This year’s largely sunny Royal Welsh Show gave visitors a great chance to see the latest kit for mixed and stock farmers.
This unusual-looking Italian-made Fischer mower, brought in by ArborAgri 18 months ago, is normally used for trimming between apple trees. However, the rapid increase in the number of solar farms has given it an extra role as a flexible mower on fields of PV panels.
This one is 4m, but models up to 8m in width exist. It folds down to 2.9m and expands to 4.5m and needs about 200hp. Various types of breakaway are on offer, including a mechanical reset and hydraulic breakaway, a spring release and a hydraulic touch-bar. The latter stops as soon as it hits anything. You can also have either wheels or a roller at the back.
Cost is £9,850 with a touchbar adding an extra £1,000.
The company was also showing a strong-looking 4m power harrow from Italian firm Moreni. It costs £14,000 and needs 200hp upwards to power it.
Patchwork BlackBox Eco+
Patchwork makes its GPS systems just 40 miles away from the Welsh Show, so it was a logical place to be showing its latest equipment. According to managing director Sue Davies, the move this year to offer a slightly simpler unit – the Eco+ – for £1,250 (rather than the usual £1,500) has been a definite success.
It is aimed at dairy and sheep farmers who want to know field size and might not need all the bells and whistles but want a means of doing accurate field sizes for jobs such as slug pelleting. It is equally aimed at arable farmers who don’t want to go to the considerable expense of autosteer.
It’s rated to the IP65 waterproof and dust standard, so it can be left out outside now and then without fear of the electronics packing in. It works with Egnos and Glonass GPS signals and has automatic terrain compensation as standard.
Welsh trailer makers are generally pretty thin on the ground, but Phillip Rees at M4 Trailers of Cross Hands has built up a good business making high-quality units.
He started off doing refurbs eight years ago, but a lot of his time is now taken up fitting better hydraulic and air brakes on existing trailers. He also makes quite a few tipper trailers, flatbeds and low-loaders.
The multi-purpose tipper trailer on his stand is available in 8t and 10t versions, with this heavier-build version for aimed at those doing a lot of road work. The sides can come off quickly and the back door swung down without any need to remove it. There’s also a facility to fit ramps, either at the time or later on.
A galvanised bale extension lets you carry eight bales on the trailer. Cost is £5,450 for the 8t unit and £6,200 for the 10t version.
The Ag Dispenser, first designed by Cheshire farmer’s son Andrew Garnett back in 1998, continues to offer more variants. The latest 175 Hyline Ag Dispenser can dispense sawdust, sand, chopped straw, lime-ash and green bedding.
Either a spinner or conveyor can be bolted on to the bucket and there’s an optional agitating auger that helps shift fluffy products such as green bedding that can bridge over the main auger.
The spinner is mainly designed to dispense sand into cubicles and is said to give a fan pattern that makes for a better bed for cows. The conveyor, however, does have a higher output.
The motor has also been moved inside the main auger to boost capacity and provide more power. The valve block is now more accessible. Cost is £4,800.
Logic weed wiper
Northumberland firm Logic has been making weed-wipers for more than 15 years, but continues to find more effective or efficient ways of doing the job. The new Contact 2000 model aims to apply herbicide only to the tall target plants such as nettles, thistles, rushes and bracken and not to grass and clover.
The smallest unit is a 1.5m, but for those with big areas to cover, you can link up to three 2.5m units together to give a 7.5m total width. Ideal speed is 3-5mph.
Meanwhile, seven 110deg fan nozzles at the top of the inside of the hood give a six-second burst of spray, although you can alter the spray duration 1% at a time.
The contra-rotating brush is ground-driven from the wheel using a segmented v-belt. It’s made of a mixture of Mexican natural and man-made fibres arranged in interlocking rings of bristles.
The result, says the company, is that 1 litre of selective herbicide can cover 24-25 acres. That compares with a coverage of just 4-5 acres from 1 litre of herbicide with a regular boom spray.
Cost is £2,995 if towed behind an ATV and £3,995 if fitted to a tractor.
The latest grab from Leighton Buzzard form Browns is the SuperGrab, designed to handle round and big square bales alike. It has 10 curved side tines that grab the bales and allow them to be rotated for vertical stacking.
The arms are controlled by two hydraulic rams to give a strong grip. Meanwhile, two straight tines can be placed in the lower beam for extra support when handling big square Hesston-type bales.
All pivot points are bushed with grease nipples, says the company, and hoses are supplied with the grab. The grab can handle two round bales, three medium-sized bales and two large Hesston-type bales. Price is £1.980.
Chinese tractors may not have made much impact on the higher horsepower classes, but they are an increasing force in the under 50hp market.
Beddoes at Church Stoke was showing green versions of the previously red tractors. The main other change was the move of the gear levers from the traditional between-the-knees position to the right- hand side.
Cost of this machine is £9,000. Key specs are 40hp, selectable four-wheel drive, max lift of 1,200kg, two-speed pto, eight forward and two reverse gears.