Dedicated Husband and Wife Contracting Team Give Farmers Confidence
Nine years after taking the plunge and setting up a dedicated OMEX suspension fertiliser contracting business, Jason and Sarah Palmer continue to make a positive impact in South Lincolnshire and beyond.
First introduced to the contracting world by his father Keith in 1995, the family business has continued to grow and become more efficient. Since starting trading as J and S Palmer in 2010 the company based in Surfleet now applies suspension fertiliser to more than 8000 hectares of vegetables, potatoes, sugar beet and cereals. Keith applies an additional 2000 hectares of suspension fertiliser to sugar beet, potatoes and vegetables.
A decision to upgrade from 24m to 36m boom widths has had a significant impact on the demand for OMEX suspension fertiliser. The latest addition to the sprayer machinery portfolio is a Chafer Sentry 5000 litre pulled by a Claas Axion 810. The business also runs a self propelled 36m Lite-Trac and keeps a 24m Chafer trailed as back up.
“Since we started our own business, farming has become much more concentrated with bigger farms who want their fertiliser quicker,” says Jason. “OMEX has made improvements to keep pace with the changing working environment, which gives us the confidence for the future.”
When under pressure Jason appreciates the technological advancements to his new kit. Autosteer, GPS and section control plus a wider boom with higher capacity and high pressure Hypro pump has definitely helped the job along.
“We now have the capacity to apply much higher rates of product,” he says. “All the ordering is also now done on a tablet which has cut down massively on paperwork.
“OMEX is looking to implement further improvements with its electronic mapping service. This will give pinpoint accurate positioning of where I am actually in a field and also give me directions to the fields I need to spray. It’s a field referencing system that virtually negates the risk of applying fertiliser to the wrong field and it also gets away from being given poor directions, especially where unfamiliar land is being sprayed.”
Farming in his own right too, Jason knows how important it is to turn up on time and to turn up when he says he is going to, this attitude has helped him to pick up new accounts in the area.
“Growers are becoming more receptive to employing contractor services. This is because of pressure on time and management availability on farm,” he says. “We are able to provide a bespoke next day service backed up by a first class delivery service from OMEX Bardney and Kings Lynn.”
“The relationship that we have with our customers is crucial. We have to gain their confidence and so good communication is key. We can’t afford to let our customers down because time is money and so by being efficient we will gain their trust and hopefully this will lead to more business in the future.
“In the nine years I’ve been a contractor the key is to always maintain a sense of humour,” Jason says. “Working together to get the job done properly is our objective. The weather isn’t always kind to us, but we are always at the end of the telephone and happy to discuss any issue.”