McAree Engineering to Launch SiloSpi Smart Feed Silo Technology at Balmoral Show

McAree Engineering to Launch SiloSpi Smart Feed Silo Technology at Balmoral Show

McAree Engineering together with Lvlogics will be displaying the latest innovation in Silo Feed Monitoring technology at this years Balmoral Show. The LvLogics, SiloSpi technology   is being used successfully on a number of Irish livestock farms with V-Mac Silo installations on a range of different applications over the past 6 months.

Fergal Sherry, V-Mac Silo Sales Manager explains “we have been looking for a solution that uses smart technology to let a farmer know how much feed is in his silo for a long time.  Feed consumption can often be faster than expected and the meal bins can run out of stock. This puts severe pressure on feed compounders as they may have to schedule deliveries at short notice and often at weekends, thereby incurring extra costs and may find staff unavailable. If feed supplies are interrupted, valuable animals will be under stress, performance will suffer and profitability on farm will be reduced.

According to Fergal, a dairy farmer himself “The solutions that are available are either very expensive, albeit very accurate, or inconsistent.  When Lvlogics introduced their SiloSpi solution it ticked all the boxes for us straight away and offered so much more.  It provides accuracy to within 3%, is cost efficient and allows the farmer to access valuable data on a range of devices using an easy to follow app.”

Barry Finnegan, CEO of Lvlogics continues “we have developed SiloSpi to solve a number of problems. Apart from showing farmers what’s in their feed silo, it can also monitor humidity, a key aspect in determining feed quality and helping protect your silo.  It also removes the need for farmers to physically check the silo to see what’s in it, improving farm Safety.  Farmers can choose to share this information with their feed supplier thereby allowing them to more efficiently manage deliveries and reducing re-supply costs.

Since Feb 2021, the UCD Research Farm at Lyons Estate, headed by Dr Eddie Jordan has been using the innovative SiloSpi system to monitor feed levels in their V-Mac Silos and to check the humidity and temperature of the various livestock diets stored in the six meal bins.  Backed by Lely, the Lvlogics system provides accuracy on silo contents to within 2/3%.

Dr Jordan and his busy team can access all this data easily on their smartphones or on the office computer. When feed stocks fall to a predetermined level, they receive a text alert and can order further supplies in good time. Their feed miller also has access to this data so they can manufacture the speciality diets and arrange delivery in a more cost- effective and sustainable manner.

The laser sensors used by the LvLogics system have a patented self-cleaning mechanism to deal with the dust in a feed silo, so the data supplied is always accurate. According to Eddie Jordan “prior to installing this system, monitoring feed stocks was very time consuming and we didn’t always get it right. It can be difficult to see what is in a silo and manual checking takes time.”

Eddie explained that “due to changing weather conditions the humidity and temperature in the feed silos could change due to condensation etc. So we could have unforeseen problems with feed bridging in the silos or going mouldy. Humidity checking is becoming more important with more complex feeds which have a range of additives and are more reactive to heat and humidity

V-Mac Silos will be displaying the Lvlogics, SiloSpi solution on their stand at the show. SiloSpi can be retrofitted to any existing feed silo and this work will be carried out by the Lvlogics installation team.V-Mac silos are also running a free competition to win a V-Mac Feed barrow  (see photo) valued at €400 (£345)  – just fill out an entry form at the V-Mac Silos stand C 66on  8th Avenue.

Fergal Sherry, McAree Engineering; Eileen Finnegan, LvLogics; and Dr. Eddie Jordan, Manager Lyons Farm.
Dr. Eddie Jordan, Manager Lyons Farm; Fergal Sherry, McAree Engineering. and Eileen Finnegan, LvLogics.

Award Winning AD System on Waterford Pig Farm

The feed ingredients are stored in six V –Mac silos manufactured by McAree Engineering based in Ballinode, Co. Monaghan. Pictured L2R are Ashleigh Farms , Directors, James and Jason McGrath with Eamon McMeel, McAree Engineering

Ashleigh Farms at Glenbeg near Dungarvan began from humble beginnings in the early 1960s when David McGrath started the enterprise with two sows and a big dream.

His oldest son Jim took on the management of the farm at an early age and grew it to a herd of 1,900 sows.They now have a hard working and dedicated team of 16 full time workers employed in pig production, feed manufacture and transport.

Jim has 3 sons involved in the business, James is a graduate of Waterford IT where he studied Construction Management & Engineeringwhich was obviously a big advantage when it came to building farm buildings and installing feeding, slurry and ventilation   equipment.

His brother Jason a graduate of UCD Michael Smurfit business school is Director of Ashleigh Farms and runs the pig operation while another brother,Ken is also a director of Ashleigh Farms and MD of Ashleigh Environmental.

 Today it is among the top performing farms in Europe, producing up to 34 pigs per sow per year.According to Teagasc the Irish average is 27 pigs/sow/year so Ashleigh Farms is one of the best pig producers in Ireland.

Their pig breed is Danish genetics, and all three pig units are both Bord Bia and Red Tractor quality assured.All pigs are sold to Rosderra Meats thereby helping to secure hundreds of valuable jobs in rural Ireland.Their pigs consumes over 16,000 tons of feed per year and the McGraths manufacture most of their own feed.

Farming Ethos

 According to Jason “we have a very high emphasis on animal health, nutrition, welfare, production output and staff development. Bio-security is of utmost importance and we operate an environmentally friendly pig production farming system.”

The feed ingredients are stored in six  V –Mac silos (2 x 9 ton, 2 x 18 ton, 2 x 30 ton) manufactured by McAree Engineering in who are based in Ballinode, Co. Monaghan.

Jim McGrath says that “we have dealing with McAree Since we build our new unit in 2018.We were very happy with the quality and structure of their bins, also their customer service and delivery was excellent.”

For the new unit Big Dutchman in Germany, supplied the penning, feeding system and ventilation.According to Jim “we use   freedom farrowing pens which we designed with Big Dutchman with some of the latest technologies and innovation.”

Check out Youtube video clip at

On-Farm Anaerobic Digestion

 Ashleigh farms also has a slurry cooling system as part of their  sustainability plan, which consists of approx. 10km of pipe underneath the slurry tanks providing a renewable heat source for the heat pump.

Jim says that “we operate our own on-farm biogas plant utilising pig slurries.We built this facility in late 2017 in partnership with our sister company Ashleigh Environmental.The biogas plant handles approx. 9,000 m3 of pig slurry per year.

This has a number of positive benefits for the farm and the environment around usIn 2018 approx. 70,000 m3 of renewable biogas was produced on site and used for heating.

Indeed the overall heating energy cost has been reduced by 35% or €8,000 pa. This system also reduces ammonia by up to 30% and odour by up to 20%. (Slurry cooling system) According to Ken “based on Teagasc published results we are reducing our annual CO2 equivalent by up to 37% or by 390 tonnes. (AD system)

 naerobic Digestion (AD) reduces odour associated with slurry that would otherwise be stored in large tanks or lagoons.The by-product from the Anaerobic Digester is a nutrient rich organic fertiliser called digestate, which local farmers spread on arable and grassland.

The nutrients are considerably more available in the digestate compared to raw slurry and as fertiliser it is much more consistent in its application on to the soil.

Their award winning sister company Ashleigh Environmental is developing innovative bioenergy related technologies and has been successful working with project partners across Europe.The current system under development is called Biowave™ and more information can be found at the dedicated company website:

Editor’s Note 

V-Mac silos are constructed using Magizinc, a modern steel that provides the extremely high levels of protection against corrosion and with exclusive interlocked forming and are incredibly strong.

McAree Engineering has been helping farmers to protect their feed since the 1960’s when Vincent McAree designed and manufactured the very first V-Mac feed silo. They now have one of the most modern manufacturing facilities in Europe and the emphasis is on product quality and customer service.

The business   employs 150 people from both sides of the border in three factory units. Their focus is on the design and manufacture of sheet metal fabrication solutions for the industrial and agricultural sectors.

They offer a  full outsource sheet metal service from design through to laser cutting, folding,  fabrication, dry powder paint coating and assembly in addition to the design and manufacture of V-Mac Silos.

They also have a projects division which is currently working on a major Industrial HVAC ducting project for a leading semiconductor manufacturer. 

The UCD research farm at Lyons Estate and various Teagasc agricultural colleges are among the many farms where the award winning V-Mac silos can be seen in operation.Check out their range of market leading feed silos, tote bins etc on YouTube at or at

For more information please contact McAree Engineering, Ballinode, Co. Monaghan. Tel:  + 353 (0)47 79000or Peter Richardson, Sales & Marketing Manager. Tel:   (+ 353 (0) 872584584) or Email: 

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