Farming in Conna, Co. Cork, Padraig Noonan, alongside his father Moss and his brother Seamus, run Noonan Agri Contractors – a well-established contracting business in a predominately tillage and dairy farming region.
In recent years, Padraig has witnessed a number of changes within the farming industry, especially when it comes to labour availability and technology.
Padraig said: “Tractors are all gone up in horsepower; if you go back 10-15 years ago, we would have had a 150hp tractor on a 3m one-pass.
“Now, it’s over 200hp. The price of these tractors has gone up substantially in the last three years and it’s just to make these tractors pay, you have to be as efficient as you can be with them.”
So, it was after a very successful Farm Power Open Day – Padraig’s local John Deere and Lemken dealership – that the contractor contacted Farm Power’s Jim Kenny in relation to a new tractor and seed-drill combination.
Farm Power – which is located in Castlelyons, Co. Cork – opened in 1989 as a John Deere agent, and took on the Lemken brand in 2002 – selling the full range of Lemken machinery, including: ploughs; discs-harrows; and one-pass systems.
Like Padraig, Jim has noticed a change in the demand for more horsepower, larger implements and the latest technology.
“I’ve been with Farm Power for the past 22 odd years. We’ve noticed a trend that tractors have increased in horsepower, and equipment is getting bigger because labour is an issue in some areas – it’s getting very hard to come by,” Jim explained.
After successfully purchasing a John Deere 6250R, Padraig’s attention turned to a Lemken Solitair 25.
“Initially, Padraig looked at a 5m unit, but going forward, we advised that a 6m unit would be better, with more tramline options for the future.
“And, with the ISOBUS technology, along with the John Deere GPS system, the two tied in very good,” Jim added.
The majority of Noonans’ workload revolves around tillage and dairy enterprises, and Padraig hopes to develop this further by setting more grass seed for dairy operations, while also driving on the tillage side of the business.
“We’ve known Jim Kenny for a good few years. They had an open day; they’re only 10 minutes up the road. It’s all about trying to keep business as local as you can; we all need each other,” Padraig explained.
“Lemken has been very good to us and Jim has been very good from Farm Power. They have been out with us to run us through the drill; and run us through the calibrations, set up and adjustments.”
With labour availability becoming an increasing issue, Padraig turned to technology to help overcome this problem.
“You have only one screen inside [the cab] and it complements the drill set-up; everything is touch and you can set up everything on one lever to control the drill,” Padraig explained.
“It’s all about making it easier for the operator; that’s my main reason – I’d say the system is the simplest system you could have out there.
“We have no markers on this drill. I took the savings from that and put it into the tractor with the GPS and upgraded the system; it’s making it more viable and more cost efficient,” he concluded.
Gearing up to travel Ireland
Over the next couple of weeks, Farm Power will demonstrate another new concept – the Lemken Solitair 23.
This front tank – to feed a Lemken power harrow / drill outfit – is currently fitted to a John Deere 6250R, and will be available to tillage farmers and contractors throughout Co. Cork.
The same outfit (including the Solitair 23 tank system) will then travel to other Lemken dealers’ areas across Ireland.
Any tillage growers or contractors interested in putting this tractor and seed-drill through their paces are asked to contact Lemken’s Irish territory manager Derek Delahunty at: 086-0203886; or Farm Power’s Darren Foley at: 087-272 0707.
For more information on Lemken and its product range, just click here