LH Agro UK Ltd has used the LAMMA show to launch a contract hire scheme aimed at making a selection of Topcon precision farming equipment more affordable – an arrangement which the company believes is unique within the UK arable sector.
The capital cost of precision farming technologies such as GPS/RTK guidance systems, autosteer facilities and crop canopy sensors has, until now, prevented many arable businesses from investing in technologies which could make the way they produce crops more efficient and cost effective.
LH Agro has therefore launched a contract hire scheme on three key pieces of technology: the Topcon X25 autosteer system, Topcon CropSpec canopy sensor and Topcon AGI-4 ISOBUS autosteer system.
“A worrying number of UK farms are operating on inaccurately measured tramlines resulting in over-lapping or missed applications of seed, fertilisers and chemicals,” warns LH Agro’s Managing Director, Richard Reed. “This is largely due to the inherent inaccuracies involved in laying out fields manually, or by relying on older technologies which have now been superseded.
“Even relatively minor discrepancies will result in significant losses of efficiency. In any event, it makes good business sense to physically measure tramline intervals to ensure the full operating width of drills, sprayers and spreaders is being utilised efficiently.”
LH Agro estimates that many businesses could be incorrectly applying seed, fertiliser and chemicals to more than 2% of their cropped land: “Our figures show that a typical 500 acre (202 hectare) arable farm could be losing as much as £5,700 per year as a result of inaccurate input applications,” Richard continues. “Similarly, a 1,500 acre (607 hectare) operation could be losing as much as £11,500 in misplaced inputs alone.
“These input losses are just the tip of the iceberg,” Richard adds. “Additional inefficiencies, such as inhibited crop performance and the additional man hours, diesel usage and wear and tear incurred by over-lapping during the cultivation phase, will further erode profit margins.”
Mr Reed believes that eliminating these losses is easy to achieve by introducing an accurate tractor guidance/autosteer system and advises that businesses which haven’t already invested due to the significant upfront costs associated with precision farming technologies should consider LH Agro’s contract hire option.
“We have launched our unique contract hire scheme on three of our most popular pieces of equipment, effectively making the latest precision farming technologies available to a much broader base of farming businesses,” he added.