Take a sniff at modern slurry: Letter

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Sir: Do farms smell of medieval manure? (Letters, 7 October). Sometimes they do, and to a farmer it is good and redolent of fertility. The warmth and smell of the animal byre was probably the first domestic comfort.

However, Messrs Anderson and Davison should take a sniff at the pressure- barrel product of a modern dairy farm. This may be sprayed 25 feet into the air and carried downwind several hundred yards, enveloping homes and stock in a stinking cloud of yellow-brown droplets with heaven knows what microbiology.

I sympathise with my neighbours and friends, the farmers. Machines have advanced faster than clean technology or common sense. Despite this sympathy I know that such a process would be illegal in any other industry.

By the way, medieval manure was different. Over-fertilised ryegrass is a bit deficient in roughage compared with the coarse grasses and herbs of the commons or the flowering stalks of hay.

JOHN ETHERINGTON

Solva, Pembrokeshire

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