Stephen Edgley and his son Luke are the second and third generation of the Edgley family to run their farm at Chatteris in Cambridgeshire, farming around 320 acres of potatoes, and wheat, sugar beet and canary seed in rotation.
Already the owner of an Agrimech twin-head Gemini weigher, Stephen has recently invested in a stitcher and bag placer, and said the impact on his business, efficiency and likely profitability were instant and impressive.
“The Gemini was a prototype, but it’s gone really well. Agrimech is a local company and have supplied excellent support services, so when we were looking to add more machinery, it was the natural thing to do to go back to them,” he said.
“This year COVID-19 has meant we’ve had real problems sourcing labour, so going fully automated with the stitcher and bag placer have helped us get around that issue, and not only that, but by cutting out the labour issue, when I get orders in now, automation means I can react instantly and turn things around straight away.
“The stitcher and bag placer equipment has really helped us deal with the labour challenge, as we’ve gone from needing three or four people to just two. I’m saving more money on labour than I’m paying for the machine, so my profitability will be better, and I can react to demand as and when it happens. It’s future proof.
“We’ve only used it a handful of times so far, but our output is probably up by about 20 percent, and I’m extremely happy with the machinery, because it’s such good quality.”
And as for any future plans, they would be very likely to involve Agrimech as well. “If ever there’s an issue, which is hardly ever, they’re great company to deal with and I feel very safe in their hands – their back-up is second to none,” he said.
“We’ll definitely go back to Agrimech in the future, if we need anything more, and my advice to anyone else who’s thinking about making an investment is to speak to them first."
We’ve only used it a handful of times so far, but our output is probably up by about 20 percent, and I’m extremely happy with the machinery, because it’s such good qualityStephen Edgley