The Fonterra board needs real farmers with their own skin in the game, says would-be director John Nicholls.
From its location at Ballyhaunis, in the west of Ireland, the company exports 90% of its production to the US, South Africa, Europe, UK and Australia.
Recently, through its Australasian distributor Warringa Distribution, the company has been testing in NZ. Having sold AS 100 and AS 120 machines around the Ashburton area, it recently appointed Power Farming Ashburton as a dealer.
Having recently visited the Irish production plant during a study tour, Rural News saw the company’s commitment to quality, e.g. heavy-duty chassis, extensive use of stainless steel and shot blasting before paint application.
Founded in 2006, the family-run business has at least 40 employees producing about 250 machines each year.
In its muck spreader range, carrying capacities varies from 6 to 14 tonnes, carried on HD single axle assemblies. The spreading is by twin vertical beaters, fed by a moving floor comprising a 16mm high-tensile chain running in 75mm channels and carrying galvanised floor slats.
Standard fitments include sprung drawbars, flotation tyres, hydraulic brakes and a hydraulically operated rear door. The company’s AS Series lime and fertiliser spreader range offers capacities of 3 to 15 tonnes. Standard fitment of these machines includes a sprung drawbar, flotation tyres, a three-speed ground-drive gearbox, hydraulic brakes, hydraulic spinners and a roll-over tarpaulin system. Options include load cells, stainless steel bins, steerable axles and a range of machine control systems.
The latest AS 2000 series, with capacities from 9 to 15 tonnes and up to 20.5 tonnes for lime, is aimed at the precision application market. Its twin-floor conveyor system comprises a toothed belt-drive that engages with a toothed roller. This system is said to have the characteristics of a chain conveyor with positive feeding but it costs less to run.
The twin belt system allows the operator to deliver differing volumes to the hydraulically driven spinners; these in turn can have their speed adjusted to control spread width up to 36m and across seven sections either side of the centre line, effectively offering section control. During operation, both left or right spreading discs can be controlled to shut off feed completely, with boundary spreading enabled by just one touch of a switch on the control box.
This machine won many prizes in the recent National Ploughing Association’s Innovation Awards -- Established Business, Machine of the Year and the Overall Innovation.
Like its lower-tech cousins, standard specs include a sprung drawbar, hydraulic brakes, flotation tyres, a roll tarp and extensive use of stainless steel. Options include the choice of 2m or 3m wheel centres – the latter for controlled traffic operations – steering axles, load cells and a Topcon derived ISOBUS controller.