We have a number of different baling options to offer to our customers. We aim to bale straw in its best condition. Our baler operatives carry moisture meters in the cab to be able to bale straw in its optimum moisture window. We are governed by the moisture of bales so as to avoid baling bad bales. We want high densities within bales and the pressure to moisture relationship needs to be monitored throughout the day by the operators. We use modern machines to allow us to make the most of weather windows and improve reliability. With our baling we strive for consistency of bales with no mould, deterioration or boarding.
We currently have balers able to give two different bale sizes. We offer a 120cm x 90cm bale and a 120cm x 70cm. Both are available up to 240cm in length.Our square balers have tandem axles to minimise and soil compaction.
The high density round balers have variable chambers and will bale up to 150cm in diameter.
We carry out both square and round baling of silage, haylage and hay. We have two sizes of square baler available. We either produce a bale size of 120cm x 70cm, or a bale size of 120cm x 90cm. We also operate high density round balers capable of chopping silage where requested.
Additives can also be applied to baled silage with a variable rate applicator kit. We work closely with additive specialists to get independent advice for ourselves and consequently our customers.
Wrapping is currently done using either a round bale wrapper or a wrapper capable of wrapping either round or square bales. We also, where necessary, operating a carting service for wrapped bales.
* Analysis of the silage is needed and nutritional advice should be taken to maximise the nutritional value of crops harvested.
We operate a Claas forager. This has a variable rate additive applicator and a range of chop lengths are achievable which are discussed prior to foraging. Grass chop length should not be overlooked. Through precision chopping the grass can be compacted more efficiently reducing air in the clamp and producing better silage. The Jaguar also has metal detecting technology not only to protect our cutting blades, but also to protect livestock from swallowing foreign metal objects found in fields. An onboard compressor allows the forager to reduce the pressure in the tyres in the field to increase the tyre footprint and minimise and damage to your pastures. The tyres are then re-inflated for road transport.
Chopped silage is hauled using high capacity silage trailers running on low ground pressure tyres. This ensures that compaction in the field is kept to a minimum. These trailers will, in the main, keep the forager moving. Any additional trailers are added on longer hauls or higher yielding crops and will be pulled either by ourselves or by farmers.
Clamping is done with a loading shovel combined with a folding fork. This matches the forager output and gives weight for rolling and traction. Clamping is the final stage and most critical stage of the harvesting process. The operator on the clamp has the ability to dictate the output of the operation as the crop has to be ensiled correctly for the best quality silage.
We have a range of different equipment for cultivation requirements.
- Plouging- 6 furrow kverneland reversible plough
- Pressing – 4.7m Simba cultipress
- Power Harrowing- 4m Kuhn with packer roller
- Subsoiling- 3m McConnell Shakerator
- Rotorvating- 3m Rotorvator
- Sward Lifter – Sumo
Precision Maize Drilling
We offer maize drilling with our 8 row maize drill. We run this on a tractor with LGP tyres using John Deere Autotrac and field mapping software. This allows us and customers to know exactly the area drilled which will aid customers for following inputs. The current maize drill has electric driven motors in each individual seeder unit to allow for different seed rates between farms to be planted. The electric motors also allow for a more even seed placement and therefore leading to better germination. This makes it easier and quicker to change seed rates and so reduces down time on each farm. We can also shut off individual seeder units which is not available on land driven drills. This avoids wasting seed and double drilling. Variable rate fertiliser placement is also possible with the seed via the onboard fertiliser tank.
The drill allows us to vary the seed depth depending on field conditions. Along with the GPS this aids us in maintaining row widths between drill bouts. It also means the drill can run for longer without high levels of operator fatigue. The operator is also free to look at the soil conditions and the drill performance whilst not concentrating on driving in a straight line.
Grass drilling is done with a 6m kockerling grass harrows & seeder unit. Grass yields are upto 10% greater from broadcast swards as opposed to swards drilled in rows with conventional drills.
This is a high output seed broadcasting system with 10acres/hour easily achieved. The kockerling has harrow tines allowing for seed to be harrowed in aggressively for overseeding or placed near the surface and gently harrowed in for reseeding. The machine can be set for varying ground conditions. Optional batter-boards allow for pasture levelling during overseeding operations. A broadcast system can also be offered if preferred.
The grass drill also has the ability to drill other crops such as stubble turnips or kale.
We operate a modern fertiliser spreader equipped with weigh cells. This gives us the advantage of knowing what has been applied each time we leave a field. Operators generate records of weights spread which are left with farmers to aid in record keeping. We can also adjust rates within the cab and change them between fields depending on other applications such as muck or slurry. We can follow tramlines or in grassland we will use GPS to ensure we apply fertilisers accurately.
Variable rate application
Linking the fertiliser spreader up to the tractors GPS, and uploading field software, we can make variable rate fertiliser applications. This makes the most of fertiliser ensuring that is not applied to areas which currently have sufficient levels of P and K. Again the weigh cells allow us to record actual amounts applied to each field.
All of our team understand that harvesting our clients grass at the right time in the correct way can have a large effect on both their profitability and our success each year. This starts at the point of mowing where cutting heights are discussed relating crop offtake to crop regrowth. Maximising silage quality is our key objective. By producing high quality silage, supplementary feed and additional concentrates may be reduced without adversely affecting milk yields, or daily live weigh gains of your livestock, potentially improving our customers’ profitability*. The silage we have a direct involvement in producing will feed livestock over the winter months and should not be taken for granted. For greater cow intakes and feed conversions, highly palatable silage needs to be made. Not only do we bring our machinery onto your farm, we also bring our expertise and knowledge. We can offer advice on silage making operations, additives and techniques in order to improve silage making.
Pete and Rich are in contact with their operators and clients throughout the silage making process to make sure crops are harvested in the best conditions. If it needs tedding we will, but unnecessary operations are avoided as this not only costs clients both in terms of contractor charges, but the grass may wilt too much and may have a small increase in soil or manure contamination within the silage.
Each farm, where necessary can have a tailor made service for their silage. High capacity and efficient machinery is used to ensure that all work can be covered even on poor seasons with weather restraints. With modern up to date machinery and a winter maintenance programme on all equipment, we aim to have minimal downtime and high work rates. This is bolstered by our trained operators and their drive to keep machinery working at its optimum.
During harvesting, loads are counted at the forager and the clamp for a clear estimate of both field yields and total tonnage within the clamp.
High output mowers are used. This reduces wheelings and damage on headlands when turning during sub-optimal ground conditions. Mowing also incorporates GPS technology which not only to maximise the output of the mowers, but also the output of all following equipment such as rakes and tedders and therefore the forager and balers. This also gives us the ability to map fields for areas and also match mowing directions with each pass we make. Our tedding equipment is capable of keeping in front of balers or the forager getting maximum wilting times on the grass which requires it. We have the ability to talk to mower operators and see which fields would benefit from tedding and divert the tedder team where needed. Information from mower drivers will be fed to the harvester operator so fields can be chopped in the most suitable order. After mowing and/or tedding each crop is raked so it is ready for the forager or the balers. Raking is a highly critical pass for us as it allows for maximum machinery efficiency and this will have a knock on effect of better chopping and bales.
High output mowers are used. This reduces wheelings and damage on headlands when turning during sub-optimal ground conditions. Mowing also incorporates GPS technology which not only to maximise the output of the mowers, but also the output
of all following equipment such as rakes and tedders and therefore the forager and balers. This also gives us the ability to map fields for areas and also match mowing directions with each pass we make. Our tedding equipment is capable of keeping in front of balers or the forager getting maximum wilting times on the grass which requires it. We have the ability to talk to mower operators and see which fields would benefit from tedding and divert the tedder team where needed. Information from mower drivers will be fed to the harvester operator so fields can be chopped in the most suitable order.
After mowing and/or tedding each crop is raked so it is ready for the forager or the balers. Raking is a highly critical pass for us as it allows for maximum machinery efficiency and this will have a knock on effect of better chopping and bales.
Harvesting maize at the correct dry matter, chopping at the appropriate chop length, cracking all the kernals followed by accurate clamping should result in a high quality silage. The Jaguar is fitted with a 10 row Claas Orbis header and corn cracker to make the transition to chopping maize silage. The corn cracker is essential to crack the kernals as the crop is harvested. This avoids grains being passed through the animal without nutrients being absorbed. Again a larger header allows for reduced wheelings in maize fields and reduces any soil damage. During maize harvesting, the whole operation is running on LGP tyres. As with the grass, the tyre pressures are reduced in the field and increased on the road for carrying the heavier maize header. This gives us full flexibility in the foraging operation.
Muck Spreading & handling
We spread a variety of materials including farmyard manure, poultry litter, pig manure and compost. Muck spreading is carried out using rear discharge vertical beater spreaders. These give us a good spread pattern for even applications across the field. Spreaders are equipped with weigh cells to enable us to accurately record what tonnage has been spread from each heap to each field. This makes record keeping easier and allows fertiliser reductions to be accurately made without compromising crop yields. We will also count the number of loads which have been applied.
Spreaders are also equipped with slurry doors so to be able to handle a variety of consistencies of material. A spinning deck can also be fitted to spreaders for wider spreading patterns.
We offer a muck carting service for farmers who have insufficient time or machinery to muck out their cattle. A number of different trailer options are available upon request.
Umbilical slurry spreading
The current umbilical system includes pipe capable of pumping slurry 2km and we offer application via a splash-plate or a 12 metre dribblebar. The system means we can apply slurry to both arable and grass fields as a nutrient. The tractor GPS allows for even distribution of the slurry and avoids any misses or overlaps. The benefits of the umbilical system are that there is very little field traffic and there is no road requirement to transport slurry. However, it does rely on a ring fenced farm as greater distances are not pumpable. Flow meters are used to calculate applications per field or in total depending on farm requirements. Again tractors run on LGP tyres to minimise any damage to the soil structure.
We do not pump slurry from farms which bed on sand.
Understanding the limitations of our umbilical system, and the demand from our customers has prompted us to invest in a new tanker system which is widely used in other areas of Europe to get the most out of their slurry. Using a Claas Xerion and a mounted 15m 3 SGT tank and dribblebar, slurry can be applied to further areas of a farm and the obstacles of roads and distance disappear. The tanker will be fed by further ‘road’ tankers, again with a capacity of 15m3. The Xerion will essentially stay in the field and the slurry will come to it. In favourable conditions the road tankers will go on the fields but in wet conditions the tankers can stay out of the fields and the Xerion’s filling arm can be made to pass over a hedge or gateway for example. Each tanker is towed by tractors on LGP tyres and the tankers are also fully equipped for field access. Each tanker has a filling arm to reduce any slurry being lost at filling and to speed up the process which will only last about 2 minutes.
Records again can be generated for the application volumes in each field via the Xerion’s onboard computer and via the tanker loads going to the field.
NVZ max slurry application rates
Tankers Vs Umbilical
Wholecrop is harvested with a direct cut disc header. Cutting the crop direct means that grain losses in the harvesting process are kept to a minimum. The forager operates with a crop processor splitting the grain after the chopping process which aids livestock digestion and fermentation. Without splitting the grains, there is a possibility that grains pass through the animal gut without the nutrients being absorbed.