24 September 2020 - Page 38

NOVEMBER 09 2017
MILES for the FarmWeek
photographer from sisters
seven-year-old Linda Bingham
and four-year-old Sally. They
are the daughters of Mr and Mrs
Stanley Bingham, Ballymacareney,
Ballyward, near Castlewellan.
ORE than 20 years ago,
65-year-old Mr Thomas
Copes, of Shanaghan,
Closkelt, near Banbridge,
bought a side delivery reaper
from a neighbouring farmer for
£6 – and he has been using it
ever since.
The machine, of McCormick
manufacture, was brought into
this country from the United
States and Mr Copes believes it
to be the only one of its type on
Northern Ireland, certainly the
only one still in working order
and in such good condition.
“I have used it to cut my entire
corn crop every year since
I bought it,” Mr Copes told
FarmWeek, “and at a cost price
of only £6 it has proved a real
The reaper is fitted with a fivefoot long cutting bar, behind
which is a wooden “bed”. The
corn which has been cut falls
back on to the “bed” and is at
intervals swept off on to the
ground by one of four rotating
tilting forks.
Originally designed to be
drawn by horse, the reaper
has a driver’s seat fitted over
the main driving wheel to
aid traction. In recent years,
LEFT: Mr Thomas
Copes with the
McCormick reaper
which he believes to be
the only one of its kind
in Northern Ireland.
however, Mr Copes carried out
modifications on the machine
for tractor work and has found,
through experience, that weight
equivalent to that of a driver
is essential if the machine is to
function properly.
“Despite the fact that the
reaper was primarily intended
for horse work it has not
shown any visible
signs of wear and
tear – a tribute to
the workmanship
which went into
it,” said Mr Copes.
“It is a wonderful
implement which
has given me 20
years of troublefree service. It has
certainly paid its
The first corn
reaping machine –
the original forerunner of Mr
Cope’s reaper – was invented
by Cyrus Hall McCormick in
America in 1831. McCormick’s
invention was slow, clumsy and
far from perfect and it was only
after long years of research that
the model owned by Mr Copes
was marketed.
ORTHERN Ireland is “at
risk” from the frightening
build-up of foot-andmouth disease in Britain
and the Ulster Ministry
of Agriculture is taking all possible
precautions to prevent its entry
This was stated at a Press
conference last week by Mr Edwin
Conn, chief veterinary officer of
the Ministry, who appealed for the
fullest co-operation by farmers
and all others connected with the
livestock industry in safeguarding
the disease-free reputation of the
Mr Conn said that there were now
widespread outbreaks of foot-andmouth disease across the water
and 18 counties in the North and
Midlands were under restriction
orders. There was no knowing
how many more outbreaks there
might be because the disease had
been found in a cattle market and
there would have to be a wide
investigation to trace the animals
which had passed through it.
Explaining that foot-and-mouth
was caused by a very virulent virus
which attacked cattle, pigs and
sheep, Mr Conn said that there was
an incubation period of from one to
21 days.
The symptoms were a drop in
milk production; a dull listless
animal; profuse salivation from the
mouth in the form of stringy saliva;
smacking of the lips due to blisters
which had formed in the mouth,
gums and lips.
OP price of the day, 67 guineas, was made
by the reserve champion at last week’s first
show and sale of Welsh pigs organised by
the Northern Ireland Welsh Pig Association at the
Downshire Farm of John Thompson and Sons Ltd,
at Ballygrainey, Bangor.
The reserve champion, Goldbridge Lucky Girl,
an in-pig gilt shown by Mr W J Thompson, of The
Bridge, Magherascouse, Comber, was knocked
down to a final bid of 67 guineas from Mr W Scott,
of Ballymacash Road, Lisburn.
Second highest price of the sale was 58 guineas,
paid by Mr J Dilworth, of Dungannon, for
Hillmount Victor 2nd, a commended boar shown
by Mr W J Stevenson, of Hillmount, Ballymenoch,
A third prizewinning boar, Caleon Victor,
from the herd of Messrs Marshall and Doupe, of
Guinness, Caledon, made 50 guineas. The buyers
were Isaac Andrews and Co Ltd.
Despite the heavy rain throughout the day there
Four or five days after the blisters,
he said, there could be evidence of
lameness and blisters on the feet.
In pigs and sheep the
predominant symptom was
Stressing how easily the disease
could be spread, Mr Conn said that,
for example, if a dealer touched
infected cattle and then shook
hands with some other person, the
latter, if he went through his own
cattle, was very likely to spread the
Recalling that Northern Ireland
had been clear of foot-and-mouth
since 1941, Mr Conn said this
freedom has earned the Province
an international reputation and had
given it entry into world markets
for its livestock and livestock
“This,” he said, “is something
about which we can be really proud
and we want to make sure that we
remain clear. At the moment we are
definitely ‘at risk’.”
Outlining precautions which
would help to prevent the entry
of the disease into Northern
Ireland, Mr Conn said he would
like to ensure that there were no
visits to farms in Great Britain by
persons or groups from Northern
Ireland associated with livestock
unless such visits were absolutely
If they were essential he would
like to see such people taking
a change of clothing with them
and washing and disinfecting
themselves as well as changing
their clothing after coming off a
When they arrived back in
Northern Ireland they should
report to the Ministry officer at
either the dockside or the airport
so that they could be cleansed and
disinfected again. In addition, they
should then send the clothing used
in Great Britain to the cleaners.
Dealing with visits to Northern
Ireland for the purpose of buying
cattle, Mr Conn said he would like
to see these stopped and agents
appointed here to buy the cattle
and send them over.
“I do not want to be unsociable,”
he said, “but I do not want to see
any visiting farmer from across
the water unless he has a genuine
reason for being here.”
Outlining how
Northern Ireland
farmers could
co-operate in the
precautions against
the disease, Mr
Dr Peck also gave a commentary on
Conn said that any
the prizewinners and demonstrated the
stock owner who
characteristics to look for in the visual selection of
had any suspicion
Welsh pigs.
of any trouble in
He commented favourably on the overall
his flocks or herds
standard of the pigs on show and on the
should immediately
efforts being made by the association to mate
get in touch with
performance figures with visual assessment.
the police or a
As his breed champion he selected a six month
veterinary officer
old boar Ballygrove Victory, from the herd of Mrs
of the Ministry of
E Breadon, of Ashgrove, Ballyhay, Donaghadee,
Agriculture. Pending
which he described as being “an extremely robust
the arrival of the
boar with a particularly good ham.”
veterinary officer
Dr Peck warned local breeders that they must
he should not allow
watch both underlines and hams. “Once these
anyone to enter or
have been bred out, it is very difficult to get them
leave the premises
back again,” he said.
until clearance was
given by the officer.
First show and sale of Welsh pigs
Mrs E Breadon
receives the
Championship Cup
from Dr Irwin Peck.
was a good turnout of buyers
and trade was
quite keen.
Before the sale
the pigs were
judged by one
of England’s top
breeders, Dr
Irwin Peck, who runs about 100 pedigree Welsh
sows in his Drydrayton herd at Scotland Farm,


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