Keeping up with the Flow

tanlake

When the water well supplying his family’s farm in Somerset was condemned following over enthusiastic slurry application by John Burnham’s neighbour, he would not have guessed that his efforts in future years would help prevent such mishaps recurring today.

tanlake 2You wouldn’t expect a former police officer to have a background that would now benefit contractors and large farms managing slurry and biogas digestate. But with his forensic skills and determination, John Burnham, the man behind Tanlake Flowmetering, has grown what was a small ‘cottage’ industry into a concern where his flow measurement equipment and software is now fitted to a large number of slurry application machines, not just in the UK, but around the world.
“When I left the force in 1996, I joined my brother Chris for a few years in his agricultural engineering business,” says John. “As I developed an interest in slurry application and handling, I realised that there was a need to both extract the best from this valuable nutrient resource and to also ensure the material was applied in a responsible way.”
In order to provide the time and resource to follow this project he left the family business in 2008 and set up Tanlake Flowmetering as a business in its own right. John was ahead of the game at the time. His desire was to prevent over application and help contractors and farmers circumvent complications to include avoiding water course pollution. This needed to be ‘sold’ to the end user. As to the value
of slurry, most saw it as something to be disposed of, with little appreciation of its value as a ‘fertiliser’.
“Slurry and its application to the land has of course changed from being a simple disposal chore to one that involves careful management,” says John. “Legislation has driven changes in how slurry and other materials are applied to the land, but I saw a need to develop flow measurement and recording systems before this became a necessity. Early adopters of flow metering equipment needed convincing of its value. Contractors could possibly see the value of recording how much material they had handled, but the management solutions did not appear overnight.

Download and Read Full Article here

MP Mucks In On Visit

newspaperOn 22nd July we were pleased to welcome Jacob Rees-Mogg MP for North East Somerset.
He visited us last Friday, having previously shown an interest in our Company. We initially came to his notice as a Company because of our expertise in Flow Control for Anaerobic Digester Plants around the UK. 

He also showed an interest in our core business of supplying Flowmeters and Computer Systems to Farmers and Farm Contractors within the UK and in several Countries around the world.

 

Rees-Mogg-visit

His visit was rounded off when he was given the opportunity to sit in the driving seat of a self-drive/self steer tractor and allowed himself to be driven around the field on a pre-programmed route controlled by overhead satellites.

The photograph shows him with staff and associates of Tanlake Flowmetering at the conclusion of his visit.

 

 

From left to right:  John Burnham, Jacob Rees-Mogg MP, Dennis Durban, customer, John Brain and Stuart Fuller of Smarts Agri Services Ltd, who provided the Tractor.

Extract from the Website of Jacob Rees-Mogg       01.08.16

Visit to Tanlake Flowmetering
27th July 2016 | Newspaper Articles
Last Friday I visited Tanlake Flowmetering at its site on the Burnett Business Park. It is a wonderful local success story dealing with 22 countries around the world providing state of the art metering equipment for the measurement of slurry. It can do this both in a static or mobile setting, where it is part of one of the most important developments of modern farming.

The company develops complex software to ensure that the slurry can be spread evenly and to measure its nitrogen content.
Since Thomas Malthus wrote over 200 years ago that agricultural productivity could not keep pace with population growth, the reverse has been true. As so often a well-informed and interesting economic theory has turned out to be entirely wrong and food production has on average increased by 2% per annum. This has been achieved by increasing yields through the use of sophisticated technology.Jacob-Rees-Mogg-12 Tanlake is part of this process and in combination with better and more technologically innovative tractors fields can be mapped and then fertilised with great precision. This helps improve soil quality, saves costs and boosts productivity.

It was my good fortune to see how this happens in practice. The machines are truly amazing, I was shown a John Deer tractor that costs a little over £100,000 being put through its paces.

It is at the cutting edge of driverless technology and can manoeuvre around a field with little human interaction, indeed the vehicle goes almost right up to a hedge before turning of its own accord, although a touch on the steering wheel will bring it back to manual control.

Understanding how the latest combination of hardware and software is improving agriculture productivity is fascinating. Driving a tractor is certainly exciting but the future of farming will be increasingly dependent on using this type of technology effectively and it is important that North East Somerset should be at the forefront of this activity.