Sarie Weaving provides an overview on the latest machinery updates and some news from the team as spring drilling gets into full swing.
Facility Renovations, Tours and Demo Days
It’s been a while since our last update in the Direct Driller and plenty has happened out and about with our machinery but even more so behind the scenes at the Weaving Machinery production facility. Through 2022 our facilities went through a large renovation, which included the installation of a large bespoke shotblasting system and two new paint spraying booths, with product quality optimisation the leading objective.
Both of these new installations require a great amount of energy and being conscious of spiralling energy bills and the need to source renewable alternatives, both production buildings have been laid with solar panels which should provide sufficient energy to cover our needs. On completion of the production facility upgrades, we were pleased to open our doors to a group of farmers brought together by Todd Jex at AGRII for a factory tour and a closer look at the machinery.
As a family-run company and British manufacturer, we are very proud to promote what we do and following very positive feedback from the day, we look forward to hosting more like minded groups in the future. Similarly, through the Autumn and early Spring, we have joined other manufacturers on direct drilling demonstration days with both our GD and Sabre Drills. We find these events hugely beneficial as it’s a real opportunity to interact with farmers across the country for collaborative learning and it provides us an opportunity to practice what we preach and really chew the cud over low disturbance farming methods.
One of these events was kindly hosted by Andrew Ward and we were really pleased with the outcome of the trials. The results really highlighted the ability, simplicity and value for money of our Sabre drill, which produced consistent seed placement in less-than-ideal condition
Many of you will have enjoyed the return of Clarkson’s Farm to our screens in February and will have seen the starring roles of both our Sabre Drill and our ShortDisc cultivator. To see our product on Amazon’s highest viewed original series was a proud moment to cherish for the Weaving family as well as our employees. Mr Clarkson’s Sabre Drill was first ordered in 2020 and delivered to farm in early 2021, so it has been a patient wait with fingers crossed to see whether it would be featured in the show and quite frankly we were humbled by the airtime it enjoyed. Simon commented that both Jeremy and Kaleb were easy to deal with and were like any other customer and we firmly believe that they have done a great job shining a spotlight on the rigours of farming life (…and planning bureaucracy!) to the masses.
Since the show aired, many viewers have asked after the health of our demo ShortDisc, and we are happy to report that despite a heavy bump, it has had some TLC from our welders and is now back in full working order.
New Machinery Releases and Updates
The scenes featuring the ShortDisc were filmed in 2021 and since that time, our ShortDisc has seen some revisions to its design. Namely a lighter packer frame and a shorter spacing from front to back which collectively bears a lighter load on the tractor, whilst retaining the machines strength and integrity.
A 4-metre model of the latest ShortDisc is currently available to view on demonstration and a little further into the year, this mounted machine will meet its trailed sibling, so stay tuned for the launch of the next addition to the Weaving cultivator range. In the meantime, the newest member of the range is the Energiser.
This has been introduced as a mid-field tool between the ShortDisc and the Stubble Rake. Similar in structure to the ShortDisc and featuring all the robust, practical components, the Energiser is a tined alternative. Its inception came about on reflection of the 2022 harvest where one of the key observations was the high levels of straw matter and trash left after harvest that needed to be evenly distributed and incorporated to create an optimal stale seedbed.
The Stubble Rake is another of our cultivators which has seen its first upgrade since its creation pre-2000. Retaining all the same principles of our original rake, it now sits on a stronger, tubular frame with 3-piece fold and self-locking pins. It is equipped with 250mm longer tines for a more shattering effect and like all our cultivators, there is the option to fit a Magnum Seeder for fast and economical sowing of grass seeds and cover crops straight into stubble.
Building on the success of the GD Disc Drill since its launch in 2015, the mounted model has been given its own upgrade. The grain only models now feature a plastic tank, the same used on our Sabre Drill for better weight distribution, longevity and through-flow of material. Like the Stubble Rake, the mounted GD has also been given a tubular frame which deters any material from sitting on the machine.
Both the mounted and trailed will now benefit from a new and unique coulter cylinder which replaces the hydraulic cylinder, this upgrade will allow a more responsive and consistent coulter pressure for even better speed placement.
Farming Equipment and Technology Fund
The RPA recently released its handbook of eligible items for the 2023 round of FETF and we were pleased to see the continued eligibility of both our tine and disc drills as well as the addition of funding towards Stubble Rakes, which will include our new Energiser. Furthermore, a new category item has been introduced for the Inter-Row Companion Crop Drill this year. We certainly see this drill as an important tool for not only establishing grass and cover crops between maize but also companion crops amongst cereals and farmers can greatly benefit from the funding on offer to modernise their existing machinery portfolio.
Export Ambitions and the Summer Ahead
Whilst the FETF has certainly incentivised a buoyant domestic market for manufacturers over the last few years, one of our focuses has been reigniting export trade since BREXIT. Our fundamental priority is finding overseas representatives who share the same values as Weaving Machinery towards low disturbance farming and our product range. Inevitably finding and developing these working relationships can be slow to evolve, but recently we have seen sales into new territories and look forward to carrying the brand further afield in years to come. Closer to home, we will continue to showcase our products around the UK and look forward to events ahead such as Glamorgan Royal Welsh Feature County Event, Cereals and Groundswell