Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Friday 24 November 2017

contractors' reporting stop start season

1. Adrian Elliot, Athlone, Co Westmeath

A few years ago Mr Elliot bought a new Cross 3,000 gallon single-axle tanker with a 7.6m Bomech trailing shoe applicator for €45,000. It took farmers a little while to get used to the new machine, but once they saw how quickly cattle could get back grazing compared to ground that had received slurry from a traditional splash plate spreader, Mr Elliot started to get plenty of business.

"The winter has been a bit stressful for farmers because covers went quite high late into the back end of the year," Mr Elliot explained.

"Then, all of a sudden, we had all the wet weather and tanks filled up very quickly between slurry, run off and soiled water.

"I have had a lot of bookings from farmers with high covers since the New Year who know that the trailing shoe system can get the slurry right in around the grass roots where it will be utilised best.

"They don't want the grass covered in slurry. But it's a lottery with the weather at the moment, we can only take it day by day."

2. Des Cunningham, Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan

In 2008 Mr Cunningham and his son, Roy, invested in an impressive 3,000 gallon self-propelled Terragator spreader. This machine uses the shallow injection method of application and has the ability to crab steer in order to reduce ground compaction. The disc injector is 7.7m wide and consists of 42 discs at 15cm intervals. The injector works by using the discs to cut a slot into the ground about two inches deep. Rubber placers, which immediately follow the discs, then put the slurry into these slots.

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Mr Cunningham says some of his customers are taking last-ditch measures to ensure cattle are not left standing in slurry.

"I had to shift slurry from one slatted tank to another for one of my customers last week – our initial plan was to get out spreading but when we inspected the field we knew it just wasn't up to it.

"It could be a case of going back two or three times and spreading on the fields that are driest first. This isn't ideal for the farmer or myself, of course, but it's the only way to do it this year."

Irish Independent