REPORT: Utilising modern tyre technology is allowing Mark Fulton to minimise compaction on his Northern Ireland farm, including an area of heavy land reclaimed from the sea. So, in reality, how much difference do the tyres make?

With soil types ranging from moss to heavy clay, some of which is reclaimed seabed, Mark Fulton has always had a keen interest in reducing compaction by using the latest tyre technology. As such, Mark was one of the early adopters of VF or very increased flexion tyres.

While the farm had a largely livestock focus with both cattle and sheep, this changed to an all-arable enterprise in 2009. However, the phrase of ‘all your eggs in one basket’ rang true for the farming business based in Dungiven, with plenty of rain in this area of Northern Ireland. Since then, there has been a switch back to a more mixed approach, though cropping still has the majority share.

“I’ve always had an interest in machinery, and we do pretty much all our own work,” explains Mark. “The only job that is always  left to a contractor is hedge cutting, although we’re not afraid to call in extra help if we need it … like this year when we hired in a contractor with a combine to help with the rapeseed while we sorted out a side knife issue on our machine.”

This penchant for machinery has resulted in a decent fleet of kit, although a shed fire a couple of years back has led to a certain amount of restructuring. For instance, the Lexion 660 was replaced with a New Holland CX7.80, and the fire also resulted in the arrival of new tractors, too. The Horsch 4AX sprayer was replaced with the same again.

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