Livestock farmers on the Orkney and Shetland Islands will be able to access the benefits of the Spread–a-Bale machine following the appointment of J & W Tait Ltd as dealers for the islands.

Taits, founded in 1870 and now under the fifth generation of family management, is a ‘full service’ agricultural merchants, based on the Hatston Industrial Estate, Kirkwall.

The company sells fertiliser, crop protection chemicals, seeds, and other agricultural supplies, as well as having a major machinery division selling major brands like Case, Claas, Kverneland and Marshall Trailers.

It previously sold the Spread-a-Bale in the years shortly after it was launched. Peter Tait is delighted the company is rejoining the network and has already secured the first sale of the new galvanised models launched last autumn: 

“The most important factors for our farmers is that it enables them to bed down livestock without having to move the animals out of the pen, which you cannot normally do with the various bale shredders available.

“The Spread-a-Bale also uses a very gentle straw spreading action, which avoids the health and welfare risks of shooting stones and other objects at the livestock”.

Tom Robinson from Thos-Storey Fabrications, which manufactures the machine, says the machine’s potential to reduce straw usage should also appeal to the islands’ farmers:

“The machine spreads straw very evenly without chopping or shredding it, so it makes a longer-lasting, more healthy bed. That could help reduce straw use significantly, which would be a major benefit to the islands’ farmers.

“Our new machines have a galvanised finish that means they are fully protected against all the corrosion problems they are likely to encounter on farms and should provide users with a long, trouble-free working life”.