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