James Watt is a sixth-generation farmer from Templepatrick, Co Antrim, not far from Antrim city. Dairy farming is and has been the main enterprise through the generations of Watts. Today, James milks about 250 Holstein Friesian cows on a predominantly grass-based system.

Bedding between 450 and 500 round bales of straw annually, James looked into the option of a straw blower to curb the daily workload. “I took demonstration of a straw blower but the dust proved a major issue. It was no fault of that particular brand, just the nature of the straw blower concept given the way in which they chop and accelerate the straw. In my situation, keeping dust to a minimum was and remains critical as the freshly calved pen is under the same roof as the milking parlour,” James said.