How We Farm

Nolan Farms are Agri Business Specialists who offer skills & expertise in a wide variety of farming practices.

Farming Technology

As a progressive thinking business we utilise the best technology available; whether it is equipment enhancements, high levels of GPS accuracy, new innovations or a new farming method.

Over the years Precision Farming within our business has grown and developed; now including auto section control, variable rate application of lime, fertiliser, seed and sprays.  We can therefore target inputs as required.

  • Machinery technology has also progressed in this time bringing greater power and fuel efficiencies. Computer systems and intelligence have become common on many machines, with touch screen controls and automated set ups.
  • Telematics and performance monitors have improved data transfer from machine to office so we can calculate and improve efficiencies even more.
  • We can now offer yield mapping on all harvested crops,which provide informative yield maps & show where crops have preformed & also these maps can then be used for future production strategy’s

Precision Farming

We have been using auto-steering system for nearly 10 years. The auto-steering systems have increased our productivity in the fields by making sure that the full width of machines (+/- 5cm reliably) are consistently achieved whether day or night.

This reduces fuel consumption, and excessive wear on machines and operators. The operators are able to do their jobs more effectively and efficiently whilst making sure that it is done with the attention to detail expected.

  • The CLAAS Lexion combine uses a built in guidance system for Auto-steering up and down the field which allow for working widths to be equally planned across the fields; increasing productivity even further,it also turns on headlands fully automated
  • Our Horsch Leeb Sprayer has auto section shut off for precise spray application is fully GPS guided & controlled allowing savings in the region of 6-8% annually
  • Our Amazone trailed fertilizer spreader is also fully GPS guided & GPS controlled allowing savings in the region of 6-8% annually
  • The John Deere tractors are set up to use th Yara N-Sensor for variably applying nitrogen.
  • The Greenstar system with Starfire 2 correction provides auto steering and reliable DGPS positioning.
  • The Fendt tractor has RTK Auto steering fitted for maximum productivity

What We Grow

The cropping focuses on Winter Cropping & Spring Cropping.

Winter cropping involves Oil Seed Rape,Barley,Wheat & Oats.

Spring Cropping includes Beans,Barley,Oats & Oil Seed Rape.

Rotations used are kept simple, but are always managed and developed so that whilst delivering high returns they are also sustainable long term. All cereals are grown under IGAS Quality Crops assurance scheme.

  • The Oil Seed Rape and either Winter or Spring Beans are both established With a Vaderstad strip till drill system direct into stubble when conditions are perfect.
  • This machine has the ability to place fertilizer in the seedbed also.
  • We will plough & press the land for oil seed rape & beans if there is compaction or if it’s the best option for the soil in that cropping year.
  • We have been operating four metre Knockerling eco tilling cultivator for the last ten years which builds soil fertility and overall health. This is a high output machine & it provides a quality finish. This is vital to our farming approach.
  • We also operate two high output LEMKEN ploughs an eight furrow & a 5 furrow reversible these provide a good system of burying trash and take care of any compaction issues offering a very reliable method of crop establishment.
  • We have a four metre trailed Amazone cirrus drill for sowing which is a quality machine that does a great job sowing all the various crops.
  • All cover crops are sown direct with the Vaderstad strip till drill system direct into stubble at harvest time.

Environment

We pride ourselves on making sure that farming agreements are put together in such a way as to ensure that environmental benefits are delivered, while at the same time minimising the impact on efficiency of operations.

The Nolan Farming approach considers the environmental and financial benefits for environmental schemes and also the practical implications, constraints and opportunity costs. This ensures that a sustainable and workable agreement is secured, providing mutual benefits for the environment and the landowner alike without disrupting the efficient farming of the farm.

Whilst we strive to make the farming business a profitable and sustained as possible we are also focused on ensuring this is done with an environmental aspect.  We also manage all aspects of hedge cutting and drainage maintenance on land farm. We are fully signed up to GLAS environmental scheme.

Agronomy

We manage the cropping and crop husbandry ourselves taking advice and research from a number of institutions.  We use agronomists from local merchants along with some independents.

Specialist agronomic advice and research is used as the basis of our agronomic strategy. This gives us access to local trials based data of which to base the crop husbandry.

We are part of the Teagasc Better Farms Precision Tillage Programme. This provides us with huge database of information from all the tillage specialists in the Teagasc tillage team.

We attend all information days and events in relation to crop husbandry that are hosted by Teagasc, seed companies and crop chemical providers. This enables us to be on the cutting edge when it comes to developments in tillage farming.

Improving Soils

A healthy balanced soil is the foundation, necessary for healthy plants.

At Nolan Farming we understand that looking after our soils is particularly important in farming today. 

We understand that a farming system is driven by profit, not just production, and that it needs to maximises returns but also be sustainable long term. Hence in 2002 we began an ethos of biological farming. A biological farming system works with nature to develop a farm which is environmentally sound and which leaves the land, water and plants in a healthy, productive state for all future generations.

Objectives:

  • A safe and sustainable system designed to obtain optimum production
  • A common sense approach – focuses on ways to reduce input costs and to increases profits whilst improving soil conditions
  • Taking care of soil life – using tillage methods to enhance soil organisms
  • For Soils: Get the soil alive with earthworms other soil organisms, and balance soil minerals
  • For Crops: Produce strong and healthy crops, full of nutrients capable of high yield
  • Using Biofert/Biocake, Hen & Turkey Manure on farms to increase the organic levels of the soils 

Nutrient Management & Sampling

We currently soil sample every 4-5 years so as to understand what we have in the soil in each field. This means we can plan all inputs to achieve maximum crop output.

In 2016 we will take a new path when we plan to introduce the use of new SOYL and GPS technologies. These technologies will push us on further into being a fully GPS percison based farming operation, which will increase profits year on year.

We will use SOYL for Precision Nutrient Management and GPS technology to accurately map soil nutrient variation across the fields. This provides us with GPS sampling, analysis and mapping to create detailed soil nutrient information to make informed management decisions.

By accurately identifying variations in phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and pH levels this allows us to:

  • Reduce fertiliser and/or lime expenditure
  • Improve yield where nutrients or acidity are limiting factors
  • Provide a nutrient management plan to forward plan for budgeting
  • Reduce environmental impact by eliminating application to areas with high nutrient status

soil maps