The electricity we use at Mawley Town Farm, is all from renewable sources that we have personally invested in recent years. 100kw solar panels, 75kw wind turbine, and more recently a 80kw biogas plant provides all the electricity we need.
The biogas plant runs only off cow waste; we do not grow crops to feed it. The methane captured is cleaned and compressed to run the engine which generates electricity. Once the gas is released after 28 days, the digestate is very good quality fertilizer that we use on our land. The bi-product from the engine is heat. A network of radiator pipes cools the engine, and we then use the hot water for washing the AMS (Automatic Milking System), dairy and heat the farmhouse. In the winter, the pipework frost proofs the milking area and cow sheds.
We grow the majority of our cattle feed on our farm in South Shropshire. This reduces the need for hauling grain across the country and is also more cost effective. We grow maize and grass forage, hay, oats, wheat and barley, on a traditional crop-rotation system. The cattle feed is milled and mixed on the farm, and fed in proportions recommended by our nutritionist. The straw from the crop is used for deep litter bedding the calves, young stock and bulls and once soiled is spread back on the land as fertilizer. We are members of the Countryside Stewardship scheme, which enables us to dedicate areas of wild bird cover, using a mix of plants to attract insects and pollinators.