Overcoming rising input costs, labour shortages and increasing environmental demands require farmers to embrace new technologies to ensure their business remains viable in the long term.
This is the message from Kevin Fennelly, market advisor for Enterprise Ireland UK, who will be attending Lamma on May 4-5 at the NEC in Birmingham, to support an exciting range of innovations developed to improve farm efficiencies and provide farmers with essential tools for the changing demands of managing a farm business
“It’s exciting to see what new technologies can offer in terms of productivity, input savings and environmental benefits, said Mr Fennelly. “With new government funding coming on stream for capital equipment, there is a real opportunity for British Farmers to take advantage of these benefits.”
Commenting on a number of the options on offer at Lamma, Mr Fennelly added: “Every sector of agriculture has seen significant advancements in technology, with livestock management equipment being showcased at the LAMMA event.”
Keenan’s new MechFiber+ range and InTouch feed management platform allow for better feed efficiency on-farm and reduces methane by 10% per litre of milk produced.
James Brough, general manager, UK and Ireland said: “The design of the MechFiber’s unique paddle system means that it is the only machine in the world to produce and replicate the MechFiber mix time and time again. This mix improves herd health, and productivity and helps farms reduce methane emissions through increased feed efficiency. However, with input costs only going one way, we knew we had to take our MechFiber diet feeders to the next level because further refining the quality and consistency of the MechFiber mix will help to drive even greater feed efficiency on-farm compared to that which we already see.”
The new FlockWatch app from Herdwatch, will also be showcased at Lamma, and will bring something completely new to sheep farmers in the form of an easy-to-use app that will allow farmers to track their flock performance and profitability.
Mervyn Harvey, head of growth for Herdwatch explained: “With Flockwatch, sheep farmers will have an app at their fingertips that works seamlessly with EID readers, allowing rapid recording for lambing, compliance, weights and everything else they need to turn data into profit such as breeding productivity, animal health and growth.
“When we launched Herdwatch, we set out to help farmers reduce the paperwork required for farm compliance. Over time, Herdwatch has evolved into an app that is as much about monitoring animal performance as it is about compliance, helping our existing members make better on-farm decisions. Flockwatch will do the same thing for sheep farmers by allowing them to track flock performance and health individually or in groups in one simple to use the app.”
Technology in grassland management has been a major focus for livestock farmers in recent years and new developments have resulted in better quality crops being harvested to the benefit of animal nutrition, health and performance. Malone, which specialises in grassland technology will be launching their new mounted conditioner mowers, Malone Procut 2600 & 3000, MC at Lamma 2022.
“The market demands a more efficient and faster way of cutting crops,” explained Fearghail Connolly, sales manager, Malone Farm Machinery. “The new mounted mower is the first of a 3-part machine which we are developing, and plan to bring to market over the next couple of years, following testing. This machine can be operated by one tractor where in the past it would take three tractors the cut the same amount of area, highlighting the advances that have been made. The result is savings on fuel and time and lower emissions in the environment.
“Adopting these new technologies will see better business performance and protect farm viability for future generations,” he concluded.
Utilising advanced slurry technologies vital for farm sustainability
Enterprise Ireland will also be focusing on new slurry technologies at the event. Considering an investment in new slurry management technology has never been so timely, as fertiliser prices soar, environmental demands grow and Government financial support for equipment investment increases.
Mr Fennelly said: “Utilising new developments in slurry equipment has the potential to improve farm productivity significantly and should be considered for future farm business sustainability. Lamma presents an ideal opportunity to research new options available to the industry and assess the benefit to farm business profitability.”
Commenting on the advances made in slurry equipment technology, David O’Malley, UK sales manager for Abbey Machinery who will be in attendance at Lamma, said: “Abbey Machinery support reduced emissions spreading with our new Slurry Applicator technology. We’ve added a collection of smart technology to our equipment, including a Multi-Stage Rapid Filling Arm, Application Flow Control and NIR Live Sensing of the nutrient value in the slurry, helping the customer achieve the most nutrients and value out of their slurry.
“Two of our new low emission slurry spreading applicators include a 10.7 DM Band Spreader and a 7.7 metre Trailing Shoe Premium Plus version, which reduces the surface area of the slurry by placing it in narrow bands rather than a thin film on the grass. The band spreader will deliver up to 30% reduction and the trailing shoe up to 60% reduction in ammonia losses. These innovative machinery solutions make sustainable, data-driven farming as efficient and easy as possible for the farmer.”
Also attending Lamma, Mastek is well known for its range of slurry solutions and this year at the event will be showcasing its two big sellers, the professional universal dribble bar and the tanker mounted micro trailing shoe. Also, the increasingly popular tanker mounted 10-metre hybrid dribble bar and their market-leading 12-metre twin macerator umbilical dribble bar will be on display.
“Recent years have seen a shift to low emissions slurry spreading equipment, and this interest has increased more so with Nitrogen prices where they are. Farmers need technology that makes better use of slurry. and new innovations have shown,” said Ben Willcox, Mastek UK technical sales. “Spreading with low emission spreading, such as dribble bars and trailing shoe applicators, can double the nitrogen recovery as well as reduce leaf contamination and smell.”
Mr Wilcox added: “Users of our machines report increases of grass grown from their own organic manure and less dependence on bought-in artificial fertilisers. Turn around on grazing and cutting is quicker so more cows can be grazed per acre and the uptake in nitrogen on grass leys mean heavier cuts on a multi-cut system.”
Kerry Mechanical Engineering will attend Lamma for the first time this year and will bring an impressive range of machinery technologies to the event, including a 7.5 meter and 9.6-meter dribble bar; both of which can be retrofitted to almost any tanker. Both machines feature their own multi-cut easy-access macerator, which has 6 replaceable blades and a patent-pending venting system.
Con Daly, Kerry Mechanical Engineering, said: “We also hope to display our static macerator which is for use with umbilical slurry systems and is attracting a lot of interest this year.
“This development provides farmers and contractors with a consistent slurry supply to the slurry pump, eliminating lumps of silage and long fibrosis materials which traditionally increases wear and stress on the pump, reducing output and resulting in increased maintenance and fuel bills.
“This machine is also ideally suited to the biogas industry which we’ll also launch later this year as an electric version,” he concluded.