Valtra and Amazone were the two recipients of this year’s Farmers Guide ‘Awards for Excellence’ presented at a ceremony held near Ipswich, Suffolk in mid-March. The Awards, which include ‘Machinery’ and ‘Arable’ categories, were created by Farmers Guide to specifically highlight excellence within the industry during 2017, with the winners chosen by the magazine’s editorial team. This year, the awards were presented to Valtra for its A4-series tractor and Amazone for its WindControl device for fertiliser spreading. Also in attendance and supporting the two manufacturers were regional main dealers Chandlers, Crawfords, Pecks, Suffolk Agri Centre and TNS.
Machinery category winner – A4 tractors
Valtra’s smallest A4-series tractors were launched to the press in June 2017 and immediately impressed Farmers Guide machinery editor David Williams with their comfortable, well-equipped cabs, generous specification and quality feel, features often missing from tractors in this power class.
There are 7 models in 3 sizes with 3-and 4-cyl engines from 75–130hp and the cab is similar to larger models in Valtra’s range providing an attractive operator environment.
The engine, transmission and hydraulics were designed especially for Agco’s Global series tractors using state-of-the-art design for reliability and maximum efficiency.
“Often smaller tractors in a range can feel slightly neglected in terms of operator comfort and specification,” explained David. “But owner-operators will be more than happy with the level of comfort during long working days and employees will feel well looked after. The Valtra A4 is a worthy winner of Farmers Guide’s 2017 machinery Award for Excellence.”
Chandlers’ Gavin Pell said that the Valtra A4-series benefits from modern manufacturing techniques and advances in hydraulics, transmission and engine design. “Despite 1980’s predictions that lower hp tractors would no longer be required in modern farming, the sector remains very important to our local market, for example in use on vegetable rigs for produce harvesting, or for diet feeders for precision feeding of livestock.
“It is sure to become a modern classic in this hp sector, and improves on the outgoing A3 series in almost every way,” he added.
Thurlow Nunn Standen sales director Chris Tew said that the Valtra A-series is a must-have tractor in the portfolio of a modern dealership: “The A-series offers a versatile, cost-effective and modern tractor to the farmer looking to the 75-130hp range to fulfil their business requirements.
“Valtra’s fully-modular design allows for adaptability and versatility to create the correct spec tractor for each customer’s needs. The customer selects which of the seven models meets their engine requirements and then the modular design, with a comprehensive list of options, ensures they can create exactly what they need, both for now and in the future, with assistance and guidance from their dealership.
“TNS offers a fully comprehensive service to our customers, not with just creating the best-fit spec tractor the customer needs but also assisting with finance options, servicing plans and stocking parts for those tractors. In modern farming it’s not just about buying the tractor, it’s knowing you’ve got the full support from a dealership once you have that tractor on the farm.”
Arable category winner – WindControl
Amazone’s WindControl was launched last autumn as a system to compensate spread pattern when applying fertiliser where wind is a problem.
Working in conjunction with Amazone’s ArgusTwin spread pattern monitoring system on the company’s ZA-TS mounted and ZG-TS trailed spreaders, a high frequency wind sensor registers both the wind speed, and also the direction of the wind, instantly compensating spread pattern.
“WindControl helps farmers deliver the optimum amount of fertiliser to the crop when conditions would normally make accurate application difficult,” commented Farmers Guide editor, Dominic Kilburn. “It means crops and yields will benefit from more accurate applications; it widens the growers’ operating windows; and at a time when environmental scrutiny is reaching new levels, it means that farmers will be ticking all the right boxes where legislation is concerned.
“I see a time in the not-too-distant future when a system like WindControl becomes a standard bit of kit for all fertiliser applications.
“It’s a deserved winner,” he concluded.