31 July 1998

Boost for solo operators

There was no shortage of

new equipment for those

walking the machinery lines

at this years Royal Welsh

Show – Wales annual

farming shop window.

Ian Marshall reports

LATE July and all Wales farming community seems to descend on Builth Wells for the Welsh Show, which quietly boasts the best attendance of any of the agricultural shows in the UK.

Those looking for new machinery and equipment were not disappointed. Manufacturers were out in force, many with products which placed an emphasis on low cost, versatility and one-man operation – ideal for an area where the family farm still predominates.

This theme was illustrated by the machines selected for the shows Alban Davies Award for the item of new equipment considered most of benefit to Welsh farmers.

Shelbourne Reynolds took the award for its 6cu m Powermix Popular complete diet feeder, while Batemans Thorpe Sheepvet crate was highly commended (Machinery, Jul 24).

Four additional highly commended citations covered the treatment of foot complaints in cattle, round bale wrapping, a round bale unwrapper and a bale handler which can be used with both round and mini square bales.

Fosters Universal handler is designed to be mounted on the attachment carriage of a front end loader or telescopic materials handler to enable bales to be carried and stacked.

Its component parts are a back frame and a gripper arm, the length of which can be altered by bolts and locating holes.

When working with round bales, the arm extends horizontally from the frame and a single bale is clamped by a hydraulically-operated paddle.

To convert the implement to handle square bales, the arm is pivoted upright and secured. In this configuration the company says that – depending on the capacity of the loader – up to three mini Hesston-type bales can be held between the paddle and two bale spike tines inserted into holes in the back frames lower beam.

Offsider self loading bale unroller from Richie Equipment will carry two round or square bales of hay straw or silage and can be set to feed from either side. Price £6186.

One machine, three wrapping options – non-stop in line, trailed or static – with McHales 991 Combi, which has a starting price of £12,400.