Monday, 21 May 2012 13:53

Stephan van Leeuwen has been appointed sales manager for Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic by Hollandse Bandenmarkt International BV, suppliers of specialist tyres for farmers and contractors.
Stephan van Leeuwen, left, is congratulated by company founder Leen A van t Hof on becoming Hollandse Bandenmarkt sales manager for Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic.
Best know for their Bandenmarkt tyres designed to operate in extreme conditions this Dutch company has been successful in these markets for over 40 years. 
An economics graduate, Stephan van Leeuwen is a highly experienced member of the Bandenmarkt team having worked in the tyre industry for 22 years. 
Commenting Stephan noted that, “The popularity of telescopic handlers with farmers is dramatically increasing demand for Bandenmarkt Flotagrip-Radial+ and GSP+ tyres. Thanks to their radial aircraft tyre design they are very resistant to punctures thus giving a massive saving in down time. These radial tyres also make machines much more stable than light cross ply alternatives.”

Unique Dehorner Launched
Monday, 02 April 2012 21:23
A new ‘pistol grip’ dehorner from Express makes this chore simpler, safer and speedier to complete.
The first pistol grip dehorner from long established manufacturer Express is light, compact and designed for easy maintenance by farmers.
Hygienic dehorning takes less than 30 seconds per bud with 17mm and 20mm reversible tips ideal for cattle of varying ages and breeds. Two gas refills, full instructions and a replacement ignition trigger are supplied with the Express pistol grip dehorner. 
 Each gas refill dehorns around 90 calves and a built in Piezo ignition system makes this essential tool simple to operate.

Safe to use in wet weather the robust, cordless dehorner has a safety locking device and no visible flame. Very competitively priced the Express ‘pistol grip’ dehorner is stocked by agricultural merchants nationwide.
 For details contact UK distributor Agrihealth Ltd, Freephone 0800 731 2490

Bekina wins Innovation Award
Monday, 02 April 2012 19:43

STEPLITE X wellington boots launched last winter by Bekina have just won an award at the prestigious ‘2011 Preventica Health and Safety at Work Exhibition’ in Rennes, France.



Each year during this international trade show awards are made by a panel of judges for initiatives that reduce risk of injury at work.


 The Bekina Steplite X award was made in the Personal Protective Equipment category as these boots are designed to improve working conditions for farmers.


 A delighted Brecht Debruyne, UK and ROI sales manager at Bekina, said that this Steplite X show success at Preventica comes after first year sales far exceeded expectations.


 “The boot is designed with comfort and safety to the fore with the entire sole in contact with the ground as the front does not curve up. Equally important the thick sole and heel reduces pressure on the foot when walking over uneven ground, jumping on and off tractors or climbing over gates.


 “Wider fitting Bekina Steplite X wellies feature a shock absorbing zone in the heel and come with free, shock and moisture absorbing, insulated insoles. These award winning wellies also have an enhanced slip resistant profile and resistance to oil, fat and farmyard manures.”


  Brecht adding that the farmers’ favourite PU wellington boot, the Bekina Steplite X, is available with or without steel toecap and steel sole.


 For further details visit website or contact Agrihealth on LoCall 1890 200 the ROI, freephone Agrihealth 0800 731 2490 in the UK.



Bekina, a family owned Belgian firm, has dramatically increased production capacity as demand for Steplite X boots launched last winter on the Irish market has far exceeded expectations.

THE marketing team from wholesaler Agrihealth of Monaghan visiting the Bekina wellington boot factory in Belgium, from left, Martin McKenna, Agrihealth, Brecht Debruyne, Bekina Ireland sales manger, Georges Vanderbeke, managing director Bekina, Sean Guinan, sales director Agrihealth, Noel Conway, Hilda Justin, John Doyle and James Murphy, managing director Agrihealth.

 During their visit to the factory the Agrihealth team developed their product awareness and gained an insight into the technology behind the design, manufacture and despatch of both Steplite X and Thermolite boots.

 Then followed an opportunity at meetings in the university city of Ghent to discuss market development plans for the coming autumn and winter.



FARMERS nationwide are taking the weight off their weary feed by switching to Steplite X wellies from the Xperts in farm boots, Bekina.


 Manufactured from polyurethane, PU, these longer lasting, moderately priced boots are 40% lighter than traditional rubber wellies so at every step a pound less weight is carried!


.  For a farmer walking five miles around stock on a winter’s day this means 20,000 fewer pounds lifted and laid so a lot less effort is expended. Effort saved when every ounce of energy is needed during busy winter weeks calving cows and lambing sheep.


 Not only are PU boots extremely light, but with 20 years experience in using this foot friendly material Bekina design wellies with safety and comfort in mind that last and last.


 Above all, foundering feet become a folk memory when wellington boots from Bekina are worn as PU contains trapped micro-air bubbles to keep the foot warm in winter, cool in summer. 


Indeed Bekina Steplite X wellingtons keep farm feet warm in temperatures as cold as minus 20C.



ROYAL Welsh Show 2011 was another record breaker for farm suppliers Ivor and Sue James, who have had a successful stand at Britain’s largest agricultural event for 15 years.


Opening up for another hectic day at the Royal Welsh, Sue and Ivor James, right, with Herefordshire based Robert Houlbrooke of Agrihealth.

Operating since 1984 from their family farm between Builth Wells and Llandrindrod Wells in Powys as I D & S B James Country Supplies Ltd they attend major farming events across Wales and England.


 “Like our customers we must keep changing to meet market demand, be that up grading the website, which generates most of our orders, or, as happened last year, introducing wellies that keep feet warm down to minus 20C,” Ivor explained.

 “These extra comfortable Bekina Steplite X boots are moulded from 40% lighter Polyurethane, a foamed material containing trapped air bubbles to provide insulation thus keeping farm feet warm in winter, yet cool in summer.” 


 Responding rapidly to rural residents needs is clearly the secret of Ivor and Sue’s success with their own James Sheep Dressing Table now proving very popular.

 Designed by Ivor it takes the back ache out of preparing sheep for shows by raising the securely haltered animal to an ideal height. 

 Built to last the James Sheep Dressing Table retailing at £485 comes with a winch and braking system to reduce the risk of injury to either owner or animal.

 For further details visit or tel; 01982 570200. 




BRITISH VETS, like UK farmers, are switching to the Bekina Steplite X wellington boots launched last year claims Paul Redmond of distributor Agrihealth.

 “Farmers wear wellies for long hours so Bekina Steplite Xs from Belgium quickly became the top selling polyurethane boots in the British Isles.  40% lighter than traditional rubber or PVC boots they last three times longer and are wide fitting for extra comfort. Slip resistant and thermo-insulated these boots are a real comfort zone for farm feet come winter or summer.

British vets are switching to Bekina Steplite X boots from Belgium for extra comfort, wear and convenience reports Paul Redmond at Agrihealth.

 “Vets however have extra reasons for buying Bekina wellingtons. Not only do large animal vets wear boots a lot, but they also take them on and off many times a day.

 “The Steplite X is designed to ensure pulling boots on and off is simpler with the sloping tops making it easier to tuck in trousers. I also find the self cleaning soles a big plus points with vets.”


For details of stockists contact Agrihealth freephone 0800 269 180 or visit website




OUR damp, mild climate means farmers in Wales wear wellies for more days every year than country folk almost anywhere else in Europe.


  Now those tired farm feet are in for a treat with the launch by Bekina of their latest Steplite X wellington boots. Manufactured from comfortable polyurethane these are 40% lighter than rubber or PVC boots.


  Being manufactured using polyurethane also means Bekina Steplite X wellies typically last three times longer than PVC or rubber wellingtons.  Just as important, the light as a feather air-foamed structure of the Steplite X has proven thermo-insulating properties that keep feet warm in winter yet cool when summer arrives!


 With a wider fitting for extra comfort Bekina Steplite X wellies also feature a shock absorbing zone in the heel and are supplied with free shock and moisture absorbing, insulated insoles. These cost effective, new generation wellie boots have an enhanced slip resistant profile and resistance to oil, fat and farmyard manures.


 With the emphasis on comfort and durability the Steplite X design includes a self-cleaning sole profile plus a heel spur to make wellie removal easier. 


  Good news for farmers’ feet the new Bekina Steplite X wellington boot is already available nationwide from agricultural merchants. 




ELECTION time from Cork to Craigavon and politicians island-wide seek the popular boot, the Bekina Steplite X.


 Or so it seems from these photos showing Fianna Fail leader Michael Martin canvassing for the farm vote as the Republic goes to the polls.


250 miles north farmer’s wife and District Councillor Jo-Anne Dobson is equally impressed with that fast selling boot, the Bekina Steplite X. 


  Ulster Unionist Jo-Anne is on the road to becoming an Upper Bann MLA at the May 5 elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly.

 If Michael or Jo-Anne prove as popular with country folk as Bekina wellies then their seats are safe!


 Launched a year past Bekina Steplite X boots are a treat for feet during 18-hour days lambing sheep or canvassing up Armagh lanes and down Cork boreens.


 Manufactured in Flanders from polyurethane Bekina Steplite X wellies are 40% lighter than rubber or PVC boots and typically last three times longer.  


They also feature a shock-absorbing zone in the heel and free insulated insoles.  Bekina agents Agrihealth adding that these keenly priced farm wellingtons have an enhanced slip resistant profile and resistance to manures.


 Ideal for politicians trying not to slip up at the hustings! 


A Titanic Touch
Monday, 02 April 2012 17:00
Rodney Magowan, centre, chairman of the Guild of Agricultural Journalists, takes a seat with Declan Billington and Garth Boyd, vice president and president of the NI Grain Trade Association, at a 'day table' originally made for the captain of the Titanic. Picture: Cliff Donaldson
A Titanic touch at a Northern Ireland Guild of Agricultural Journalists meeting in Belfast Harbour Commissioners office hosted by the province’s Grain Trade Association. 
Guild chairman Rodney Magowan, centre, takes a seat with Declan Billington, left, and Gareth Boyd of the Grain Trade Association at the day table made for the cabin of Captain Edward Smith on RMS Titanic!
  On April 2, 1912 when Titanic left Belfast’s Harland and Wolff shipyard for Southampton the table and chairs were not quite ready so were forwarded by cargo vessel a few days later.
 However, they were not loaded when Titanic left the Solent on April 10 and were placed in storage by the White Star Line marked ‘Hold for return of Titanic.’
 60 years later the Titanic table and chairs were found and retuned to Belfast to be displayed in the Harbour Commissioners office built in 1854 across the River Lagan from what was once the world’s largest shipyard and birthplace of Titanic. 
Belgian Blue International Congress
Monday, 02 April 2012 15:11
 MAKING decent money from farming and reducing your farm’s carbon footprint are aims with a common answer, greater efficiency, according to Duncan Pullar, R & D manager at the Agricultural & Horticultural Development Board.
 Addressing the Belgian Blue International Congress in Wales the advisor to Whitehall decision takers examined those seemingly mixed messages from governments demanding a reduction in the carbon footprint of cattle whilst also urging farmers to meet a rising demand for beef.
 “With the rapidly increasing human population, many of them with an improving standard of living and wanting to enjoy a more affluent western style diet, farming efficiency will have to keep on improving to meet demand for ever more food.
 “At the same time both London and Brussels are asking herd owners to reduce their stock’s carbon foot print.
 “Tremendous progress has already been made on this front and the really good news is that making a profit, producing enough food to feed us all and remaining inside carbon foot print targets all comes down to the same solution. Doing the job more efficiently, for example by ensuring suckler cows calve down at 24 months instead of 30.
 “There is currently an eight fold difference in the carbon cost of producing a kilo of beef between the best farm businesses and the weakest. Bringing the bottom quartile up nearer the average will help meet carbon targets, protect profits and get more beef onto an expanding global market.”
 Continuing Duncan Pullar said breeds such as the British Blue with their proven efficiency had an important role to play in making the beef industry more efficient and thus more environmentally friendly.
 He also explained how good R & D work could prove to the powers that be that cattle have a positive part to play in enhancing our environment, for example by grazing uplands to protect biodiversity.
Delegates to the Belgian Blue International congress at the Royal Welsh Show 2011
DANISH delegates, who attended the 2011 Belgian Blue International, BBI, Congress in the UK, expressed delight, reports Rodney Magowan, at the quality of British Blue stock, especially as regards height, length, locomotion and ease of calving.
  Delight that quickly developed into firm orders being placed for both semen straws and embryos with leading British Blue breeders.
 Mogens Stendal from Bryrup in central Denmark explained that the Danish Belgian Blue pedigree population is small, but demand for bulls, semen and embryos is rising rapidly.
 “In this past year usage of Belgian Blue semen by Danish farmers rose by 51% with almost 20% of total beef inseminations now ‘Blue’ and suckler herd owners seeking ever more Blues as stock bulls.
 “Clearly our breed society policy of emphasising what we call the ‘X factor,’ that is selecting sires with documented high indices for birth and calving as well as proven high feed efficiency, has paid off. 
 “Aside from this growing home market demand for our Belgian Blue genetics sales are strong into Germany and Switzerland with former communist nations further east likewise turning to us seeking beef sires that add value to calves.”
 However, Mogens also revealed that Danish breeders urgently need more high quality pedigree Blues. This is because the national pedigree herd is so small, barely 500 pedigree animals, that over 95% of Belgian Blue semen used on Danish dairy cows currently comes from just one bull, the May 2002 born Tornado, who has the world’s highest documented breeding value for calving ease.
Eigil Finn Pedersen, owner of Tornado, was the Danish delegate most actively seeking British Blue genetics during the BBI Congress herd visits and two days at the Royal Welsh Show. Running half the pedigree Belgian Blues in the Kingdom of Denmark Eigil, with his wife and son, owns 57ha with another 100ha rented on the urban fringe of Randers, population 60,500.
 “We grow 60ha of cereals with most of the remaining land supporting our Belgian Blue pedigree cows, calves and followers plus some crossbreds. There is also a flock of 100 Shropshire sheep used to graze commercial woodlands. Quite a profitable sideline as their lambs fetch £300 a piece and this breed is of course noted for not damaging trees.
 “The very first Belgian Blue herd in Denmark, established during 1972 at Friejsenborg Estate, was sold in 1989 and provided the foundation stock for our Fruerlund prefix,” Eigil added. 
 “Now we are buying British Blue genetics as stock in the UK have been successfully selected for easy calving, length and height without loosing that wonderful ‘Blue’ ability on crossing with dairy or suckler animals to sire a true beef calf”.
  Within two weeks of the BBI conference in Wales the Danish Belgian Blue Cattle Society had placed orders for 3000 straws of British Blue semen: 1000 straws of Twyning Ash Armstrong, a proven bull from the Carter family’s Twyning Ash Herd at Dursley, Gloucestershire, a 1000 straws of the black and white proven bull Bringlee Carlos and another 1000 straws from a young, black bull, both owned by Adam Neachell & Son of the Cromwell Herd, Staffordshire.
 At the same time it seems that leading Danish breeder Eigil Pedersen has negotiated a contra deal whereby Tornado semen is swopped for semen from Bringlee Campbell in the famous Bringlee British Blue Herd of Graham Brindley at Adderley, Shropshire. Eigil Pedersen has also bought three embryos from the Cromwell Herd with plans afoot to purchase another 10 to 12 embryos.
 Following the BBI event during Royal Welsh Show week orders have likewise been placed for British Blue semen by American breeders and further acquisitions are under negotiation from several nations.
 Delegates attending came from Belgium, Denmark, the USA, Canada, the Irish and Czech Republics, Hungary, Spain and Brazil.

“Having taken part in the foundation of BBI, Belgian Blue International, 25 years ago as the association of Blue breed societies I was delighted to see the huge, positive influence our breed now has on British beef production,” Mogens Stendal, Denmark. 
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