September Newsletter


Supply of wet distillers is already getting tight for this winter, we can however take prebooking’s for deliveries later in the season. Wet distillers is easy to store in or outside, high in protein, oil and relatively high in DM at 35%. Contact us for more details.



Grain harvest is well under way and with an unfortunately low grain price and little or no sign of a drop in compound feed prices many farmers are availing of treating grain direct from the combine.

Grain fill in spring barley has been very satisfactory so starch levels will be very high complemented with the 4.5% protein lift from adding 30kg of HOME & DRY.

Farmers can expect an excellent stable, high starch, increased protein Alkaline feed with a 12 month shelf life.



Growers interested in getting wheat or barley seed dressed with REDIGO DETER should let us know ASAP.

This treatment helps control all aphid vectors of BYDV, slug grain-hollowing damage and wireworm.

Only new 2 row variety added to the provisional recommended list is INFINITY

This received 102 for yield in trials with good all-round disease resistance good bushel and straw strength



The deadline for testing your sprayer is fast approaching; the failure rate so far has been low with little being needed to bring sprayers up to speed, contact us for further details and to arrange your test or ring Sean O Flynn directly on 0871272334.

















Free bait box for blocks or grain with every 10 kg of neoserexa  blocks or grain

 Ideal for Bord Bia inspection.


Farmstore August Newsletter


The harvest is upon us and options for utilising grain direct from the combine are being explored,

Home & Dry is a reliable convenient and economical method of treating grain which has many advantages over other methods which include

  • Harvest window is 2-3 weeks during normal harvest.
  • Grain can be treated from 17-24pc.
  • More than 30kg/t can be added to increase protein content.
  • Grain is mechanically crimped and Home ‘N’ Dry Pellets applied.
  • Grain is covered and sealed using silage polythene covers to prevent ammonia loss, can be fed after 2 weeks
  • It can also be stored outdoors once moisture is excluded.
  • Increases grain protein levels by 4-5pc at recommended rate.
  • Alkaline pH (8-9) provides a buffer to improve rumen function.
  • Less likely to be attacked by birds or vermin due to alkaline nature.
  • Minimal storage loss.
  • Storage period of up to 12 months.
  • Feed rates: dairy up to 6kg, beef can be fed ad-lib.

We have customers with grain to sell ready treated and customers looking for grain supplied so contact us for further details.


Distillers Wet Grain is produced from pressed maize grains and is a by-product of the distilling industry.

It is a highly palatable feed containing 26% protein and 32% DM

Is available in full artic loads delivered

Has a 2 month shelf life when covered.

Contact us for more details.


Many of you are now familiar with the Home & Dry process used for preserving grain or wholecrop while also increasing the protein content. This whole process is achieved by releasing Ammonia rapidly into the grain and therefore produces Ammonium bicarbonate, this acts as a buffer in the rumen as the whole process takes grain with a pH of 3.5 to an Alkaline pH of 8 improving rumen function and consequently animal performance.

Now Fivef have moved the technology a step further by introducing AlkabupHa.

AlkabupHa is a mini pellet which is added to the TMR at the point of mixing.

The optimum rumen pH is between 5.75 and 6.75 outside these bands we have poor digestion poor animal performance and in many cases acidosis

The majority of our forages have a pH level below 4 due to fermentation and high levels of lactic acid are produced, (this is even more prevalent this year with wet acidic silage)  we then add cereals in the form of compound which further increase the acid load.

The animal has a remarkable ability to buffer pH levels by natural process of chewing the cud and saliva production. However in modern production systems this is inadequate and needs support, this is why we feed buffers and yeast in an effort to control the acid load

For the first time AlkabupHa allows the base Acid load be reduced or eliminated before the animal consumes it

AlkapupHa delivers this in a protein based system (similar to the Home & Dry) and feeding rates vary from 500g to 1.5 kg. As Alkabupha is 90% protein it can displace 2kg of soya in the diet while adding the other benefits and as you know with the current soya situation that has huge benefits

Fivef have produced an iPhone app called the alkalator  which allows you to calculate the acid load in your diet and exactly what is needed to buffer this while also calculating the protein level being fed

For further details contact myself on 0868200281 or Sean on 0871272334

You’ll be Home n’ Dry with Alkagrain

The recent bad weather means that that grass silage is scarce this summer and what is available is very poor quality and also very wet, therefore a wholecrop silage which is dry and has starch and fibre is an excellent replacement – so how do you go about getting this?

At The Farm Store, we have been selling Home n’ Dry for over 12 years now, as well as using it on our own farms. With the particularly wet summer we’ve seen so far, this product offers the ideal solution for drying grain and reaping the benefits. Home n’ Dry, which has just come into season, is used in the production of Alkagrain, Alkalage and Alkastraw, and is the most effective way to utilise home grown crops, is now in season. The protein based system actively increases the value of grain in the diet of animals, without the associated drying costs.

Alka What??

Alkagrain – All grains or cereals are suitable for Alkagrain production, e.g. wheat, barley, oats, triticale, maize and sorghum; as well as on straw or wholecrop to compensate for the poor grass silage we’re seeing.

Alkagrain has unique nutritional characteristics that enhance the whole diet fed to farm livestock; and every 10kgs of Home n’ Dry added to a crop increases its protein content by 1.46%. This addedprotein reduces or eliminates the need to buy protein supplements in the feeding period and with soya heading for €500/tonne this simply can’t be ignored.

The success to date of the Home n’ Dry based preservation system to create Alkagrains lies in the fact that it effectively conserves materials without drying, and without specialist storage systems, so saving on energy and energy costs, resulting in a lower final cost than other methods of grain storage and treatment. It also conserves grains without fermentation hence eliminating fermentation losses that amount to at least 10% of the dry matter in all fermented crops. As well as that, the alkaline pH provides a buffer to improve Rumen function; and it reduces or eliminates attractiveness to vermin.

Alkalage – a process where the entire crop is harvested and milled when the crop is fully mature. Mature Cereal Crops optimize the yield of dry matter, starch and energy.

  • Alkalages are High Energy High Starch forages suitable for feeding to all ruminant animals.
  • Alkalages have an alkaline pH which improves rumen function, feed intakes and animal health.
  • Alkalages have significantly increased protein contents. All cereal based forages are low in protein this conservation process is based on protein sources which enhance the protein content of a crop in a cost effective manner.
  • High Dry Matter levels encourage higher dry matter intakes by livestock so improving performance and health.
  • Alkalages are less attractive to vermin, particularly rats, protecting both the stored crop, animal and staff health.
  • Alkalages are conserved without fermentation. There are NO fermentation losses. This system retains 10 to 20% more of the harvested material in the clamp compared to fermentation based systems.

Alkastraw – we all know the value of adding straw to a diet for enhanced rumen function

Alkastraw – cereal straw chopped by a forage harvester and clamped with Home n’ Dry to create an alkaline (pH8-9) feed.The preservation process breaks down the bonds between the lignin and cell wall components of the forage and treated straw is nutritionally enhanced. In Alkastraw this protein source is ammonium bicarbonate and this alkaline compound enhances the naturally occurring buffers in a ruminant’s saliva. This will make an excellent partner for high starch diets and where grass silage is wet or of poor quality. Having straw at 8% protein as opposed to 3.5 is another clear advantage.

Home n’ Dry is used in a simple four step process used to produce Alkagrain:

  1. Growing

The cereal crop should be grown to its maximum potential with fully mature grain. The whole crop, part of the crop or just the grain can then be harvested using the Home n’ Dry preservation system.

  1.  Harvesting

The crop should be harvested using a conventional combine harvester. Whilst the grain is mature the process does not require dried grain so the crop can be harvested in damp conditions and a little surface moisture will help the crimping and preservation process.

  1. Stage Three – Processing

The grain must be broken using a conventional crimping machine. Crimping should break the grain but not turn it to meal. The Home n’ Dry pellets need to be well mixed with the grain at the required rate using one of two methods – either by adding the pellets into the crimping machine hopper using a calibrated loader bucket; or by loading the pellets into a mixer wagon along with the crimped grain and dry mix.

  1. Stage Four – Storage

Alkagrain should be stored well sealed under a high quality plastic sheet that extends down the store sides (this can be an indoor or an outdoor store). After opening the face should be protected from rain and covered with the sheet whenever possible. Treated grain can be stored whole or processed but grains must be rolled or cracked before being fed, to aid digestion.

Wheat Alkagrain – cracked by a small cereal processor

The finished product is ready to feed from just two weeks of storage and can be fed to milking, dry and suckler cows, as well as calves and rearing cattle, and intensive beef. Alkagrain can also be fed to ewes and intensive lamb, and as creep feeds as high as 60% of the mix for lambs and calves according to feeding objectives. It is highly flexible in use for trough feeding, parlour feeding, out of parlour feeders, as a home mix ingredient, as a hopper feed for beef and lamb finishing and, of course, a TMR ingredient.

20 years of research and development have gone into creating Home n’ Dry, and for our team at The Farm Store this is key – we will only sell products we trust in and are happy to use ourselves. Home n’ Dry is so simple to use, with no mixing required or estimating of weights. There are no delays at rolling and doesn’t stick to rollers so is ideal for today’s busy farmers.

As well as the obvious benefits I’ve outlined above; high grain prices expected at harvest this year will lead to higher compound feed prices from millers, so Alkagrain enables the farmer to buy feed at first cost.

Home n’ Dry is now available from The Farm Store in Bandon and Belgooly; Rhyno Farm Store in Castleisland; and online at

Hugh Sisk is owner and Managing Director of The Farm Store.