Irrigation reel replaced after 25-year use

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CENTRAL Scotland grower Lindsay Ashworth has just replaced the Bauer irrigation reel he has used for the past 25 years, having bought it in 1996.

“Apart from replacing a turbine seal and a bearing, the old reel hasn’t been touched,” said Mr Ashworth. “We’re still using the Bauer pipes and couplings we bought at the same time – some of them second-hand – and have never had a burst, so over the long term it’s been a very low-cost system.”

The tenanted farm at Abercrombie near Anstruther, which Lindsay and Marjory Ashworth run with their daughters Jane, Anne and Emma, grows maincrop potatoes as well as spring and winter malting barley, high erucic acid oilseed rape and winter feed wheat.

Irrigating three or four times a year is a routine operation for the 50 acres of potatoes.

With the long-serving irrigation reel having been traded in, this work was handled by a new Bauer E31 100/480 irrigator supplied by Reekie’s Cupar branch.

“Everyone who’s seen it comments on how strong and well-built it looks, so I’m confident this one will also last 25 years or more,” said Lindsay.

“The old reel is purely mechanical, of course, and I was a bit sceptical about the electronic control system on the new one but I’m now convinced; it’s very clear and simple to set up and to make adjustments.”

Marjory Ashworth added: “The text notifications we get from the controller have been a real time-saver; being able to ‘ask’ the machine how long it will take before finishing a run is really helpful because you can then decide whether there’s time to get another job done before heading out to the field.”

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