Farmers need to take concrete steps

Martin Ryan

Research has found 'poor practices' by farmers in laying ready-mix concrete can cost them dearly.

With suppliers gearing up for a surge in demand from farmers when work gets under way on the new grant-aided improvement schemes on farms, Roadstone says its research has shown that some actions may be reducing the durable life of the concrete by up to 40pc.

Thomas Holden from Roadstone, said that concrete which is being supplied to farmers at 35N has been found to frequently finish up at a strength of 20N when laid on the farm, but farmers are unaware the 'durable life' is being reduced by up to eight years.

He said that the concrete complies with the specifications laid down by the Agriculture Department but these are out of date.

"Our drivers find that it is a common practice for farmers to request water to be added to the concete before pouring on the farm to make it easier to handle. They are unaware that it is reducing the strength of the concrete and ultimately reducing the life expectancy," he said.

Mr Holden said the dilution impacts on drying which leads to a further 30pc reduction in strength.

He urged farmers to discuss the required strength and slump class, with mix adjustments costing as little as €1per sq/m ensuring that the life of the concrete is extended by up to 60pc.

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