by Jaco Cilliers
One golden key unlocks the door to success in any farming operation. Whether a farmer grows crops or keeps animals, he wants to attain the highest income at the lowest cost. This cannot be done without water.
That is exactly why many farmers use irrigation systems on their farms: thirsty crops cannot produce. Likewise, without water, there would also not be feed for livestock.
However, an irrigation system is not a quick fix to increase production. On top of the initial capital outlay, the running costs need to be considered.
Over a centre pivot’s lifetime, running costs can add up to a lot more than the original purchase price. However, with careful planning and good design you can ensure the centre pivot remains a good investment. Agrico is thoroughly aware of this fact and therefore offers the farmer the best value for money in both initial purchase price and running costs.
That was one of the most important reasons for Shaun Griffin from Glenury and Sharrow Farms near Mooi River, South Africa, to choose Agrico as his irrigation partner. Shaun keeps a mixed dairy herd consisting of approximately 1 250 Jerseys and Friesian cows.
In total, there are eight Agrico centre pivots on the farms to help produce silage for the cows.
Shaun plants grains and rye grass to ensure that the herd has enough silage throughout the year to maintain a favourable average milk production.
“We produce 1,5 times more silage by growing maize under the pivots,”says Shaun.
Agrico centre pivots are manufactured locally, making a competitive price possible. Furthermore, Agrico ensures that the running costs remain as low as possible by ensuring water and electricity are used economically.
Shaun’s centre pivots are equipped with Nelson sprinklers that apply the water efficiently and need little maintenance.
For his youngest Agrico pivot, Shaun chose the Windsaver option. This model has a wider wheelbase for more stability against stronger winds. It has a four-year guarantee against being blown over. Shaun also decided to add Agrico’s Cablesaver that hides the electric cable in the structure to discourage cable theft.
According to Shaun, the maintenance on the centre pivot isn’t costly, nor is it time consuming. “Only a few things need attention. If the tire pressure is right and there aren’t any blockages in the sprinklers, then the system works without any hiccups. The gearbox oil requires changing yearly, and moving parts and safety components should be checked regularly. That is basically all that it needs,” he declares.
Agrico’s people in Winterton ensure that Shaun receives excellent service. They support the farmer throughout the entire process from the layout and design to construction and after-sales service. That is how they guarantee that the farmer, his crops and his livestock receive the maximum benefit from the centre pivot.
“I have never had to wait for Agrico. If I need something, I simply call the team representative Marius du Randt and everything is quickly taken care of,”Shaun adds.