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  • Atkins Pottinger Open Day

    farm 6 pottingerAtkins Farm Machinery would like to invite you to attend our Fendt and POTTINGER product information and experience day on Sunday May 12th from 11am to 4pm at Rath, Birr, Co. Offaly R42 KT26 where we will show and demonstrate a selection of FENDT tractors and the full range of POTTINGER grass equipment.

    We will also have a range of TAMS eligible tillage equipment on display with product specialists from POTTINGER on hand to discuss your requirements in this area.

    In the demonstration area we will have the following machines working and many of which will be available to test drive:
    - A Fendt 312 with a POTTINGER 6 rotor Tedder.
    - A Fendt 313 with a POTTINGER 702 c Twin rotor 20ft Rake.
    fendt 516- A Fendt 516 with a POTTINGER 10 rotor Trailed Tedder.
    - A Fendt 718 with a POTTINGER EuroProfi 5010 Forage Wagon.
    - A Fendt 720 with a POTTINGER Alpha Motion Front Mower and 302 ED rear 10ft mower.
    - A Fendt 724 with a POTTINGER TORRO 6510 Forage Wagon.
    -A Fendt 824 “Old model Turbomatic” with a POTTINGER A10 Triple Mower with Augers.
    -A Fendt 828 with a POTTINGER A10 Triple Mower with groupers.
    - A tractor and loader demonstration area where there will be the opportunity to test drive a tractor and loader with bale handler attached.
    - 4 of the working tractors will be equipped with GPS auto steering and will be available to test drive on the mowers.

    Venue: Rath, Birr ,Co Offaly Eircode: R42 KT26 or contact us directly 11am – 4pm
    Trevor: 086 2464666 Ken : 086 4667405
    DUE TO THE NATURE OF THIS EVENT ADMITTANCE WILL BE STRICTLY OVER 16’s
    3 logos

  • Safety Risk Assessments

    April 18, 2019

    Safety Risk Assessments

    I feel like a bit of an imposter. I wrote my first blog about farm safety about 6 weeks ago, hoping to convey some information to (particularly) farmers. Never claiming to be an expert, I thought there were some pointers worth sharing. I am writing a wrap up note here - I will revisit at some time in future to develop and explore other topics.

    Now, in the last week, I have seen an assortment of news articles and/or information - tweets, facebook messages and press releases all related to farm safety, chainsaw safety, machinery safety and so on. We have a whole suite of products related to or linked to safety - which can be seen here on our website.

    The IFA, Farmers' Journal and HSA, among others, have published information relating to safety, or staged meetings about safety. This is clearly all very worthy, but within all the safety news, there is occasionally a message about a farm accident - sadly, there have been reports of two fatalities in the last couple of weeks in farm accidents. Remaining vigilant is critical.

    There is a campaign underway where the HSA will be inspecting tractors and machinery to confirm safety - read all about it here. The IFA have held meetings on farms about safety and the Farmers' Journal has reported on these meetings - in forums bigger than that which I have here. My (kind of) thought for the day links to risk assessment. I hope I won't be preaching, but formally developing a risk assessment can be quite an eye opener and it can be a very worthwhile exercise. Looking at your premises yourself with a critical eye and open mind can often show or identify potential difficulties on the farm, or anywhere else for that matter.

    Look at all those spikes! Look at all those spikes!
    Over and above legal requirements, a risk assessment can always benefit your farm, your business, your place of work. Simplified, a risk assessment needs a list of items, the potential risk, how critical/dangerous it is and how the risk can be minimised. I've always felt that it is better to develop a personal risk assessment document. Guidelines are great and will contribute, but your own development can make the risk assessment more meaningful. In addition, by performing your own thorough risk assessment, potential issues can be identified efficiently.


    A listing of precautions and/or suggestions from www.hsa.ie is worth repeating here. This website is a really valuable resource for safety of the farming industry - I've referred to it previously and unhesitatingly reference it again - it is well worthwhile visiting and reading the supporting documents in there.

    Precautions
    1. There's an electronic Risk Assessment available to use as part of the Code of Practice

    2. Prepare and implement a Safety Statement

    3. If 3 or less people work on the farm, the Code of Practice meets the Safety Statement requirement

    4. Plan work to make sure it can be done safely

    5. Check machinery and equipment before use

    6. Communicate with family, workers and contractors to make sure that tasks and safeguards are understood

    7. Train persons to operate tractors and machinery and complete jobs safely

    8. Assess and control risks to children and persons with slower reaction times. Do not allow children unsupervised access to the farmyard
    (Ref: HSA Agriculture Website)
    It is easy to conclude that an efficient assessment of your farm premises will have long-term benefits - identification of potential hazards and pointers to resolution of these hazards. Please try to take advantage of fine weather to check out your own premises.

    Joe, April 2019

  • Me and my dog Leo, Gardening - with Sheila Crean

    sheila profileHi everyone, back again this week. I have put up a picture of myself and my gardening friend, Leo. Last time, I wrote about one of my favourite products "Fast Grow Seaweed Fertiliser" - a little story follows. I left the bag of fertiliser outside beside my vegetable plot and the following morning Leo was stretched out on the ground. He had helped himself to the bag of Fast Grow - I said to myself that I had an organic product, so no cause for alarm. I didn't feed him for a day and he was back to his bouncy self again. So, a warning, all animals are drawn to organic fertilisers.

    I use Fast Grow as a top dressing for all my pots and I cover them over with a layer of compost. Leo took to night time gardening, digging up all my pots. This problem was solved by putting mustard around the top of the pots and guess what, he has now given up night time gardening.

    altromeriaOne of my favourite plants has just arrived into the Garden Centre. It's called "Alstromeria Indian Summer". The picture was taken yesterday, 17th April. It has flowered non stop for a year. Of course we had a real mild winter and I have it planted by a wall, so it has a lot of shelter. Alstromeria Indian Summer has bronze foliage and.... slugs don't like bronze foliage - Yahoo! - but they adore all the green leaved alstromerias.

    growbox1Another favourite product that we have in stock is a grow box. I planted it with lettuce only 3 weeks ago and now look at it. Again the slugs find it too much trouble to try to make their way to the box. Of all the vegetables we consume, lettuce is the one that has most sprays applied in its growing season, so if you like your salads in the summer, buy yourself a grow box.

    In the next pictures, shown below, I have a tray of broad beans and just note the bluebells (more in a minute) in the background. We carry a great choice of vegetable plants in the Gardenworld shop at this time of year.
    I tell ye, I have a weakness for buying plants, bringing them home and that's as far as it goes for a month, or 2 or three before they ever get planted.
    broadbean1
    broadbean2 I am not alone in that one, so I call that area of the garden, the "Loading Bay"!

    To my very great surprise and delight, there is method in my madness, the plants adjust to their new environment and get hardened off faster. When I do get around to planting them, not one of them has ever failed on me. Looking at the broad beans, I purchased them 3 weeks ago and just planted them yesterday. I know the slugs had their little nibble, but so what!

    Back to the bluebells in the background above- these are Irish bluebells. There is a Spanish bluebell which we should avoid planting at all costs. It is very intrusive. I will have pictures next time of both so you can tell the difference. The Spanish bluebell is causing major problems in some of the English woodlands and is wiping out the native bluebell.

    potatoesI did say last time that we would have a look at weedkillers - I just don't like them and I would tell anyone who has a small area to buy a weed wand. It is worked by gas and it burns the weeds the same way as a kettle of boiling water. You can also use the old-fashioned method of pulling the weeds by hand.
    Once again, we had a wonderful Open Weekend, blessed with the weather. A lot of money was raised for the Irish Guide Dogs during the weekend - many thanks to everyone who supported this great cause.

    Next time, we will talk about tomatoes, cucumbers and the different stages involved in growing them. It is lovely to see the progress of planting, the final picture here is of my potatoes, planted only three weeks ago.
    Until the next time, Sheila.

  • Open Weekend 2019

    March 31, 2019

    Open Weekend 2019

    5th - 7th April 5th - 7th April

    ‘Atkins Live’, our annual open weekend at our Cork outlet is on from Friday 5th to Sunday 7th April. As before, the appeal for many will be the discount, which is equivalent to the 23% VAT amount, off everything in the Farm Shop.

    There will be a number of Subject Matter Experts visiting us to advise about products, demonstrate and answer any questions visitors might have about their products. The companies which will be represented will include Sparex, Electroweld, Reliance, Sadu, King Tony, Farmhand, McHugh, Westaro, Pel and Central Bearings. It will be a great opportunity to meet experts in their respective fields to advise you about tools, products and usage.

     

    In Gardenworld there are a number of offers:

    • 23% VAT amount off all stock except Weber BBQs and Vitavia Greenhouses in Gardenworld on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
    • 10% off all Greenhouses ordered over these 3 days – excludes Free base offer currently available
    • 10% off all Weber BBQ’s plus a Free cover with any BBQ bought over these 3 days

    In addition there will be a Mo-Bacter Representative in-store over the Saturday and Sunday offering Lawn advice and Free samples etc. and a Weber Expert Representative in-store on the Saturday offering BBQ advice - even for those of us who don't need advice about our barbecuing. On Friday the Soil Renew Representative and the Liquid Seaweed/Fertiliser representative will both be in the shop giving valuable gardening advice.

     

    In the Lawnmower shop 10% is off the entire Husqvarna, Honda and Echo ranges. Kubota's cash back offer is also doubled for the weekend - there is potentially €700 cash back on selected products.

    In the Machinery yard the headline deal this year is 0% Finance on many used machinery items.  There are also special sale items such as Teejet Matrix 430 guidance system for just €1,000.

    Meanwhile for others, the draw will be the childrens' entertainment and the hospitality in the yard. One of the new attractions this year will be a hammer strike carnival game - €100 voucher to the winner! The Irish Guide Dogs will be in attendance again this year.

    After the dust settles in Cork the sale prices continue the following week from Monday 8th through to Saturday 13th at our Bandon and Fermoy outlets. A second opportunity to avail of a once a year discount!

    Please note: all goods are still invoiced including VAT, it’s just the discount is equal to amount of VAT @ 23% included in the normal price. If an item sells for €123 (inc. VAT of €23) normally it is sold for €100 (inc. VAT of €18.70) during the sale.

  • Spring Gardening with Sheila Crean

    Sheila Crean - horticulturalist Sheila Crean - horticulturalist
    Hello everybody - boy, what great gardening weather. In the olden days, St. Patrick's Day signalled the arrival of spring -
    The spuds were planted
    Roses pruned
    Hydrandges tip pruned
    And now, the experts tell us April is the right time to prune apple trees.

    But, we will start this week by addressing the problem of Algae/Moss on the patio, tarmac drive and the paths around the house. First, for the patio area, the customer feedback we have is Patio Magic, followed closely by Algon - which is an organic product. For moss on the tarmac path, the customers' choice here is Moss Boss.

    chlor kleen 2
    But this year, I got so worked up about the green algae everywhere, I purchased Chlor-Kleen, available in our Farm Shop at €27.50 for 20 litres. It is also available in a 5 litre bottle. Wow! What is said is that it is a highly effective cleaner for paths, patios and concrete - BRILLIANT! As might be said in the countryside, I could have the Station Mass just to show off my sparkly clean yard.

    With the yard and paths cleaned up, think about the potatoes - if you have not yet purchased seed potatoes, it would be worth doing so this week, as supplies are running out. First Early potatoes are all sold out with the exception of Pentland Javelin (some still available). 2nd Earlies British Queen are also running short, but supplies for the main crop - Roosters, Kerrs Pink etc are still ok.

    raised bedI made a raised bed from timber, adding Gee-Up (a great product), farmyard manure and fastgrow seaweed fertiliser - I then planted the first early Colleen and Sharps Express. I will let you all know how these get on later in the year.

    Our summer bedding plants are arriving into the shop this week. It must be global warming it is so early in the year, but the weather dictates. Growth is vigorous - I planted the pot on the left last October with spring bulbs - it will be a while before I pot it up with summer bedding plants. I have also a wildflowers going really well - the photo on the right here were taken late in March. We will talk about wild flowers next week, as well as pruning Apple trees, not a particularly easy task.

    wild flowers wild 2


    Next week we will also have a look at weedkillers - I have plenty of weeds to deal with, and especially for my drive way, I have treated myself to Premazor Turbo - I have never used this product but I hope it is as good as it reads. I will let you all know.

    I'll be back next week - between now and then, you can feed the roses and apply potash to all fruit trees and bushes.

    Sheila 27th March

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