Groundswell founder selects sieve cleaner for farm intercropping

  • Groundswell founder selects JK Machinery’s vibrating sieve cleaner from McArthur Agriculture to upgrade crop separation and cleaning capability

Having first seen JK Machinery’s JCM VibroMAX 10133 vibrating sieve cleaner at Groundswell last year the event’s founder, John Cherry, recognised that it would prove an essential piece of machinery as he increases intercropping as part of the regenerative and agroecological farming practices at Lannock Manor Farm.

“After discussions with McArthur Agriculture, I took the decision to invest in a VibroMAX,” explained Mr Cherry. “We had previously been using an old two-sieve pre-cleaner to separate crops but we often had to put crops through it twice, and one of the crops would still not be as clean as we wanted,” explained Cherry.

“Mono-culture does not happen in nature and so we are planning to increase intercropping into our crop rotations, to help improve soil health by increasing water and nutrient utilisation, driving up pest and disease resistance and weed suppression.

“But with larger amounts of crops to separate it was clear that we needed to upgrade our cleaning and grading capabilities so that we could add value to harvested crops on-farm.”

The JCM VibroMAX 10133 is a triple decked machine equipped with three vibrating sieves which clean and separate crops to a high standard in a single pass, each crop being aspirated individually, via twin aspirators, to ensure the best results.

The performance of the JCM 10133 range of cleaning and grading equipment can be controlled through the changing of sieves and adjustment of several process variables, including machine angle and vibration frequency.

Mr Cherry has been experimenting with intercropping for around eight years mainly growing peas and rape as both were relatively easy to separate and clean using the old pre-cleaner. He is looking to grow wheat and beans, OSR and peas and peas and beans and would like to get to a stage where each field contains two or more, combinable or non-combinable crops.

“A lot of farmers are looking at intercropping trials, which can add complexity to crop rotation. However, it does allow savings to be made on inputs and the combination of potentially smaller yields of both crops can deliver a larger yield than if just one crop had been grown,” continued Mr Cherry.

The Cherry family have farmed for 31 years, converting to a no-till system in 2010. “We started Groundswell seven years ago out of frustration that no-one was putting on a summer show that we wanted to attend,” said Cherry. “Its popularity goes from strength to strength and in 2022 we welcomed over 5,500 delegates.”

Groundswell’s growth reflects the snowballing of interest in regenerative agriculture, not only from farmers but also from policy makers attracted by the ‘public benefits’ of such systems, which include carbon sequestration and flood/drought prevention.

“Intercropping is the future as it becomes an integral part of regenerative farming. McArthur Agriculture, with its range of cleaning and grading equipment, can help farmers to make the transition to intercropping by providing the cleaning and grading machines to separate different crops quickly and easily, increasing their value post-harvest,” concluded Mr Cherry.

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