Timothy Musson of agricultural contractor T.O.M Musson Agri-livestock recently took on a chipper from B. Price Mus-Max Specialist to give his business a new revenue stream when constant rain was impeding work in the field.

EVERY cloud has a silver lining, and that’s certainly true for Timothy Musson of Lincolnshire-based agricultural contractor, T.O.M Musson Agri-livestock.

A constant battering from Mother Nature had taken its toll on the Spalding firm’s workload, with torrential rain towards the end of last year making it all but impossible to work the field. The inclement weather did, however, present an opportunity for Timothy to diversify his business.

Timothy was prompted to look into wood chipping after building a machine designed to spray herbicide, which, thanks to the weather, couldn’t be properly utilised. He told Forestry Journal: “Avadex is a herbicide that you put on wheat and barley for controlling black-grass, and we built a 36-metre machine to go out and do this job, but, unfortunately, because of the astronomical wet that we had at the back-end of last year, we only ventured out and did 250 acres. We had about 2,000 acres to do and we didn’t even touch it.

“Farming is ruled by what comes out the sky. We just wanted something that wasn’t reliant on the weather.”

READ MORE: Going BIG: 750+ kg chippers​

The business specialises in everything agricultural – from round-bale silage and round-bale straw to muckspreading, spraying and beyond. It has also had a chip site for a number of years, which is used by local tree surgeons. Timothy enquired as to whether it would be worth his time investing in a chipper of his own.

“We got a very good response from the guys because chippers in the area are very few and far between,” he said. “As it turned out, there is quite a bit of work out there.”

Forestry Journal:

Timothy was introduced to Ben Price of B. Price Mus-Max Specialist through a friend, and the pair discussed Timothy’s requirements. “Ben Price’s advice was very strong. He was very enthusiastic,” he said.

Timothy opted for the Wood Terminator 10 XL Z, saying it was well suited to his Massey Ferguson 8650 tractor. With a feed width of 98 cm, a feed height of 75 cm, and a maximum tree diameter of 75 cm, the 10 XL Z has a chipping output of 180 loose cubic metres per hour.

The impact it has had on the business, Timothy said, can be summed up in one word – massive.

“We’re doing a lot more work in the month. Turnover has rocketed.”

Not only that, it’s a far cry from the early mornings and late nights of agricultural work, and something Timothy said he would be keen to expand in the future.

“We’re getting bigger with the contracting as it is, and we will get bigger with the chipping as well.

“We would definitely consider maybe having a forwarder in the woods to bring it out to us onto safe ground and start chipping. There are loads of different avenues.

“Forestry is a little bit like agricultural – but isn’t, at the same time. We love it and we want to look at doing more.”

Timothy added: “Mother Nature doesn’t stop you, because you can chip away when it is bucketing down with rain, or it’s freezing cold – it doesn’t matter!”

Forestry Journal remains dedicated to bringing you all the latest news and views from across our industry, plus up-to-date information on the impacts of COVID-19.

Please support us by subscribing to our print edition, delivered direct to your door, from as little at £69 for 1 year – or consider a digital subscription from just £1 for 3 months.

To arrange, follow this link: https://www.forestryjournal.co.uk/subscribe/

Thanks – and stay safe.