Category: Uncategorized

Agribusiness & Farmers Hard Hit by Rising Raw Material Prices

Agribusiness & Farmers Hard Hit by Rising Raw Material Prices

Farmers are well aware that energy, fuel and fertiliser and other prices are soaring. Fuel costs have increased by 33pc since autumn because   OPEC and other oil producing countries decided to slash output during the Covid-19 crisis. The increase in fertiliser costs, has seen the cost of CAN and urea move up by €50-100/t. The price of balewrap and silage covers has also soared. According to the manufacturers this is due to a 50% increase in raw material costs.

Covid 19 greatly reduced the demand for steel during the pandemic as car manufacturers and other customers hit by reduced sales greatly reduced their orders. Demand has now recovered but demand for steel far exceeds available supplies from China and elsewhere. Steel prices are also higher in the USA than in the EU so the USA is getting more of the scarce supplies.

Steel production has a number of negative impacts on the environment, including air emissions (CO, SOx, NOx, PM2), wastewater contaminants, hazardous wastes, and solid wastes. Environmental restrictions imposed on the steel industry are also impacting severely on production.

For example three regional governments in South Korea insisted that Posco and Hyundai Steel halt their mills for 10 days over violations of the Clean Air Conservation Act. According to the Korea Iron & Steel Association “If steel mills are closed for 10 days, it takes more than six months to resume the plants.” Incidentally the world’s largest steel mill is in South Korea.

With China adopting a strong stance on emission controls and imposing steel output reductions, supplies from there will obviously tighten thereby impacting on prices. In Tangshan, the city government in March 2019 instructed most mills to cut production by 30 per cent until the end of the year and told seven steelmakers to keep output at half capacity until July.

According to media reports the cost of shipping a 40-foot container from Asia to northern Europe has increased from about $2,000 (€1,648) in November to more than $9,000 last January, according to shippers and importers.

Apparently thousands of empty containers were left stranded in Europe and the US in the first half of 2020 due to the   coronavirus lockdowns which caused a sudden slowdown in global trade. When western demand for Asian-made goods rebounded in the second half of the year, competition among shippers for available containers sent freight rates soaring. .

 Most of the steel imported to Ireland comes in via Belfast port so Brexit has also impacted on import logistics and costs. These increasing prices are impacting all farm machinery manufacturers.

According to Peter Richardson, Marketing Manager with McAree Engineering in Co. Monaghan “the price of galvanised steel is increasing from €850/t in 2020 to €1700/t in Q3. Mild steel is seeing a similar increase as well.  In addition, we are seeing shortages of steel supply which is compounding the problem”.  So steel prices are doubling during this period. ”McAree have announced their second price increase in 2021 this will add 30% to feed silo prices for livestock farmers.

Bluemount Trailers is a family owned farm equipment business based near Mountnugent in Co. Cavan. They specialize in the manufacture of high quality livestock trailers and their 18ft livestock trailer is very popular with smaller farmers.

However, Paddy Finnegan their Design Engineer says they have been hard hit by rising prices since early January last for steel. According to Paddy the mild steel they use “has increased in price from around €600 per tonne in Q4 last year to over €1,000 per tonne in Q2 this year -an increase of over 70% and prices are still increasing.

We were aware last November that prices would increase, however as we are a small family business, we could not afford to pre pay and stock up with supplies at the old price. Manufacturing trailers to farmers’ specifications leaves it extremely hard for us to plan ahead with the large variation in trailer sizes.”

Paddy went on to say “In addition we are also paying higher prices for axles, wheels, lights and even paint costs have increased. Supplies for axles, wheels and steel are very tight due to increased demand in the market so we have no choice but to pay the higher prices.  To remain competitive we have taken a lower profit margin however the increased raw material costs unfortunately have to be passed on to our farmer customers. “

Farmers building new cubicle houses and other livestock buildings have also been hit by rising concrete, steel and timber prices. An increased demand for timber in the US housing market, the Covid-19 crisis, and an upsurge in demand in the global DIY market, has seen timber prices rise steeply since the end of Q1 2020.

Licensing issues related to the felling of Irish trees and Brexit stockpiling have added to problems in the market, resulting in a pile-up of supply pressures. The supply of native timber in Ireland has been hampered by delays in the issuing of licences.

For example the number of forestry appeals received by the Forestry Appeals Committee (FAC) by the start of November 2020 was 689 appeals- almost three times the amount received in 2017 and 2018 combined.

O’Dwyer Steel based in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary are one of the leading suppliers in Britain and Ireland of CE certified structural steel and cladding. According to their Managing Director, Matthew Ryan steel prices have risen by 40% or €330/t. They have also been impacted by rising timber prices.

Another well-known firm feeling the pressure from increased costs is Dairymaster a multinational dairy equipment business based in Causeway, Co. Kerry. According to Dr John Daly, Research and Innovation Manager, “Since Q4 2020 we are being impacted with double-digit cost increases across all raw materials categories – including steel, polymers and electronics components.

The impact of these increases are being exacerbated by lead times extending from weeks to months, and in some cases to more than 12 months. In addition, the effect of Brexit means that couriers are now charging significantly higher fees for components sourced through the UK. So far we have resisted passing these costs on to customers but the extent of the increases mean that we will have no option but to raise our prices in the coming months”.

 

Pictured L2R: Vincent, John & Claire McAree with Darren Hughes, Monaghan County footballer & a local dairy farmer; and Niall Kearns Monaghan Co. Board with a V Mac silo in the background

McAree Engineering Sponsorship of 2021 Monaghan GAA Golf Classic

At the launch of this year’s event McAree Engineering announced the continuation of their sponsorship of the Monaghan GAA Golf Classic which takes place on 25th and 26th June in Rossmore Golf Club.

This long term running fundraising event is now a staple of the Golfing Calendar. It is recognized far and wide as being a super day’s craic for golfing Gaels both within the country and indeed across the country, with teams from the four provinces taking part.

At the launch, Brendan McAree, Managing Director, McAree Engineering, commented “We are happy to support Monaghan GAA with this fabulous event.

Delighted to be part of a great team with Monaghan GAA and Rossmore Golf Club that’s makes this event such a success year after year.

After the year that we have all had, it’s great to see the County teams back in action and we wish all the teams every success in their endeavors for 2021”

Last year also saw the introduction of a Juvenile event at Rossmore Park and McAree Engineering will also support to a similar event this year.

Declan Flanagan, County Chairman added “it’s testament to the support our County Teams receive from the local Business Community that companies of the calibre of McAree Engineering, continue to support us year after year.

It has been a difficult year for all businesses so we really appreciate the contribution that McAree Engineering have made to this event and the support for our county teams”

“Brendan Casey, Vice Chairman said “Last year we had over 80 teams take part in what was a wonderful event.

We are extremely happy with and appreciate the support we receive from the team in Rossmore Golf Club which ensures the success of this event.

This year we will be introducing some fun elements for those that don’t take their Golf too seriously and as usual there is a particularly good prize fund for those who are more competitive.

Teams can book their tee of times by contacting Brendan Casey on 087 682 0860 or Eugene McGinnity on 086 347 6690.

McAree Engineering continue to grow from strength to strength with almost 170 staff across their three different factory units. Vincent McAree, Operations Director added “Due to Covid 19 It has been a difficult but busy year for us.

We are continuing to grow and have a range of vacancies available, check out the details on our website and get in touch with us, if you would like to be part of our team”.

Pictured L2R are Brendan Casey, Vice Chairman County Board, Niall Kearns, Monaghan County Board, Vincent McAree, Ops Director, Darren Hughes, Claire McAree, CFO, John McAree, Projects Manager, Declan Flanagan, Chairman County Board County Board

Shannonside Northern Sound Local Radio Farm Program

Interview for Stuart Anthony, Account Manager for bpi agriculture in the Republic of Ireland & Wales with Noel Murphy, presenter of the popular Agriview program on Northern Sound/Shannonside radio.

BPI Agriculture manufacture: Baletite & Silotite for bale wrapping & Clingseal plus Visqueen silage covers which are the market leader.

20% More Bales Wrapped with New 1800m Silotite Rolls

20% More Bales Wrapped with New 1800m Silotite Rolls

For over 35 years, Silotite has been used by farmers and silage contractors all over the world to wrap millions of silage and haylage bales every year.

Through a programme of continual in-field research and investment in their production facilities,

As part of its mission to continually improve efficiency, ease of use and sustainability.

Silotite have announced a major investment in their British production site which will enable the company to add new products to their Professional Range of bale wrapping films.

The investment includes a fully automated and patented sleeve packaging line, enabling the production of silage film with an additional 20% extra length on the roll.

The new product, Silotite 1800, will start to roll off the production line in spring 2021.

Designed specifically with contractors in mind, Silotite 1800 is perfect for both round and square bales and can be used on any type of crop and bale wrapping machinery.

With its 1800m length, contractors get up to 20% more bales per reel, meaning less downtime to change reels.

Along with the quality of film you’d expect from Silotite, our new Silotite 1800 is a technically advanced stretch film that has an enhanced oxygen barrier and UV protection for bales, whatever the weather.

The innovative sleeve packaging offers significant advantages for contractors and stockists.

Being lighter than the standard cardboard box, there is a reduction of almost 20kg in packaging material used on every pallet.

Cardboard also takes up a lot of space on the pallet. By using sleeve packaging we can add an extra 300m of film on each reel.

Along with time savings, Silotite 1800 means there is 20% less handling, transportation and storage space required.

Its unique sleeve packaging means that there are no bulky boxes to handle, and recycling is easy, as the packaging is made from the same film as the bale wrap.

No separating of recycling materials is needed. Another advantage of the sleeve packaging is that the reel is more protected when it is stored on the baler.

The water resistant core also give protection against humidity, whilst still being made of cardboard, it is also recyclable.

Silotite 1800 also works in combination with Baletite baler film, meaning even more versatility.

Baletite baler film ensures round bales are compact and denser, and provides an enhanced oxygen barrier that discourages mould growth.

Baletite also benefits from the sleeve packaging, for ease of use when handling.

Baletite and Silotite 1800 combine to make up the film & film wrapping system that has been proven to provide an efficient and enhanced wrapping system, along with superior silage and easier feed out.

Baletite peels cleaning from the bale surface as no fodder can be enmeshed as it can with net wrap.

Whether feeding out manually or mechanically, Baletite makes the process easy and fast.

Stuart Anthony is Account Manager for The Republic of Ireland & Wales.

A member of the Bpi Agri sales team since 2014.

Since 2019 have been giving technical support for the Republic of Ireland.

From a farming background, which included running a dairy herd and also working for an Agri contractor.

Stuart would be delighted to discuss current best practice on conserving baled silage on your popular farming radio programme.

His contact details are as follows:

s.anthony@rpc-bpi.com and phone number is +44 7836 612691

Best Animal Health Environmental Consultancy 2021

Irish Enterprise Awards

Best Animal Health Environmental Consultancy 2021 – DePaor Consultancy:
www.eubusinessnews.com/winners/de-paor-consultancy

The de Paor Consultancy -Your Partner in Corporate Communications & Agribusiness Recruitment.
Established in March 1998, Liam De Paor and colleagues work with an independent team of professionals -these include an award-winning copywriter, a talented designer and a nationwide team of specialist photographers.
Please contact 049.4361158, text 086.2557643 or email liam@depaor.ie
De Paor Consultancy, Loreto Road, Carrickane, Cavan, Ireland H12 F659

Irish Limousin Cattle Society Appoint Chief Executive


The Irish Limousin Cattle Society are pleased to announce the appointment of Ronan Murphy as their CEO.

A highly experienced business leader, Ronan has worked in many industries in senior roles and brings new skill sets as well as a vast amount of knowledge and experience of animal breeding and production to the role.

Ronan is currently working as a consultant and prior to this was the CEO of Horse Sport Ireland where he led the restructuring of the organisation based on the Dept. of Agriculture Commissioned Indecon recommendations, developing the strategic plan and financial sustainability for the National Federation and establishing a new cohesive business approach across the Irish sport horse industry. During his tenure he also oversaw the implementation of new high-performance structures which resulted in the historic qualification of all three Irish equestrian teams for the Summer Olympic Games.

He previously held the position of CEO in Weatherbys Ireland where he served on the board of four of Weatherbys’ companies with direct responsibility for Weatherbys Thoroughbred stud book business in Ireland, Britain along with the growth and development of the Weatherbys animal genomic testing laboratories in Naas.

Prior to that he worked in Hermitage Genetics, a Kilkenny-based company specialising in performance genetics where he played a pivotal role in the growth and development of the Hermitage business globally and has overseen some of the most innovative developments in genetic technologies and their influence on improving pig production at farm level.
Ronan is a Wicklow man and graduated from UCD with a Master’s Degree in Animal Science.

President of the Society Trevor Masterson commenting on the announcement:
“Ronan brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role having successfully developed animal breeding businesses in both the porcine and equine industries.
The role of a Cattle Breed Society is changing, the whole ecosystem we exist in is transforming. The Societies that adapt to the changing needs will be the ones to grow and flourish. Our Breed Society has become a big business and has over 2,500 members.

We need to be proactive and deliver services to our breeders and our main customer groups, the suckler and dairy farmers who purchase our bulls and heifers.

The Limousin breed is now the Number one Beef sire, Number one suckler Dam, Number one cross on all the main breeds and Continental breed of choice in the dairy herd. The dairy sector is a growing market for Limousin bulls in recent years and our recently launched LimoShortGestation program is the first step in the process to deliver bulls that meet the needs of this market.

Of late we have seen the huge success of Limousin genetics in Britain. A Limousin heifer, Wilodge Poshspice, sold for a world record price of 250,000gns at a sale in Carlisle recently.
She was bought in partnership by two renowned herds, Messrs Jenkinson, Whinfellpark herd in Penrith and Boden and Davies, Sportsmans herd in Stockport.
This November 2019 born embryo heifer, was bred out of Millbrook Gingerspice, who won Supreme Champion at the Balmoral Show three times in a row.

According to Trevor “the recent Limousin premier sale in Elphin saw a clearance of 72% with 14 bulls going to Britain and Northern Ireland with a number of others following the same journey that were sold in advance of the sale.

Like many businesses we must think global not local. While our breed, like all breeds, face challenges there are also massive opportunities. Technology is impacting all sectors and as a society we must embrace and leverage these opportunities.
The Limousin Council and I are looking forward to working with Ronan.”

Ronan Murphy said:
“It’s a privilege to be appointed as CEO at this exciting and strategically important time for the Limousin breed in Ireland. The Limousin breed has made a massive contribution to the profitability of Ireland’s suckler and beef production enterprises since its introduction in the 1970’s and is the continental beef sire of choice for the growing Irish dairy industry. We will continue to build on these excellent foundations, to adapt to market requirements and to demonstrate and promote the versatility and genetic advantages of the Limousin breed.
I am looking forward to working closely with the President, Council, Members and the team at the ILCS to deliver our strategic and innovation plans, and to ensure the continued success and development of the commercially important Limousin breed to the benefit of all stakeholders in the quality beef production industry in Ireland.”

Ronan will take up his new position in the middle of April.

AXA Farm Insurance Appoint Regional Manager for Munster

Christy Doherty, Head of Agriculture at AXA Insurance said that he is delighted to announce the appointment of Tom McCarthy as their Regional Manager for Munster. Skibbereen. Tom is a native of West Cork and comes from a farming background. Tom has over 20 years’ experience working with farmers through his role as Manager with Cork Co-op Marts in Bandon and Skibbereen.

He was also a Livestock officer for the Irish Farmers Association in Munster and a Regional Development Officer for Co. Kerry. He is graduate of the Teagasc Agricultural College in Clonakilty and the Cork Institute of Technology, and has gained great experience in understanding farmers and agricultural business. His contact details are as follows: Email: tom.mccarthy@axa.ie Tel: 087/9136311

Tom said he looked forward to working with farmers and Agribusiness in Munster. “We will be offering them the best insurance cover on the market today. Public Liability is one of the most important covers you need to consider. The best public liability covers your legal responsibility for accidental injury to anyone, or loss and damage to material property.” According to Tom, AXA offers a standard cover limit of €3 million, which is the highest level of standard cover on the market.

He also reminded farmers that having Employers Liability covers the costs and expenses of claimants you are legally liable for and other costs incurred. AXA also offers cover for any voluntary helpers at a reduced rate.

Christy Doherty said that “of course you want to ensure that everything on your farm is protected, from your livestock to your vehicles and your home. AXA Smart Farm Insurance offers two simple choices based on the size of your farm. This means that you can customise your policy so that you are not paying for cover you don’t need.”

Another point Tom made was that protection for the vehicles that farmers use around the farm isn’t a given with all insurance policies. “If you have a tractor, trailer or any other agri vehicle that you depend on, consider the type of cover you need for it, like third party, fire and theft, or comprehensive cover.”

Christy Doherty has worked in the farm insurance industry since 1995 and has a B.Agr.Sc degree from UCD. He is a former President of the Agricultural Science Association which has over 1700 members employed across the agri-food industry.

After spending more than 16 years as Head of Farm and Business at FBD, he now ensures all AXA Smart Farm customers are getting the most efficient customer services and cover that works for them. With continuous innovation, Christy said that AXA helps bring the best products to farmers across Ireland.

Changing of the Guard at McAree Engineering

After 41 years working with McAree Engineering, their V-Mac Sales Manager, Eamon McMeel has retired to focus on his own family farm enterprise. The McMeel family have a large broiler breeding unit enterprise and supply Carton Bros who produce the popular Manor Farm chicken brand. It is one of the oldest family companies in the country and dates back to 1775.

Eamon has worked in every area of the V-Mac silo business and has been a familiar face on our Stands at trade shows across Britain and Ireland. All his colleagues at McAree wish him a long and fruitful (semi) retirement.

Fergal Sherry another Monaghan man is the New Sales Manager. Fergal, joins the McAree Engineering team bringing with him over 20 years’ experience as an Animal Feed Technical Sales Representative with Corby Rock a major feed milling business.

Fergal comes from a dairy & poultry farming background and has a diploma in Agricultural Engineering from Silsoe College in Britain (now part of the famous Cranfield University)/. Fergal also has extensive experience of installing Fullwood Packo milking equipment and bulk tanks.

On his home farm they have a pedigree Holstein herd and supply Lakeland Dairies. The family also supply broilers to the Western Brand premises in Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo who currently process 350,000 broilers a week.

According to Fergal sales of the V-Mac silos are booming and they have a steady pipeline of orders from Britain and Northern Ireland. Their one to 1.5 tote bins are extremely popular in Britain. Fully galvanized for longer life. These tote bins have a weatherproof lid, integrated telescopic legs / forklift skids for easy handling. Integrated bagging hooks aid emptying and the Lid latches for extra safety and security.

In Ireland McAree V-Mac sales to milk producers are vibrant as many new entrants begin dairy farming and purchase a 20-30 t fed silo. Current producers are expanding so they need a second bin or a bigger feed silo. Pig and poultry producers are also expanding their enterprises so they need extra bins or bigger ones.

According to Fergal a typical poultry enterprise now requires a 35t split bin and a 14 t single silo. As regards pig producers many are upgrading their storage facilities and a typical order is for a 25-35 t bin. Indeed some of the bigger pig producers are purchasing bins up to 80t in storage capacity.

However it is not all work for Fergal as he plays golf with the Rossmore club, follows Monaghan GAA, Ulster rugby and the Liverpool football club. Fergal can be contacted on 047 89333 or on 087 251 1645 to discuss your feed storage requirements. Or you can email him at fergal@mcaree-eng.com Fergal looks forward to meeting customers at Balmoral Show, IHFA Open day, Virginia Show, at the National Ploughing Championship and many other Agri shows later this year.

Top Class Milk Production on Offaly Farm

Maria & Padraig Keane are a young couple who have taken over the family farm at Ballywilliam, Kilcormac, Co. Offaly. Maria is from Askeaton in West Limerick. They met in August 2015 at a festival in Roscrea and got married in August 2018. Both of them have been working on the farm full time since then.

After finishing his Ag Science degree in UCD and spending time milking cows in both New Zealand and Ireland, Pádraig converted the Keane suckler herd into a dairy enterprise in 2013.

Maria has a postgrad in Accounting from the University of Limerick. She says, “Pádraig loves grass, I love financials, we both love cows   so we work well together as a team producing milk for Glanbia Plc.” They have a thirst for knowledge so they are both members of two farm discussion groups (Pasture Apprentices & West Offaly) and Jim Moyles is their valued Teagasc Dairy adviser.

Maria and Padraig are active on Social Media such as Facebook and Instagram with over 1,800 followers. They have a popular Facebook page Keane Farm Life and 3.62K subscribers on their YouTube video channel.  One of their popular videos “How Do We Decide Who’s Finished Milking?” has 16k views.

The family farm was originally purchased by Padraig’s parents (John and Gertrude) in the 90’s. It was originally a dry stock and tillage farm before becoming a suckler farm with Angus and Hereford stock.

Pádraig converted the farm to milk production in 2013 with a 200,000 litres New Entrant Quota. He  started with 45 in-calf heifers and today they  milk 140 cows today .The High EBI herd is 2/3 Holstein Friesian and  1/3 Jersey and  Norwegian Red cross breeds. They average 5,800L/cow and supplied 520kgMS/cow to their co-op in 2019.

Their spring calving herd is milk recorded and they operate a 10 week breeding season. Cows are milked in a 20 unit herringbone parlour, and they use an ACR system and lightweight clusters.  Milking takes 1.5 to two hours and it is usually a two person operation.

 Cows are fed 0.6 to 1.2 tonnes of dairy nuts pa depending on grass growth and weather conditions. Their feed target is 0.5 tonnes/cow pa if they can produce more milk from grass.

Their current milking platform is 120 acres which is 50/50 owned /leased. The overall stocking rate is 2.5 livestock units per Ha. Cows on grass for around 280 days pa and are supplemented by Zero grazing from an out farm when grass is scarce during a drought or when grazing conditions are poor.

Padraig has built a new cubicle house and has installed excellent handling facilities for AI and hoof care. A robotic scraper is used to clean the cubicle house. They make great use of local agri contracting services and their baled silage is made by John Egan, Alan and Dara Bulfsin from AB Contracting Services.

When they started dairying five years ago they installed a new 10 tonne V-Mac silo from McAree Engineering. Padraig checked around with members of their discussion groups to get their valued opinions and they recommended the V –Mac silos.

According to Padraig “They were not the cheapest but were the best value for money due to their being trouble free and long life. Since we installed the McAree silo we never had to look at it. We clean it out every so often and the 6” side spout at the bottom of the cone is very handy for filing a meal barrow if we want to feed other stock.”

He went on to say that “when we ordered the feed silo, the McAree team advised us on preparing the concrete base. After about two weeks when the concrete was cured the bin was erected in less than two hours. So we are very happy with our decision to deal with McAree Engineering.”

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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe-ZtOG2O5c

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:  www.ashleighenv.com

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 www.mcaree-eng.com/ or at   https://www.vmacsilos.ie/

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:   peter@mcaree-eng.com 

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