Exhibitors reported an optimistic mood among the 24,500 visitors
Exhibitors reported an optimistic mood among the 24,500 visitors and while cheque books weren’t being flourished, there was considerable interest in new technology and the huge selection of the latest kit displayed. David Williams toured the machinery lines finding out what was new while Dominic Kilburn looked at the arable developments.
With farm margins under pressure demand was for machinery capable of optimising crop quality and yields while making best use of inputs and the precision farming stands were busy throughout the show explaining the latest features available.
There were plenty of genuinely new models on show this year, and dealers are likely to be busy demonstrating as soon as machines are available and conditions are right.
As always converting the enquiries to sales depends on confidence in the industry, but if market prices improve when harvest starts later this month, suppliers should benefit from all the innovation and research that has been invested in producing these state-of-the-art products.
Requests for greater capacity have encouraged Agrifac to launch its Condor Endurance self-propelled sprayer. The chassis is lengthened and strengthened, compared to the standard version and there is extra power in the form of a 320hp power unit replacing the standard 285hp. Boom widths are 24-54m and just one 8,000-litre capacity tank available. “We have sold two already in the UK,” explained Agrifac sales and marketing manager Matt Carse. “We had several users running bowsers with 5,000-litre machines, and providing the extra capacity negates the need for this in some situations, and improves spraying efficiency as less time is needed travelling back to fill up. The first unit we supplied is being used by a Norfolk contractor and he has worked 900 hours in just three months applying Omex fertiliser, and is delighted with the machine.”
Pictured with the Condor Endurance 8,000-litre sprayer are southern area territory manager Rupert Greeves (left) who sold one of the first of the new sprayers and Matt Carse.
The first showing of Mzuri’s 6m Pro-Til drill attracted a great deal of interest. “The existing design is excellent and the performance has impressed users, resulting in requests for a larger version, from farmers and contractors,” reported Mzuri marketing manager Amy Bateman, pictured with the demonstration model at the event. “Interest from overseas has been considerable too. Demand for the range is such that we are already taking orders for next spring delivery and since introducing complementary implements such as our straw rake and Rehab low-disturbance subsoiler, these have quickly become popular and we have several farmers using whole Mzuri-based systems to establish their crops; the Pro-Til for cereals, the Rehab with an option of a seed distributor to loosen subsoil and establish oilseed rape and cover crops, and the straw-rake after harvest to help prevent weed problems.” Amy added, “We are delighted to be so busy. The major challenge for today’s farmer is to improve the soil structure, and the Mzuri system achieves this and provides a more consistent yield, creating a considerable increase in profit.”
The biggest grain chaser wagon currently available in Europe made an impressive display on importer, Quivogne UK’s stand. The Interbenne, from Perard has a 46m3 capacity and its 700mm unloading auger is capable of transferring 35t of grain from the hopper to another vehicle up to 4.5m away in less than two minutes. The model on show was on tracks, and will be returning to France, but an identical version on wheels is arriving during the coming few weeks for delivery to a Cambridgeshire farm.
CBS Beton Concrete Products Ltd is a manufacturer of retaining walls and its products, manufactured in Belgium, have been available in the UK for approximately two years. Grain walls in 3 and 4m heights are available and all use a tongue and groove linking system which negates the need for ground bolts to hold them in place and provides an efficient seal to allow different products to be stored on each side. “Since the 3-crop rule came in, we have seen demand increase as farmers have had to adapt existing storage for more crops,” explained UK director Ben Chalk. “The panels are movable by fork-lift which makes them a flexible solution. We have had a very busy show and taken orders on the stand for the coming harvest and availability remains good, as we keep a large stock in the UK ready for delivery.”
Pictured at the show are (l-r); Ben Chalf; owner of the CBS Beton group, Henk Ciers and UK account manager Christiano Randell.
Essex-based J Brock & Sons has become the sole UK importer for the Czech-manufactured Farmet range of cultivators and was displaying and demonstrating the products for the first time at the event. “They are built to a quality standard which we know farmers would expect of machinery we build ourselves,” explained machinery sales specialist Derry Morton. “The strength is where it is needed to withstand heavy farm use, but without excessive weight and the company uses robotic welding to ensure consistent quality and applies a superb paint finish for long life and to maintain condition. It is an extensive range and includes specifications not available elsewhere, such as a 12m spring-tine cultivator with 170mm tine spacing. We are concentrating first on just a few models which we believe are most in demand for the coming autumn season but will almost certainly add to the range later.”
Models offered immediately include the Discomat which is a heavy-duty disc cultivator, the Softa which is a lighter duty disc press and the Verso spring-tine seedbed cultivator, of which there was an 8m version working, and which is priced at 24,500. Also available are the Compactomat combination spring tine, for seedbed preparations and the heavy duty Phantom stubble cultivator. Derry added that there is currently availability of all models for the coming autumn season.
Local to the Cereals site in Lincolnshire is Bailey Trailers, and its staff were busy throughout the two days explaining benefits of its range to potential users as well as discussing business with existing customers. “Silage trailers have been heavily in demand during the past few months,” explained sales manager Stephen Bailey, “but we are now seeing more grain trailers going through the production process and will be building more root crop trailers once the cereal harvest starts. We are very busy on everything we offer in the range and have seen some dealers supplying record numbers of our trailers this year, resulting in our company’s busiest period ever during the past three months – we have stepped up production to 29 or 30 trailers per week. Our planned production system helps dealers help their customers as they can book a production slot, but confirm the specification up to four weeks before, allowing them to cater for orders as they come in. This means that, as far as the farmer or contractor is concerned, delivery is just 4-6 weeks from ordering but, in reality, the production slot might have been booked up to a year or so previously. Our most popular product this year has been our TB16 16t grain trailer, but demand is seasonal and it varies geographically too,” he explained.
On the Tecnoma stand a new rear-folding boom was displayed. “The Techline R will be available to order from September, with deliveries planned to commence in January 2016,” explained Tecnoma UK area export manager John Davis. “The main advantage of the new boom is its superb stability, the mount central now which means the weight doesn’t swing the boom out to the side during turns. Hydraulic adjustment allows the operator to select the degree of resistance to movement required. We can offer the new boom in widths of 21-30m and it has been well received already by dealers and customers so we expect it to be a popular option for our sprayers,” he continued. “It is all in-house manufactured and we are looking forward to the Tecline L coming next year, which uses the same stabilisation technology for lateral folding 24-54m booms.”
Many suppliers of drain jetters are reporting buoyant sales and Fentons of Bourne, which imports the Homburg product range, is no exception. “We have been supplying drain jetters for at least 25 years, but popularity has increased in recent years with many large farms purchasing second units as they have seen significant benefits in keeping drains running freely,” explained sales director Glen Bellamy. “We often hear the comment from farmers that they don’t know how they managed before they had one and they do a great job; a clean running drain is efficient. We also have a new Hurricane model which the operator can set up and leave running automatically. The operator just needs to set the length of the run and it will attempt to feed out to that length, but if it encounters a blockage it will stop and retract the hose, then re-attempt the feed out three times before sending a message to alert the operator. This means the user could be working on a nearby excavator, for example, clearing a ditch allowing one person to carry out the whole operation.”
A new roller bend was displayed, which is claimed to provide easier and more reliable operation when the hose is being fed into a drain back under the jetter or low down on the opposite side of the ditch. The feed rollers pivot in the centre providing extra stability and the accessory is available to purchase for older as well as new machines.
Pictured (l-r) are Glen Bellamy, Fentons of Bourne general manager Pete Jackson and Homburg export manager Lasse Doornbos and.
The Robavator is a new intelligent hoe available from sole importer Edwards Farm Machinery. Light steel hoe elements mounted on electronic actuators are capable of inter-row and inter-plant hoeing in fragile vegetable and salad crops such as lettuce. Cameras on each row use red and infrared image information to determine plant position while a ground drive wheel measures and compensates for travel speed and calculates the precise position of the plants for the hoes. Drive is by PTO, with power converted to electric and hydraulic using a built-in generator and pump. Operating speed is said to be 1-4kph although a test machine has successfully maintained an operating speed of 6kph in plants established at 20cm spacing. Three, four and five-row versions are available and prices are expected to be from approximately 54,000 for a five-row machine, depending on specifications,” explained director Robert Edwards (left) who is pictured with managing director Richard Edwards and the new machine.
Knollands is a regular exhibitor at the Cereals event and was promoting its range of AirFlo crop conditioning pedestals. “Interest has been from farmers keen to improve quality of their stored crops,” explained managing director Wayne Clark. “The pedestals are manufactured from durable plastic which is very resistant to damage and which has an eight per cent slot area for efficient air flow. We offer both standard and wider slot versions for use in different crop types, and we have systems in use for grain, oilseed rape, potatoes and onions and for sawdust. The pedestals are suitable for use with suction or forced air systems and the price is 95 per unit. The size is 250mm diameter and they connect to 150mm tubing, but we also offer purpose-designed fan units to mount directly on top, priced at 340 each.”
Vaderstad UK managing director Mike Alsop said interest in versatile machinery capable of producing excellent results in a wide variety of situations demonstrates the strong demand. “Cultivators such as our new Carrier L and XL models are supplied with either 51 or 61cm main cultivation discs, all of which can be adjusted so that the cutting angle matches the aggressiveness required. In addition, tools from straw harrows, to the CrossCutter knife which finely chops trash ahead of the soil mixing process, can be fitted or a heavy front CrossBoard is also available to level subsoiled or ploughed land ahead of the discs to produce an even finish for subsequent operations. The range of adjustments means it is suitable for high speed shallow cultivations immediately after the combine to encourage weed and volunteer seeds to chit, as well as for heavier tasks and seedbed preparation, and allow it to be used in both dry and wetter seasons. It has been very well received and is attracting a lot of interest at the show from potential users,” he said.
Plant breeding company Limagrain said that Amalie remains the only commercially-available oilseed rape variety with resistance to yield robbing turnip yellows virus (TuYV), and the variety was re-sown as a Candidate in the 2014/15 HGCA RL trials based on this trait.
Speaking at the event, Limagrain’s oilseeds product manager, William Compson (pictured) said that TuYV was a little understood disease typically responsible for 15 per cent yield loss but with the potential to cause as much as a 30 per cent loss.
Warwick University research has highlighted recent high levels of infection in UK crops with hotspots in Yorkshire and East Anglia at around 72 per cent of crops infected.
One year on from the neonics ban and with widespread resistance to pyrethroids, control options for the TuYV vector peach potato aphid (myzus persicae) are limited, he pointed out, highlighting that growers should consider varietal resistance as an effective solution for control.
With a special category newly-created by HGCA for TuYV resistant varieties on the Recommended List, Limagrain is hoping Amalie will achieve fully recommended status later this year. It has a gross output similar to DK Cabernet, good oil content and also has strong resistance to light leaf spot and phoma.
Limagrain has created a short video on YouTube to highlight the main challenges of TuYV. Go to the YouTube website and search for ‘TuYV’.
Agrovista believes it has developed the most accurate online forecasting system available to help growers plan their planting, spraying and irrigation operations more effectively.
Forecast Pro offers a range of information including a three-day outlook that includes suitable spray application windows, a two-week weather outlook and a disease forecasting model.
The new forecasting service, developed by Plantsystems, provides essential information for any agribusiness, said Agrovista’s head of precision technology, Lewis McKerrow (pictured), who pointed out that Forecast Pro is available on any internet-enabled device, either as a standalone service for an annual subscription or as part of the company’s cloud-based technical information exchange system Axis.
The three-day outlook is divided into three-hourly windows. Each window has a weather overview graphic, with details of expected rainfall, air temperatures, soil temperature, humidity and wind speed listed underneath.
This data is analysed to assess spraying conditions, with each three-hour period flagged up as suitable or not suitable, providing an instant check of likely spraying windows.
Users can also subscribe to pest and disease forecasts for a wide range of crops including potatoes, cereals vegetables, grassland and fruit. These forecasts can aid product choice and provide justification for their use, providing instant records to help meet customer protocols if required, he said.
Agrovista also launched a new data manager at Cereals designed to draw together the vast amounts of digital information created on farms, enabling users to manage and map their data simply and quickly.
As with all Axis software, MapIT Pro is fully web-based, unlike many current market-leading software packages for precision farming, he added.
Dekalb and BASF focused on Clearfield OSR technology at the event highlighting market research following interviews with 60 growers of Clearfield herbicide tolerant varieties.
According to the research charlock (79 per cent of growers) was the main weed target being controlled by Clearfield technology, followed by runch (41 per cent), poppy (28 per cent), hedge mustard and mayweed (24 per cent each) and black-grass (17 per cent) among others.
Dekalb NW Europe marketing & strategy lead, Deryn Gilbey (left) said that DK Imagine CL was the oldest Clearfield variety on the market and accounted for 87 per cent of the varieties grown in the research, while DK Imiron CL had 13 per cent. “One of the key values of CL varieties identified by the research was that it was a way of bringing land back into the rotation that previously wasn’t possible to grow oilseed rape on because of weed problems,” said Mr Gilbey, who added that CL varieties currently had a “niche” 4-5 per cent share of the overall UK OSR market.
BASF regional sales manager, crop protection, Steve Dennis (centre) said that bringing ALS herbicide tolerance to OSR plants allows the use of ALS inhibitors into the crop and a different class of chemical. “It’s a ‘single shot’ herbicide offering the most broad-spectrum weed control option there is. It also gets you away from having to use pre-emergence herbicides – allowing the crop to establish before any decisions on herbicide investment have to be made.
“In eight years of trials, we’ve not had any issues in controlling CL volunteers as other herbicides, except ALS, can be used for those,” he added.
Dekalb OSR projects lead, Kuldip Mudhar (right) said that in the past 3-4 years yields of CL varieties had progressed from 95-108 per cent against controls and were now on parity with other hybrids. He also pointed out that traits such as pod shatter resistance (key for the stewardship of CL varieties), disease resistance and vigorous establishment had all improved the latest varieties.
He listed DK Imiron CL, DK Impression CL and new DK Imperial CL as a wide portfolio of Clearfield varieties with key trait incorporations developed in the past three years.
New branding and a proposed new way of working for the Agricultural and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) was formally launched at Cereals.
This will see AHDB’s sector-focused activity delivered under six brands: AHDB Beef and Lamb; AHDB Cereals and Oilseeds; AHDB Dairy; AHDB Horticulture; AHDB Pork and AHDB Potatoes.
Speaking at the launch, AHDB chair Peter Kendall said the new look and proposed way of working was a step change in future AHDB delivery to levy payers. “Key to our new way of functional working will be retaining sector expertise and the input of the sector Boards. We will continue to ensure that levies raised in a sector will be spent for the benefit of that sector.
“By working together, sharing expertise and skills across our organisation, I know that AHDB can build on the excellent work it is already providing for our levy payers.”
A new active ingredient – Arylex Active – is set to revolutionise the broad-leaved weed herbicide market, said Dow AgroSciences cereal herbicides marketing manager, Alex Nichols.
Dow envisages Arylex Active will be the basis for a new range of herbicides that will be marketed in formulated mixtures which have been devised to meet the specific needs of UK cereal growers.
“Arylex will be one of the first active ingredients to progress completely through the new European registration system and we are confident that the active ingredient will play a long-term role in weed control within UK agriculture,” said Dr Nichols.
“We hope the first products containing Arylex Active will be available during 2016. They will offer three key benefits: A very wide spectrum of weed control, effective control under a wide range of climatic conditions and very high levels of crop safety to treated and following crops.”
Also being developed for the UK market is a brand new insecticide active ingredient. Isoclast Active is from a new class of insecticides and will offer control of sap sucking insects such as aphids, in a wide range of crops. Key features will include no-known cross-resistance to other insecticides together with a favourable profile on beneficial organisms, said Dow product marketing manager for insecticides, John Sellars (pictured).
Bayer chose to launch a new on-line tool for growers in the continued battle against black-grass. The ‘Black-Grass Task Manager’ (BGTM) aims to provide seasonal, timely advice on how best to tackle the weed on farm, sharing information on a variety of topics including alternative crops, rotations and cultivations, said the company’s campaigns manager for herbicides, Phillippa Overson (pictured). “It’s clear that relying solely on chemistry is not a winning strategy for many farms and so the BGTM will help growers investigate options which may help their control of black-grass as part of an overall strategy,” she said.
The new advice service can be found on the company’s website: www.bayercropscience.co.uk/bgtm.
Building on the success of its first hybrid oilseed rape varieties on the UK market, Bayer also highlighted InVigor 1030, a variety currently in its second year of National List trials.
According to the company’s seeds product manager, Sarah Middleton, InVigor 1030 has a gross output of 110 per cent, a high oil content of 47.7 per cent and ‘8’ for light leaf spot and phoma. Similar in height to both Fencer and Harper, she said she was hopeful that the variety would be a Candidate for both the North and East/West regions this autumn.