Machinery News

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Something for everyone at Cereals 2014

Cereals provided the usual vast array of gleaming machinery to tempt potential customers

Cereals provided the usual vast array of gleaming machinery to tempt potential customers. David Williams reports. Cultivator and drill manufacturers focussed on improved designs to fit in with black-grass control regimes or to save fuel while, on other stands, electronic monitoring, control and information systems boasted features to ensure ever-greater efficiency. The sprayer demonstration area featured completely new mounted, trailed and self-propelled machines for all sizes of farm. Improved versions of established ranges accounted for many of the new products, but there was also a good selection of brand new equipment on offer.  JCBs new 4000-series Fastracs were one of the star attractions at the event. Three new models are due to replace the two current 2000-series tractors later in 2014. Power is from Sisu 6.6-litre engines using Adblue to meet Tier 4 final emissions requirements. Rated power outputs for the three models are; 160, 190 and 210hp, and CVT transmission is standard. Four wheel steering provides a tight 10m turning circle and hydraulic performance is improved over the previous model range.   Sprayer manufacturer Team was showing new sprayers. The Alpha range includes base-specification models of 600, 800 or 1,000-litre capacity and with booms up to 12m. Manual folding and winch lift boom height control is provided, and Team managing director Danny Hubbard, pictured with the new sprayer, explained that the range has been created to compete on price with cheap imports but with Teams renowned build quality. We have had considerable interest from dealers keen to stock the sprayer and from potential users. The range includes a clean water tank and chemical can rinse as well as a Bertolini pump and controls. With one year warranty the 600-litre 12m costs just 1,995, he said.  The high-specification Arian sprayer is also new and is available with 1,000, 1,200 and 1,600-litre tank capacities. Side folding booms up to 24m are available and new rear folding an option. Upgrades include independent nozzle shut-off, GPS switching and full boom recirculation. The 1,600-litre version with a rear-folding 24m boom is priced at 25,000 and Danny said it is expected to prove popular in combination with Teams front tank, providing 3,000 litres total capacity.  The first public showing anywhere in Europe of new T4 tractors from New Holland was at Cereals. The new tractors, designed with loader work in mind, feature additional transmission options and an improved cab layout compared with earlier models. The five-model range includes variants from 75115hp, all using the same 3.4-litre engine.  The 24×24 Dual Command transmission, available on cabbed models, can now be specified with a creeper option, offering speeds as low as 130m/hr. Dual Command allows users to shift between eight speeds in three main ranges without using the clutch while the Hi-Low splitter, which can be engaged on-the-move, reduces speed by 15 per cent and increases available torque by 18 per cent.  A hydraulic PowerShuttle version which was previously available only on the T4 PowerStar and more powerful TD5 range is also an option on the new tractors. On Dual Command versions the rate of drive take up during direction changes is adjustable to suit the task being carried out; soft for jobs such as baling and harsher for tasks such as loader work.  Mechanical park lock is a further feature of the new transmissions and will appeal to users operating in hilly terrain as well as those hauling heavy loads. Park Lock is engaged via the range lever and prevents creeping when the tractor is parked on slopes.  For those needing extreme manoeuvrability a SuperSteer dynamic front axle option is now available.  The cab is similar to before, but is mounted 40mm lower on the new tractors, reducing overall height. Controls have been relocated, now positioned to the right of the drivers seat, making them easier to access especially when a passenger seat is fitted.  Options include a baler bar, to mount in-cab monitors, and rear fender-mounted switches to control the rear linkage and PTO.  A 4m version of Great Plains Centurion drill was shown for the first time. Previously available only in a 6m working width and as a seed-only machine, the 4m will apply grain and fertiliser, with combined application becoming an option for the 6m. A test 4m machine will operate in the UK this autumn and the drill will be available to order autumn 2015 with deliveries commencing early in 2016.  Precise placement of fertiliser is achieved using offset discs, with the well-proven technology used on drills in the USA for many years, explained Great Plains UK sales director David Holmes. We are responding to demand from customers by increasing the range of Centurion drills and as well as the 4 and 6m machines there are plans for 3- and 8m versions. Features such as the weigh-cell mounted hopper option, which monitors the weight of seed and allows the coulter pressure to be adjusted to achieve even drilling depth, have proved popular and will also be available on new models in the range, he added. The Centurion is UK designed and manufactured and ideal for UK farms.  Vaderstad announced its development work on an iPad based control system for several of its implements at a press event in Germany in 2013 but a demonstration of its abilities at Cereals, controlling a Tempo precision seeder was creating considerable interest.  New seeding discs, extending the Tempos seeding abilities beyond maize, to include sugar beet and oilseed rape, were shown at the event. Vaderstad territory support manager Ed Hutchinson explained that most interest had been from growers wanting to drill sugar beet precisely, but that the ability to drill rape with the Tempo would be seen as an additional benefit. Currently, only the Tempo TPT telescopic frame variant offers the row spacing needed, but that will take only up to six seeder units, although wider versions are expected to be added in future. Trials in France and Sweden have proved the seeders suitability for establishing sugar beet. Seeding discs cost approximately 20 each, so equipping the seeders to cope with a variety of crops makes sense, commented Ed, who is pictured (left) with William Randell of Vaderstad dealer for Norfolk, Randell Agriculture.  An all-new product, designed and built in the UK, was shown by J Brock & Sons. The ST103 cultivator is massive, but designed to be completely flexible in its layout, even to the extent that its wheels and axle can be moved. The innovative design uses six full-length flexible steel bars, to create a versatile frame, into which the working elements are fixed. The concept is that everything is interchangeable and flexible, explained designer Philip Brock. We are based in a heavy land area of the country and have spent our lives welding up broken cultivators, so although it offers extreme flexibility, it is designed to last. Initially we started developing a two-stage cultivator but a farmer saw it and wanted more working elements, so we built a five-stage machine which has been operating very successfully for several years.  The modular design means it can be used with any or all the elements in work, and in any order, for tasks from shallow high speed discing with the deep loosening legs removed, for heavy cultivation with just the 11 loosening legs to leave the land for over-wintering, or with the discs, legs and press for a level seedbed suitable for drilling, he added.  Each module is easily added or removed, and has space to move within the frame, with 10mm clearance all around between it and the main frame bars. By allowing it to flex we avoid the need for a heavy rigid frame, explained Philip.  The design is simple, and depth control is achieved using a crank handle to alter the wheel position. Philip says a major change in configuration, in which every component is moved, will take approximately two hours, and this can be achieved easily in the field, an attractive feature for contractors as it avoids the need to return to a workshop between jobs.  The company was gauging customer interest at the event, and said it had been well received with enquiries from potential customers throughout the UK and from abroad. The cost of the ST103 as shown was 135,000.   Cousins of Emneth was celebrating winning the cultivation equipment category of the Imma awards for its surface seedbed cultivator, designed for effective weed control.  Pictured with managing director Laura Cousins on the companys stand are owners and staff of farmers N&J Pearson from Caxton, Cambridgeshire who are long-standing customers of Cousins. Pictured (l-r) Thomas Pearson; Heather Pearson; Laura Cousins; Nigel Pearson; Gordon Brown; Tony Laflin and Phil Searle.  Black-grass is a major issue and is discussed daily on the farm, commented Nigel Pearson. We are in control of the problem currently, but only because we keep close tabs on it and have a policy in place to reduce the problem and prevent it spreading. This includes a four-year rotation of three wheats then oilseed rape, as well as some spring barley, and we try to achieve two stale seedbeds if time allows. We plough two consecutive years out of the four, but the land has to be ploughed properly, otherwise it isnt effective, and we use a combination of herbicides including Crystal as a pre-emergent and Kerb in the oilseed rape. Having used a 20-year old Cousins V-Form subsoiler with a mounted Stocks seeder to establish oilseed rape for several years, the farm has recently ordered a new wider 6m Cousins Oil Drill rape seeder through local dealer Collings Bros. The new seeder has specially-designed micro-points which create minimal soil disturbance, and which help reduce black-grass activity following planting. Having seen crop established with a similar machine we expect it to suit our conditions, added Nigel. We needed the wider working width to enable us to increase work rates and the Cousins rape seeder made sense, and fitted in with our black-grass policy. We have always got on well with Cousins products and currently also use a press, so know it is well made.  On the Case IH stand an impressive new 12.5m header, paired with an Axial Flow 9230, was creating lots of interest. Pictured (l-r) are Case IH Advanced Farming Systems product marketing specialist Ross Macdonald, sales and marketing assistant William Young, product marketing specialist for Axial Flow Paul Freeman and area sales manager David Redman. Paul explained that many enquiries regarding the latest Axial Flow models were from farmers and contractors currently operating other brands; They have heard about its impressive overall performance, its capacity and the simplicity of its design which contributes to its excellent reliability, he said. The new pivoting spout on the unloading auger allows the operator to adjust the angle of discharge into the trailer, and the combine was awarded Silver in the IMMA awards, announced at the show. It is a great product with practical features which users like.  Farmer Richard Kane, from Limavady on the north coast of Northern Ireland, is pictured on the Sumo stand with drill specialist Marcus Ainley. Richard explained to Farmers Guide that his farm receives approximately 55in of rain per year which means his crop establishment regime has to be geared around making the most of suitable weather opportunities while maximising the soils ability to drain well. Richard grows wheat and barley, and rape for crushing on his own farm. Approximately a third of his crops are drilled straight into stubble to maximise drainage, and then left over winter. A D-Spec Trio, a subsoiler with a distributor head seeder mounted on top, was used until recently to establish the crops, which were drilled at high rates in 2in bands behind the discs at 10in row spacing. Last year the farm invested in a Sumo Versaplus 4m drill which, Richard explained, meant that cereals could be drilled using the full coulter set and, for rape, every other coulter was raised out of work providing ideal row spacings. We were immediately able to reduce seed rates by 25 per cent, he said. We have had one harvest so far since establishing crops with the Versaplus and we achieved good yields. This year also looks very good; the crops are doing well, and we are optimistic about the yields, he added. Sumo machinery is well designed and made and we receive excellent back-up from the manufacturer, as well as from our local dealer Sam Moore.  A very simple but practical addition to the Martin Lishman range is a new grain gauge, for use on corrugated silos. Priced at 111, the mechanical indicator comes complete with all fixings including a mounting template.  The gauge flips from black to green when the grain level reaches the activator at the rear, returning to black as it drops again. Other applications include feed hoppers and intake bins, and sales manager Tom Barker, pictured with sales and marketing assistant Sarah Louth, said the main advantage is convenience. The gauge eliminates the need to climb up silos to check the level, saves having to install pricey electronic level indicators and helps prevent over-filling. Any number can be fitted for more precise level information. A quick glance at the fluorescent gauge shows the user whether the silo is empty or full, even at night. We have had considerable interest from farmers and dealers and supplies arrived just a few days before Cereals; they are quick and easy to install and there is still time to get them before harvest.   A new Sumo metering system, designed entirely in-house uses a centre-less auger that Sumo says will reliably meter a wide range of cereals and fertilisers from oilseed rape size to beans at rates from 0.5350kg/ha. Having no central shaft it remains clean and is very easily maintained, explained Sumo drill specialist Marcus Ainley. The rate of application is easily adjusted by a combination of motor speed and alternative drive ratios through swapping the drive gears. RDS Artemis controls the motor speed making it suitable for variable-rate drilling regimes. Orga metering is now standard equipment on 3-, 4- and 4.8m DTS drills. On 3m versions a pair of similar augers is used; one each for fertiliser and seed, while the prototype 8m version, demonstrated at the Cereals event, is equipped with four augers, providing sectional shut-off. Other updates to the design include a pressurised seed hopper which means seed drops straight from the tank to the metering system, without the need for a venturi, benefits including a significantly slower fan speed reducing power requirement, noise and wear and tear. Marcus said most dealer demonstration machines already supplied have Orga fitted.  A scaled-down version of Orga is also used on Sumos own seeder, designed for use mainly with the Trio cultivator.  The prototype 8m DTS is pictured at work at the event.  AS Communications managing director William Mumford is pictured with the Trimble UX5 aircraft which offers field imaging down to 4cm accuracy. The UX5 is supplied with standard and near infra-red camera equipment which allows precise imaging of fields and crops, he explained. The aircraft is battery-powered with up to 45 minutes flying time per charge and will survey 100ha in that time. It is easy to use, can fly in relatively strong winds and its imaging accuracy is probably the best available. We expect most demand to be from agronomy contractors and will sell or hire the system.  William said that programming the plane before use is straightforward; The flight controller has a Google Earth image, and the user simply outlines the area to be surveyed, enters the wind direction and where the plane is to take off and land. The plane will automatically survey the required area, taking one picture every second. There is an 80 per cent overlap of each image so accuracy is superb. Also, the user can place a target on the ground, record a precise GPS location for the target and, from this, the exact positioning of any features in the area can be identified to within 4cm. The cost of the aircraft, controller, software, camera and training is 35,000. AS Communications is offering an aerial photography service initially until a network of service providers is established.  A twin-leg mole drainer has been developed by Quivogne UK to complement the single-leg model launched last year. We have sold quite a few, explained Quivogne UK marketing director Ben Clowes, but have been asked for a two-leg version by farmers and contractors with more power available. The new mole drainer is Cat 3 and 4 compatible, and the twin legs are mounted on arms which pivot, so if one catches a large rock then it can move sideways and prevent damage, without affecting the other leg. An additional central mounting point is optional, allowing just one leg to be used when only a smaller tractor is available. The single leg Quivogne mole drainer is priced at 5,350 and the twin-leg version is 10,250. The Quivogne team is pictured with the new mole drainer (l-r) Dave Ellott, Tony Clowes, Emma Dalton and Ben Clowes.   New models in the McCormick range were being shown for the first time. An all-new X4 series provides a choice of transmissions and a new cab. The base specification includes mechanical transmission and mechanical shuttle and 12×12 or 24×24 gears with Hi-Lo. A creeper box option provides 16×16 or 32×32 speeds and there are standard and economy versions of the two-speed PTO, plus optional ground-speed drive. The new cab has greatly improved visibility; the windscreen unobstructed to the roof line, and a full-width opening screen in the top of the cab, combining to provide great vision for loader work.  Three models are available, all with the same 4-cylinder engine providing 85, 95 or 102hp at rated engine speed, and 90, 99 and 107hp when the engine revs are pulled down under load. Standard hydraulic lift capacity is 2,900kg and optional assistor rams increase lift to 3,200kg.  On the Pottinger stand new products shown for the first time included the Terradisc Multiline drill. Expected to appeal to medium-sized farms the new drilling system allows the power harrow component of a combination drill to be replaced by a full-width rubber press and a set of Terradisc compact discs. The box drill can be used on the power harrow when necessary but in better conditions, working with the discs and the press, it becomes a high speed trailed drill, explained Pottinger UK general manager Shaun Groom. It provides flexibility to deal with a range of drilling conditions and, priced at approximately 10,000 less than a dedicated trailed 3m drill, it is attracting considerable interest. Most interest is for its use as a self-contained trailed drill, but with the option of replacing the discs and press with a power harrow. As a trailed unit it will operate at 1015kph, but it takes just 15 minutes to swap from power harrow to discs, he added. Priced at 41,305 it will be available for the autumn.  Also shown for the first time was the new Synkro 3020 2-row stubble cultivator which is designed to work down to 20cm. Its compact design and a new conical segment rear press, which is 70 per cent lighter than a traditional steel pack ring roller, allows its use with smaller 4-cylinder tractors says the company. Many enquiries have been from vegetable producers for who the large clearance for trash as well as the ability to operate with almost any of their smaller tractors is an advantage.  Some of the Pottinger team are pictured with the new products at the event; (l-r) Shaun Groom, area service manager for the north David Jardine, recently-appointed area sales manager for the eastern area Richie Hannant and area sales manager for the south and south-west Rodney Dingle.  John Deere main dealer P Tuckwell was displaying a selection of agricultural and grounds care equipment. Celebrating 60 years in business in 2014, the dealer has seven branches in the east. Director Gary Buckle said there had been considerable interest from local customers in the new 6210R tractor displayed as well as the used 6930. It looks as though it should be a good harvest and we have an exciting range of products to offer users so we are hoping for a busy year. We have taken on extra sales and service staff at several of our branches recently to ensure we provide the high standards of knowledge and after sales service customers need. Pictured on the stand are (l-r) Gary Buckle, Steven Smith, Tim Carter, Steve Buckett, Tom Thornton, Olwyn Poulson, David Tooley, Robert Vigus and Martin Seabrook.  Amazones Cenius cultivators are now available to order in 4-, 6- and 7m working widths following the display of a pre-production 7m version at Agritechnica last year. Inter-leg clearance is 110cm, ideal for high-speed stubble cultivations and 28cm row spacing means the soil is moved thoroughly. Pressure spring overload protection provides 600kg trip force. The Cenius can be operated with or without its rear packer and the machines weight can be carried on its transport wheels. A weight transfer system to maximise traction is standard.   A distinctive chromed rotary tiller on UK-importer Opicos stand marked 50 years manufacturing of cultivation products by Maschio in Italy. Now the MaqschioGaspardo group, its range includes power harrows, rotary cultivators, flail mowers, hedge cutters, grain drills and precision drills, all available in the UK through Opico dealers.  KRM has become the official importer for Agrisem cultivation products. The main focus is on Disc-O-mulch compact disc cultivators and Maximulch disc and tine cultivators. Both models are available in 34m rigid and 4, 5 and 6m mounted folding variants as well as 8, 9 and 12m trailed folding versions. We have had considerable interest from potential customers and dealers, explained KRM managing director Keith Rennie. People are familiar with the Agrisem name and its quality. It is well designed, ideal for UK farms and the range will be available through our dealer network. It is competitively priced with equipment of similar quality, he said. The 3m KRM Agrisem Disc-O-Mulch is priced at 14,895.  New Sands self-propelled sprayers featuring all-new custom-designed cabs and new engines were launched at the event. The Horizon sprayers have been in development for two years and replace current Vision models. Curved glass all around maximises space and visibility and a new armrest-mounted touchscreen is fitted. Bluetooth and USB connections are included and cabs have category 4 air filtration and improved air conditioning. HID lights are standard and electrics are now Canbus. Deutz 216 and 242hp Adblue engines provide the power, meeting Tier 4 final emissions standards. Booms are lowered by 200mm for transport on the new models maximising stability. The Horizon sprayers are available with 4,000 and 5,500-litre tanks and the current 3,000-litre Vision model remains in production.    Knight Farm Machinery began importing the Czech Republic-manufactured Bednar range of cultivators in 2013, and following successful field trials across the country last autumn and this spring, Bednar and Knight have signed a long term deal.  New products launched at Cereals this year included the Fenix, a tined cultivator which can work from 535cm depth to achieve shallow seedbed cultivation, medium depth cultivating or deeper restructuring and cultivating. The Fenix is available in 3- and 3.5m rigid, and 4m rigid or folding versions. Manual depth control is standard with hydraulic an option.  The FN3000 3m rigid model with a 630mm U-roller as shown at the event costs 15,750.  Also new on the Knight stand was the Bednar Terraland chisel p


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