A young farming entrepreneur from Laois has just launched a new product for the foot disease Mortellaro in cows and sheep.

Noel Walsh is selling Ecohoof which, he says, is a new foot bathing product that is eco friendly with 100% natural ingredients.

“The great thing about this product is that it can be disposed of in the slurry tank,” the Ballyfin native said.

Walsh set up the business in 2013 when, he says, he saw a gap in the market for the products he’s now providing, including the silage pit cover silostop.

According to Noel, silostop is a strong, long-lasting protection for silage covers and its woven structure allows for wind to pass through without lifting the nets. The nets also protect against physical damage caused by birds, rodents or hail, he says.

Another product he has stocks is Himalayan rock salt, which, he says helps cows to produce more saliva and breaks down the feed for better digestion. “The rock salt is a best seller and is especially common over winter when cattle are indoors as it helps with the mineral requirements of cattle.

“The cows rumen has difficulty coping (basically they have indigestion) and therefore require some sort of buffering. Rock salt encourages saliva flow which, in turn increases the rumen pH,” he says.

He also supplies seaweed in the form of meal and liquid. The seaweed is sorted, dryed and used for meal and it can be used to aid fertility and improve ruminant functioning, Noel says, while the liquid seaweed is used as a fertiliser.

His latest product, Ecohoof, he expects to be popular for farmers from spring to summer for cattle and sheep farmers. Ecohoof is used to treat Mortellaro, or digital dermatitis as it is known, a hoof disease.

Ecohoof, which involves a foot bath for 20 days, works by killing the bacteria feeding the disease, Noel says. He says that Ecohoof is environmentally friendly; it is biodegradable and can be disposed of in the slurry tank.

He also says that by using Ecohoof there is no need to pay someone to take away chemicals for safe disposal and so far he has received good feedback from farmers using the product.

Walsh Agri also provide a contracting service and have recently acquired a direct drill for sowing crops, which eliminates the need to plough the field.