Panels help hold feed quality

South Canterbury's Thompson Precast Ltd is offering farmers a practical storage solution to help maintain quality and consistency of stock feed.

The company's concrete Y Panels are used in silage pits as well as grain and fertiliser stores to separate products protecting from contamination.

Thompson Precast Ltd Director Michelle Thompson says changes in agricultural processes means the old soil lined silage pits contaminate feed and cause a loss of quality, particularly prudent with increasing feed costs and more intensive farming styles coming into practice.

“Since the advent of wintering barns and increase number of dairy conversions, we have seen a need in the agriculture industry to protect feed quality as much as possible,” she says. “With rising demand for feed putting pressure on prices, the farmer needs to maximise the return he gets from his supplementary feed including that grown on-farm. This has led to the development of our Y Panels with input from a structural engineer (IPENZ). Benefits of use include maintaining feed quality and consistency, and prevention of water damage and ground contamination to retain the energy (ME) in the feed so the farmer can retain this for the cows.”

Alongside retaining feed quality, consistency is just as important and can be maintained by lining the silage pit with concrete Y Panels and further enhanced with a concrete floor.

"When farmers are mising feeds, the resulting feed needs to be consistent from day to day," Thompson says. "Contamination is an issue especially with mixer wagons. If rocks and stones get in the mixer wagon they can damage the machine, a critical piece of machinery used daily. 

Thompson Y Panels are completely self-supporting. This makes them cost effective and easy to install with no special foundations required.

"You ca take it off the truck, drop it in the ground, lime them up, and start filling," Thompson says. "We've had farmers install our Y Panels themselves."

Reinforced with high-tensile steel, Y Panels can be used to store light to high density materials, from potatoes to grain and even fertililser when used internally as a divider in an exisiting building. 

The Y shape is self cleaning as it prevents product from clinging to the sides of the panels, and they can be relocated as product storage requirements change. 

With the backing of the Thompson Group, with its construction, engineering, and precast divisions, if the project requires larger panels, the company groupd can work with its clients to design and build a precast concrete solution. 

Van Leeuwen Dairy Group's new silage pit (stage one completed) uses precast panels and concrete floor, with steps for access between. The gap between the pits in this instance, gives a storage area for tyres used to hold the silage covers in place. Van Leeuwen Dairy Group has also installed Y Panels on an existing concrete pad to store maize and maximise use of the area.

With 400sqm of heated table space in Thompson Precast's Timaru manufacturing plant, a high quality finish and a quick turn-around is provided every time by using steel casting beds for precast panels.

Thompson Groupd has become an industry leader in its 35 years in business, and continues to expand with an increasing demand for its products and services, and a strong customer base from Mid Canterbury to North Otago. As the company's capacity increases, so does its ability to take on projects outside of the region, especially in Christchurch where demand is growing rapidly.

Thompson Group specialises in the design and construction of all types of buildings, with the design team working with clients to create purpose designed buildings optimised for their requirements.

Together, Thompson Construction and Engineering and Thompson Precast offers commercial, industrial and agricultural clients the whole package from initial design to certificate of completion.