History of Luymes Farms
John Luymes bought a dairy farm in Maryborough township (now known as Mapleton) in 1975. Coming from the Trenton area, he was new to the region and relatively new to the business. John, his wife Elaine, and father John Sr. milked cows for 10 years there along with starting up other enterprises, such as a custom manure spreading business and custom forage harvesting. Together with a business partner, he also started a milking equipment sales, installation, and service business called Norwell Dairy Systems. Years later he sold out of that business as well as the dairy business.
A new farm was then bought across the road in 1992 and the old barn was torn down to make way for a machinery shed. An addition for a repair shop was added in 1994, and a corn drying facility was started. Over the next 15 years, four large grain bins were added. A second machinery shed was built in 2008, a larger grain elevator and receiving pit in 2011 (see the video here) and concrete grain silos were added in 2017 and 2019.
ROTHDALE SLURRY SPREADERS
John started a liquid manure spreading business in 1985. He started out with a 4-axle tanker truck, and then moved towards using an irrigation system with a high trajectory gun. This system cut down on soil compaction tremendously. After a few years, John modified the irrigation reel, (conjoining it with a combine frame) to be a self-propelled unit. He also set up the 'pumper truck' with a lagoon pit pump/ agitator to feed a high pressure pump capable of pumping manure over a mile away. Business was booming in the late 80s and early 90s, but eventually was phased out due to other endeavors and to environmental concerns.
THE EVOLUTION OF FORAGE HARVESTING
The first pull-type harvester was originally used to chop feed for the Luymes dairy herd and a neighbour or two needing help. It was a 2-man operation. An upgrade to a bigger pull type happened when a contract for chopping and delivering alfalfa to a local dehydration and pelleting mill came available.
In the 90s, the dairy industry in the area really started expanding. So did Luymes Farms' harvesting capacity. A 200 horsepower JD 5730 was bought in 1995. At this time mostly upright tower silos were being filled. In 1997, a large upgrade happened with a JD 6810 with a 6-row kemper corn head. The machines were rare in the province then; John travelled to Holland to find this harvester and header. This kemper head was presumably the first of its kind to enter the province. This more than doubled harvesting capacity, the machine put out 400 hp.
Today, the forage harvester boasts 550 hp with an 8-row corn head and horizontal 'bunker' silos are the norm. A crew of up to 7 people is needed and we cover more acres in one hour than what used to be done in a 15 hour day!
MACHINERY OF DAYS GONE BY....
Even though almost all of the equipment on the Luymes farm today is green, it wasn't always that way. In fact, John's first tractor in 1974 was a David Brown 1210, pictured below years later. This tractor, though not in operation, is still here on the farm... somewhere. Also pictured below is his first combine, a JD 6600. The bright blue Ford dump truck was used to haul forages off the harvester's hi-dump wagon, delivering to the de-hy plant or the dairy farm where it was dumped onto a blow-deck to fill the tower silos.