All farms, from livestock to tillage to horticulture enterprises, have a similar theme in common – they are busy places to work and face growing labour availability challenges.
One upside to these testing circumstances is that it encourages farmers to strive to find more efficient ways of carrying out daily tasks, which, in turn, has resulted in some excellent time- and labour-saving initiatives being developed.
The Irish Farmers Journal is aiming to develop a collection of these ideas in print and online so that all readers can share and benefit from each other’s experience.
This can range from more efficient ways of handling or feeding livestock to storing equipment.
Send us your entry for a chance to WIN
Each month, we will profile a number of these initiatives and those featured in our print edition will get a €50 One4All voucher in return.
Entries be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent via WhatsApp to 086-836 6465. Entries should include photos to demonstrate the initiative, an explanation of it and your name, address and contact number.
Above is an example of a feeding barrier pictured recently on a farm which can be quickly changed to allow the slatted area to act as a collecting yard or feeding area.
The barriers can be set in a closed position when the farmer doesn’t want to give the cows access to silage, perhaps because of on-off grazing or nighttime feeding of dry cows.
The barriers can then be changed with little effort by pulling the gate latch closer, lifting the barrier and securing it in the open position.
This works excellently in offering forage at the shoulders of the year when grass supplies are tight on the milking platform or dry matter is limiting and also increases the available feeding space over the winter months if required.
As detailed in the photos, the barrier is made of one length of heavy tubular piping, which rotates around a smaller pipe acting as a hinge.
There are two lighter tubular bars joined to the heavier bar with a closing mechanism at each side.
The barrier simply rotates into the open and closed position with holes drilled in the rolled steel joists (RSJ) to hold the barrier in place.