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Energy and technology

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Ventilated wall panels are Devon-sent as they lighten lambing load

LAMBING in a dark and stuffy shed is a thing of the past at Upcott Farm, Nomansland, Devon, thanks to the installation of an innovative ventilated wall. Autumn lambing is now well under way across the UK, and farmers will already be planning next year’s spring crop. When Andy and Janet Dale moved to Upcott Farm three years ago, they were faced with upgrading six of the old farm buildings. “We knew it was going to be a big job, and as we needed more storage and a temporary lambing shed, the easiest route was to start by putting a lean-to lambing area on a newly-erected workshop,” said Andy. “The original intention was to Yorkshire board it, but then I discovered Highlight metal wall sheets.” With tiny perforated holes creating a 25% void,

Highlight allows light and air to pass through, while protecting against wind and rain. “It’s really done the job,” he said. “The shed is a lot lighter and airier than it would be with Yorkshire boarding, so it is ideal for the livestock.” While the metal sheeting worked out more expensive than boarding, the cost of erection was significantly lower, as it arrived in measured lengths and just needed fixing in place. Andy used panelled gates along the side and front of the building, with the wall sheets above that to the eaves. Lambing his 100 Wiltshire Horn ewes indoors from early April to mid-May this year, he found the shed a far nicer environment. “We don’t need to put the lights on until a lot later in the evening, and when we bed up with straw the

dust dissipates far more quickly – you really can feel the ventilation working,” he says. “Our vet is very impressed with it – it almost feels like an open shed with just a roof.” With 40 Dexter suckler cows as well as the growing sheep flock, Mr and Mrs Dale are planning to improve the remaining buildings and put up a new one next year. “We’re keeping all the ewe lambs so will be lambing a lot more sheep next year, so we need a bigger lambing shed,” he said. “We’re going through the buildings one by one. We’ll have to completely replace one of the buildings, but I want to try and improve the other sheds as they are so dark and airless; so I will use Highlight wherever possible. We’re on wet, exposed ground here, so the stock have to be housed over

Engineer Doug’s award for cow disease early warning system THE first winner of a new award for outstanding farming research has been announced. Doug Fleming, an agricultural engineering student at Harper Adams University, from Berwick-upon-Tweed, has been presented with the Nick Bird Award by Reading-based firm Farmex. Doug gained the award by coming up with a simple, commercially-viable solution to the problem of bovine respiratory disease (BRD) in cattle. The Nick Bird Award was set up by Reading-based Farmex in recognition of the work carried out by Nick Bird, a director of the company who died earlier this year. His 17 years working in the field of real-time monitoring of pig production systems had a significant

impact on the industry. The award is for an outstanding piece of written work that involves recorded observations of an agricultural process, data analysis and interpretation with demonstrable added value for farmers. It is open to final year students at HAU. BRD, a disease that attacks the lungs of young calves, is estimated to cost the British dairy industry £60 million every year. Doug took an engineering approach to this problem and set about designing a prototype sensing system that could alert farmers to a potential outbreak. The system was integrated into automatic milk feeders and the final design was successfully validated on a commercial farm. The award, an engraved trophy and a cheque for £500,

was presented to Doug by Katie Bird at the HAU graduation ceremony. Farmex managing director Hugh Crabtree said: “The importance of information and communications technology for sustainable production in agriculture has been highlighted recently by the government, the Ossiach group and RASE, so the Nick Bird Award is very timely. “By inaugurating this award we hope it will both commemorate Nick’s work and encourage students at HAU to forge new career pathways in ICT and precision farming.” Currently Doug lives on the 850 acre mixed arable and beef family farm in Whitsome near Kelso in the Scottish borders, but will be putting the money towards a trip to New Zealand

Doug Fleming is handed the Nick Bird Award by Katie Bird during his graduation ceremony at Harper Adams University.

before taking up a graduate position with CLAAS UK. He said receiving the award was a great honour and surprise and that he was pleased to have recognition for all the hard work carried out on the project. BRD is also a main cause of loss within the beef industry.

FEIN blades are adapted for more tools The JCB Loadall recovered thanks to dealer Peacock & Binnington and the Livelink system.

Dealer helps recover stolen JCB thanks to tracker THIEVES were recently thwarted in their attempt to steal a JCB telehandler because the machine was fitted with a JCB LiveLink satellite tracking device. The JCB 541/70 Loadall purchased through JCB dealer Peacock & Binnington was stolen from farm premises, near Market Rasen, Lincolnshire, but was soon thanks to its LiveLink system. The farm owner was alerted to the theft via text. With the help of Peacock & Binnington staff they logged into JCB LiveLink, which revealed the location and the machine was promptly recovered. P&B Corringham branch sales manager Stephen Melbourne said: “The farm

owner was extremely happy to have his Loadall recovered so quickly. This is the second JCB this year that has been recovered due to Livelink and Peacock & Binnington. I cannot stress enough the great importance and value of using a tracking system in the battle against farm machinery theft. “Real Time information such as location, unauthorised movement and even fuel consumption can be monitored by this system along with an added benefit of helping to reduce your insurance premiums. Not many people are aware of another system called Livelink Lite that can be retrofitted to other makes.” Contact 07774 296384.

TOOL firm FEIN has redesigned its range of E-Cut saw blades for joiners and interior fitters to make them compatible with all major oscillating multi-function tools. The redesigned E-Cut The E-Cut saw blades were originally precision 65 with multi designed for use with FEIN’s MultiMaster mounting power tool and developed with the eight star tool mounting, also known as FEIN Star Technology. This is now joined by a 12-pin mounting which allows all major oscillating multifunction tools to be fitted with original FEIN E-Cut saw blades. Fitted with standard, long-life or precision teeth, E-Cut saw blades are suited to sawing wood, plasterboard, plastic and glass fibre-reinforced plastic and are available in a width of 35 or 65mm and a length of 50mm. The precision saw blade is designed for high cutting speeds and precise cuts, while the universal saw blades are available in a width of 29 or 44mm and a length of 60mm and cover a large range of applications. They can be used for sawing sheet metal up to a thickness of 2mm and cutting copper or aluminium pipes and profiles. The FEIN E-Cut saw blades with multi mounting can be fixed into 8 x 45 degree to give a clearer view of the cutting line. A spokesman for FEIN said: “When working with timber materials in particular, the E-Cut long-life saw blades display very little wear and last three times longer than E-Cut standard wood blades. They remain sharp even after 1600 cuts at full cutting speed in 25mm thick MDF board. Their bimetal teeth also ensure the level of robustness needed for the construction site. The blades easily withstand contact with foreign bodies such as plaster, bricks and nails up to 4mm thick.” To celebrate the launch of the E-Cut series, until December 31, FEIN is offering the new E-Cut saw blades with multi mounting in a ‘Best of E-Cut’ set for £49.95. It contains four E-Cut long-life and two universal saw blades in each of the different widths and lengths. The FEIN E-Cut saw blades with new multi mounting are available from specialist retailers. Go to: www.multimaster.info/uk

Let there be light... and a bit more ventilation too – the newly Highlighted shed on Upcott Farm.

the winter, and we’re very conscious about the need for adequate ventilation.” For more information about Highlight panels visit www.unitedroofingproducts.com or call 01884 839302.

Wrights Farming Register - October 2013 - Full Edition  

Wrights Farming Register, October 2013, Full Edition. See more: http://www.wrightsregister.com

Wrights Farming Register - October 2013 - Full Edition  

Wrights Farming Register, October 2013, Full Edition. See more: http://www.wrightsregister.com

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