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THIS ISSUE HAS two fascinating reports from innovative dairy farms, each with ideas for herds of all sizes. Farm visits to contractors both in UK and Denmark have some very useful arable and tillage ideas.
CEREAL FARMERS who don't yet use pre-emergence markers can see two home made ones - one on a John Deere 750A and another for an Amazone - the design could be used on virtually any other make of seed drill.
If you've only got one grain thermometer and need another, there's a recipe to make an accurate electronic spear thermometer with parts costing £10.
RABBIT CONTROL This issue describes a unique tractor mounted machine which lays out and buries netting at a fast walking pace. Made by a contractor. Before designing and building this machine he used a rubber tracked mini-digger and would bury and fill in approx 1000m of netting a day. This machine does the same quantity in an hour. It opens a trench, reels out the netting with a 9 in flat bottom facing the rabbit bury and so away from the field, and fills the spoil back. Netting has become popular as control has become increasing difficult as chemicals are withdrawn and penalties of fines and imprisonment are threatened on those who use Rodenators to kill rabbits rather than collapse burrows.
If you get worried pulling out on a road or lane because you can't see the on-coming traffic, there's a neat, inexpensive modification which is fitted to a new Claas Axion 820.
If you want to reduce spray costs we have a host of ideas from Denmark which will make a big difference to the quantity of spray you use.
LIVESTOCK FARMERS who use Reco foragers will know how limited the spout angle range is: here is a method of doubling the turn; and extending it; and making the spout fold better.
We describe a system for out-wintering cattle which cuts costs and keeps stock healthy.
There's a neat sliding gate on a bull pen - SAFETY
And a brilliant electric powered triple electric fence reeler
Compressing silage with a roller improves quality and gets a surprising amount more into the clamp - you can see how some keen farmers in Europe are doing it.
DAIRY FARMERS see three ideas for foot health - two machines for foot washing, and a new footbath idea. Plus a brilliant design of electric backing gate; converting an old roller mill into a mobile crusher unit; making a calf moving box from a scrap oil tank; a feed rail with extra specs; and more
CONTRACTORS will be interested in a field recording system which works using a mobile phone app; drilling maize with a planted attached to the back of a spray tank filled with liquid fertiliser; a highly effective idea for the nurse tank on an umbilical slurry system; GPS guidance system on implements such as ridgers and hoes which gives total accuracy; an extra-strong fert bag handler;
ALL FARMERS will be interested in the muffs which fit sewer pipes of varying sizes - heat and sweat them on; modifications to make to any post knocker; gearbox oil filler.... and more
*** DEFRA Minister Caroline Spelman's carefully chosen words at the Oxford conference in January sound a warning of the possibility of major changes ahead. "Now is the time to make very significant progress towards reducing our reliance on direct payments – it’s certainly something the farmers I know want to see happen. Rising global demand for food and rising food prices make it possible to reduce subsidies and plan for their abolition. Furthermore we should encourage innovation in the industry. Provide help with environmental measures and combating climate change. Our taxpayers have every right to expect other public goods for the subsidies they pay." ***
2009 UK Total Income from farming = £4,069m 2009 UK Single Payment and other support = £3,607m