A mistake by a farm worker in Hokkaido last week resulted in a mind boggling 500 tonnes of cow urine overflowing from a reservoir. Although this is a piddling amount considering that it was only being moved because a 3,000 tonne capacity tank was already full to the brim with the unpleasant liquid.
Due to this unfeasibly large amount of discharge, the unfortunate farm hand was transferring the waste product to another reservoir when he went home and forgot to switch off the pump. Returning to work at 4 a.m. the next day, the man found that his blunder had caused 500 tonnes of urine to run into an irrigation channel. This itself would have been bad enough, but part of the channel runs into a river branch, which to add to the worker’s woe has two spawning points for trout and salmon.
Now unfortunately my farming and urine collection knowledge is minimal at best, and subsequently there are a few parts of this story that I find difficult to comprehend. For starters, what use does the urine have? I’m presuming it does have some purpose, as surely there would be no need to stockpile it otherwise. And secondly, whilst I’m probably better off not knowing, having never seen a cow toilet, how on earth does one go about collecting cow urine?