Armagh based Father and son contracting team Megaw Contracts are no strangers to employing the latest technology within their business in order to improve performance and efficiency. This is clearly evident with their latest purchase, a HARDI MASTER Plus 1800 litre with 24 metre VPZ boom.
Megaw Contracts was established by John Megaw back in the 1960s and has always been loyal users of the HARDI product. Today John’s son Ivan Megaw is at the helm aided by his son William.
“I went straight into the contracting once I let school which is 34 years ago” recalls Ivan, “my father John was contracting for as long as I can remember and is still active in the business today. Machinery is what I grew up around and is a real passion for me; it’s all I ever wanted to do”.
I recent years Ivan’s son William has also joined the business and added another view on how the business can progress into the future by employing technology to improve what they are already doing. “It’s a disease to be honest”, laughs William, “machinery is in my blood from growing up around it every day, I suppose being young has enabled me to bring a different aspect into the business in terms of how we can use technology to become more efficient and productive”. The Megaw team each year get through over 8000 acres of silage and whole-crop as well as 2000 acres of cereals for both themselves as well as for local customers, “We carry out all aspects of contracting, from ploughing and sowing all the way up to harvesting and slurry, at this game you have to be able to offer your customers what they want done”. On top of the contracting the duo also farm
500 acres in total which is split into 450 acres of tillage and 50 acres of grass for their 100 head of cattle. “We keep a combination of suckler and beef cattle as well as also growing oil seed rape, whiter wheat and barley, spring wheat and barley, fodder beet and Rye for feed; it definitely keeps us busy that’s for sure”.
To keep on top of such a broad range of crops the Megaws recently purchased a
HARDI MASTER Plus 1800 litre which they also specified with 24m VPZ booms along with the HC5500 rate controller, replacing a 5 year old HARDI 1200 with 12m booms.
“We have always had HARDI sprayers here on the farm from as long back as I can remember, I can recall my father John spraying with a small HARDI 10m machine mounted on a Ford 3600 tractor, it’s scary how far along things have come in such a relatively short space of time. One thing that hasn`t changing is that we have stayed loyal to HARDI, which is down to numerous reasons, our local dealer GA Allen is very good to us regarding back up and service, the machines themselves are robust enough to withstand modern day contracting and they get the job done fast and efficiently without over complicating the job at hand which is vitally important for us as we could have a number of different operators on the machine, simplicity is key”.
The new sprayer is fitted on a John Deere 6930 tractor which is equipped with GPS guidance and a 700 litre front mounted tank to increase the sprayers coverage area. “We can easily cover 30 acres per fill which is a big step up from what was fitted to the 3600 all those years ago only covering 7 acres at a time. The GPS on the tractor communicates with the sprayer along us to full utilise the rate control and auto section control, it’s a super feature that has saved us time and money”.
The new sprayer has already covered over 8000 acres in its first season and has worn out one complete set of nozzles in the process. “We cover a lot of ground every year with the sprayer which is a lot of the reason why we opted for 24m booms this time in order to get the efficiency up, this was a huge improvement not only in reducing the time used but the booms themselves which are a stand out feature for me. They are extremely stable even at higher speeds, being 24m you would expect stability issues when we would be in rough ground but they simply just float along”.
All the functions on the VPZ booms are electro-hydraulically operated from the in cab control panel where all the primary controls which are used in the field, such as boom height, independent tilting of either boom section and complete boom slanting are all grouped together making operation that bit simpler.”
“We are delighted with the new sprayer after its first season, it’s done everything we could of asked of it without any issues, its ability to cover ground fast while remaining stable and balanced is really its party piece, I would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending a HARDI sprayer to anyone, we ourselves will not be changing that much is for sure, if it’s not broke don’t fix it”.