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Image for May-Aug 2013 Vol 22-1 #85

May-Aug 2013 Vol 22-1 #85

Price £3.85

Cover story
Our contributor farms 1000 clay acres on the Essex coast, 500 arable and 500 grass. He failed to find a heavy press to match his 175HP NH 7030.  Using Auto-Cad on his computer, he designed and built his double-press.


Tips and ideas - silage sheet;  livestock trailer floor;  oil

A.  The silage season will be on us soon. This issue shows you a simple DIY way to fix the edges of the silage sheet to the top of the clamp wall, to stop the plastic blowing and ripping in the wind.  Costs almost nothing.

B.  Waste oil is a problem on many farms, often relying on a steady hand and good aim to get it in a drum. Pumping waste oil to an outside tank collects it safely and is clean. Page 48 shows the details.

C.  A livestock trailer has a coated floor. This Orkney farmer was never happy seeing his cattle slipping on the steel checker plate floor, and has been really pleased with the hard wearing DIY coating he has added to the steel.

D.  A multi-purpose oil barrel tool from a Bedfordshire farmer. 1. It opens the large screw bungs 2. It opens the small awkward ones. 3. It pierces the steel 40 gall oil barrel to stop it glugging


Home built double press

Our cover contributor farms 1000 clay acres on the Essex coast, 500 arable and 500 grass. He failed to find a heavy press to match his 175HP NH 7030.  Using Auto-Cad on his computer, he designed and built this double-press which tackles his heavy clay land.

CAD farm double press cultivator Double press farm cultivator designed and made by the farmer
The CAD design is in 3-D, and provides dimensions for each component The finished machine weighs over 6 tons and is used after a Keeble cultivator or a plough


Is it short sighted to build your own kit?

There's often concern among farmers that home built machines are nowhere near as long lasting as those from the dealer. While that may be true in a few cases, over the years I have found the opposite to be the case, as you can see here.

The 12 ton grain trailer was made in 1983 and has been used every season to haul from combine to yard, and store to the mill, eight miles away. Over it's life time the trailer has done thousands of miles, very reliably. The walking beam axle is built bigger than standard, and has a pair of  modified commercial axles. The main change since the trailer rolled out of the farm workshop is the roll over sheet, needed when delivering grain. The next improvement is to change the wheels to super singles.  Deyails in this issue.

Home built trailer made in 1983
The trailer's details are in this issue of Farm Ideas The walking beam frames are wider than many


The most efficient beef unit in Britain

Suckler farmers will be fascinated by the 36 x 56 metre shed housing a suckler herd of 150 cows and 200 calves to finishers.
"We've turned the design upside down, starting from first principles, and using advice from cattle handling specialist Temple Grandin. The cattle grow at over 1kg per day, are very healthy, easy to manage, and the daily work of feeding and bedding takes less than two hours." The in-depth report describes the detail.

The most modern beef barn in Britain Cattle in modern beef barn

Spacious 9 bay shed houses 350 cattle, and take 2 hrs/day

Stabiliser breed graze in summer and thrive indoors


Science in Practice - the Next Farming Revolution

There's going to be a huge change in the way fields and crops are managed over the next 20 years. The fact is that inputs of fuel and chemicals are getting more expensive. Farming today is doing our soils no favours. Agriculture will attract less help from the taxpayer.

The new farming will need people expert in disciplines very different to today's agronomists. It will change the landscape, and the work of farmers dramatically.

Farmers in N Dakota have been pioneering new systems that have plants growing throughout the year, and cash crops boosted by cover crops which get flattened before new seeds are planted into the residue. The results look spectacular, and there's information for British and European farmers to start doing it now. Our report gives details.

Soil ploughed and cultivated conventionally with poor organic matter
Soil in N Dakota which has benefited from cover cropping technology Soil short of humus and organic material


This issue has 44 'Made it Myself'  projects and ideas

Artic trailer conversion has full braking

This trailer is used to move straw for a loosed housed milking herd, and also gets to do other jobs as well. The engineering in the conversion is first class - the dolly using the third axle from the original 40ft trailer. The farmer has a Class 1 licence. He carries 30 5ft, or 46 4ft round bales.


Financial Focus

Are you thinking of austerity farming? Perhaps you should think again.  Reasons for not holding back on investment, even if the government, and many households are having to do just that. A report to make farmers 'think different'.

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