The co-op is located in Brion, western France and is one of the many local machinery schemes known as CUMAs. It has been in operation for 37 years and currently owns 45 machines used across 37 farms.
Their fleet includes:Round balers.Trailers.Manure spreaders.Maize processors.A tractor.A bean harverster.Ploughs.Harrows.Subsoilers.A shed fitted with solar panels selling electricity back to the national grid.
Members contribute to investments and running costs in proportion to the use they get out of each machine.
For example, the CUMA owns six trailers from 12t to 21t in size, each costing members €15/day to use. "They are high-spec trailers and we get a lot of use out of them, while on an individual farm, they would be unused five months of the year," the group's chair Emmanuel Lachaise told Irish visitors.
Browse the picture gallery above to see a sample of the machinery available to the CUMA's members and read more about its operation in the coming weeks in the Irish Farmers Journal.
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