You see them all the time whether they are on the road holding up traffic, in the fields spreading manure and creating that lovely smell when travelling through the country or even when you see the big round bales of hay in fields – the farming industry is closer and more in depth than you initially think. In this article we have decided to go in to that depth and explain the farm machinery in Ireland in a bit more detail so by the time we have finished up you will know the difference between a Kverneland and a Husqvarna or a John Deere and an Ifor Williams! As far as we are concerned there 18 categories the farming industry can be broken down in to…and you thought it was all just a bunch of tractors – that’s just where the fun begins! So if you are looking for harvesters in Ireland, ploughs in Northern Ireland, trailers in county Antrim or loaders in county Dublin, be sure you know exactly what you are looking for before enquiring about it!
TRACTORS – I thought I would start with the most obvious selection! Yes, those brutes of a machine that hold us back in traffic on the main road BUT those brutes of a machine that make our everyday lives very accommodating. Tractors are at the forefront of all farming equipment, the godfather as such! Common tractor makes are New Holland, John Deere, Massey Ferguson, SAME, CASE, Claas, Deutz-Fahr and Renault (yes Renault, they manufacture tractors too!). We salute you tractors!!
COMPACT TRACTORS – The obvious synopsis is a smaller more “compact” version of the tractor but I struggled with this when I heard it so the best way I can describe the Compact Tractor is simply down to the work you want it to do. If it is for pulling a light trailer or basic travel around your fields then a compact tractor is what you want but if it is for heavy duty work, baling, ploughing, harvesting etc then you want a brute of a tractor and not something small! Brands would be similar to Tractors above but Husqvarna, Kubota and Komatsu would also come under this category.
CROP PROCESSING – Thankfully there isn’t much of a need to explain this in great detail, it is what it is, the preparation of crops and fields before, during and after their intended use. The process can be gruelling and very demanding and, naturally, there are many different machines needed to carry this out. Items such as grain dryers, counting machines, silos and tanks. A few brand name drops would be John Deere, Kverneland, Krone and Prima. Farmers have also been taking advantage of the latest drones for sale to monitor crops and land as it allows them to cover several acres in a fraction of the time.
FERTILIZER APPLICATION – Can you smell that? Yes, those wonderful country smells, putting it politely, manure! Well, there are machines needed to do this and it all falls under the category of fertilizer application. So things like slurry tanks in Ireland or manure spreaders in Northern Ireland would all be the machines needed for this dirty aul job and brands such as Amazone, Johnston Bros, McHale and Sulky are used to do it.
FORKLIFT TRUCKS – Yes, as much as you would think these are used throughout warehouses in Ireland it raises the question, who moves all the animal feed? Who moves all the heavy equipment? Who moves anything that the human arm cannot move? Well it’s not who but what – the illustrious forklift truck! A much needed piece of machinery on the farm to make life much easier. You will find forklift trucks manufactured by Toyota, Hyster, Linde and Nissan.
GROUNDSCARE EQUIPMENT – Aerators, blowers, dressing equipment and grounds care rollers? No, I didn’t know what they meant either but what I do know is they are essential for the farming industry. Not to be mixed up with crop processing this machinery looks after the ground during those “in between” periods. So basically if you aren’t processing your crops then you need to be taking care of them before crop processing again! Brands used for grounds care equipment in Ireland are ones such as Gianni, Twose and Sisis.
HARVESTERS – So what happens once the crops are processed? In come these monsters and gather the grain from the crops. What you probably didn’t know is that these machines carry out 3 different processes whilst their engines are running, these 3 processes being winnowing, threshing and reaping. The leftovers like a Sunday dinner are used for other purposes such as bales for feed or simply chopped up and put back in to the fields for nutrients. Harvester brands used would the likes of Fiat, CASE IH and Taarup.
HAY AND FORAGE MACHINES – They are what they are, machines for hay and foraging! This can then be turned in to sileage and used for feed for cattle. Oh come on! You have all seen them, the wee tractors with a mower in the back with a big chute spitting out the cut forage in to a trailer being towed along? Sometimes pictures are better than words! Anyway, such brands would be Bergmann, Bomford, Pottinger, Redrock and Vicon.
LIVESTOCK EQUIPMENT – Farm machinery in Ireland is a huge necessity. Looking after cattle is extremely important especially if you rely on it for your wellbeing. Therefore the equipment needed must be of top quality. Cattle trailers, cattle gates and milking machines are amongst the most popular. Brands such as Hi-Spec, Krone and Kuhn would be amongst the most commonly used.
MOWERS – As much as the sun doesn’t come out that often in both Northern Ireland and Southern Ireland it certainly makes a difference when it comes the grass or crops growing! So out come the mowers! Anything from a simple push mower to the heavy duty ride-on mowers are needed to keep everything neat and tidy. If you want to pick one up look for makes such as Castlegarden, Honda and Jacobsen.
PLANT PROTECTION AND IRRIGATION – This one threw me off, hadn’t a clue what it was about but after a bit of research it made sense. We will break it down in to two. Plant protection is the methods you take to manage any pests, like weeds for example. Irrigation is the process used to water your soil and crops artificially. Use Gem Sapphire, Berthoud and Wylie.
PRESSURE WASHING EQUIPMENT – Most of us use power washers for our drive ways or to give something a thorough cleaning but it is essential in the farming world simply because everything can get everywhere and because hygiene is so important it is essential that the premises is kept clean. You would usually find a more industrial version of these machines being used at the farm. Machines like Honda, Comet, Kucher and Cleanwell are well used.
SOWING AND PLANTING MACHINES – These machines are used to sow and plant your crops. So whats the difference between sowing and planting? Well, sowing is when you literally drop the seed on to the soil whereas planting is when you put it under the soil. What is important is the spacing and counting of the seeds between each position. You can use brands such as Vaderstad, Accord and Bogbelle.
SWEEPERS AND ACCESSORIES – Similar to the reason for having pressure washing equipment it is equally important to have sweepers and their accessories. Sweepers are an easy and simple piece of machinery to clean yards, driveways and general large areas. Sweepers such as Gianni Ferrari, Suton and Wiedemann can be used.
TELEHANDLERS AND LOADERS – Really big forklifts! I suppose it is the best way to describe these monsters. Extremely important for manouvering large loads around the farm such as bales and other heavy equipment. Common telehandlers and loaders are JCB, Terex, Merlo and John Deere.
TILLAGE EQUIPMENT – To tillage is simply to prepare the soil for use, like digging it up for example by using ploughs and harrows. As you can imagine it is extremely important for the right equipment to be used and brands such as Rabe, Opico, Kverneland and Lely can help you do it properly.
TRAILERS – No need for a run down on what trailers are, just make sure you get yourself a licence to drive one! Very common trailers used in the farming industry are Ifor Williams, Schuitemaker, Kane, Brian James and Hudson trailers.
ACCESSORIES AND ATTACHMENTS – Again, what you would expect. The only thing worth mentioning here is that tractors come with different possibilities of adding attachments for pushing, pulling, digging, dragging etc.