14 February 1997

BSE dents Irish sales but overall optimism high

This years Farm Machinery Show was the largest and

most extensive array of farm machinery ever exhibited in Ireland. The event gave visitors an insight into all that

is new in Irish machinery. Andy Collings and

Andrew Faulkner report from Dublin

OVER 100 exhibitors, 600 different machines and more than 12,000 visitors – Irelands Farm Machinery Show is no mean event.

It is also evidence, if any were needed, that Irish manufacturers continue to make a significant contribution to the industry, both at home and abroad. But in a country whose farming is largely dominated by stock farms it is inevitable that the BSE crisis would hit equipment sales.

Last year, tractors held their own to match 1995s total of about 2800 units, but overall tackle sales fell by almost 7%.

Even so, there is no denying an air of optimism in the trade. Most exhibitors at the event were confident that the worst was past. Like UK farmers, healthy earnings over recent years means there is money to spend.

And few would deny the Dublin-hosted Farm Machinery Show presented plenty of opportunities to do just that.

About 12,000 visitors turned up at the Dublin Farm Machinery Show.