Richard Langley owns and manages a 630-hectare property named ‘Homestead View’ situated 5km south of Greenethorpe, New South Wales. A mixed farming enterprise, 65% of the land is used to crop canola, lupins, grazing wheat, various what varieties and triticale, and the other 35% is for prime lamb production.
On-farm silos is the preferred method of storage of the triticale, and last season two new 210-tonne silos were installed to add to his existing silo storage.
“These silos are sealed, pressurised and gassed using a pill-box situated at the base of the silo,” explains Richard.
The pressurised silo system required a power source to operate the fans, so he looked at two options: electrical mains power (which was located a distance away) or solar power, which could utilise a nearby structure.
Five years ago, Richard invested in a Lorentz solar pump to replace an ageing diesel pump on a water bore. The dealer, Neil McMillan from Forbes, NSW – also a close friend of Richard’s – installed the pump, which he reports has been 100% successful.
When assessing the costs and efficiencies for electricity and solar for the silo fan, Richard decided to consult Neil with the idea. He’d discovered the cost of solar installation was slightly less than electricity – however the key seller was it had no ongoing power charges.
“With Neil’s knowledge and expertise, we could ensure Lorentz motors could use solar energy as an alternative power source for the silos,” reflects Richard.
“We believe that what we’ve done is the first of its kind. Our silo manufacturer, who we consulted along the way, says there are lots of people wanting to do it – but don’t know how.
“That was the game changer for me with Lorentz solar pumps.”
The pill box feature of the silos can be pressurised and the silo gassed with Foxtoxine tablets – this ensures Weevil free grain is transported to dairy farms throughout the year.
“The solar system runs the silo fans and the pill-box system successfully from daylight to dark with no running costs or expenses – this means there are zero emissions for treating grain.”
As 2008 NSW Conservation Farmer of the Year, Richard has been very active over the years in natural resources management. This solar pumping solution compliments this ethos and will work effectively and into the future of sustainable farming.
Richard says the dairy farms who purchase the triticale test the grain for residue, and since implemented the new system they’ve reported nil residue.
“The combination of using solar power and the Lorentz pump together has created a sustainable, effective, efficient process for storing and treating grain,” he says.
“Zero emissions, no running costs and nil residue are the three functions I was aiming to achieve, and this system has enabled to do that.”
He also says the cost of labour has decreased since moving away from diesel.
“We don’t have to go out and start and stop anymore generators now that we have solar that runs by itself without any issues. When livestock want water, they have it.”
What was Richard’s experience with Lorentz Australia dealer, Neil McMillan?
“Neil’s expertise and knowledge is extremely valuable and unsurpassed, because there’s not a lot of people who have the knowledge he has,” says Richard.
“He always starts from scratch, so the job is quality from the get-go. If anything were to go wrong, he would be back in no time to fix it – no questions asked. That’s where Neil shines, his follow-up service.
“In saying that, he always does an incredible job so that he doesn’t need to come back and fix anything!”
Lorentz Australia is here to provide solar pumping solutions for farms large and small. Contact us today for a free quote.