18 January 2002

Dowdeswell ploughs on

DOWDESWELL plough manufacture is not at an end, it seems. A statement from the Warwicks-based company insists it is still very much in the business as a plough maker.

This news is at odds with a decision nine months ago which proposed that the company suspend the manufacture of whole goods and became a supplier of parts and service to existing customers and dealers.

It now appears Dowdeswells production of ploughs did not cease.

"Although we had every intention of suspending manufacture, we continued to receive a steady flow of orders from farmers and contractors wanting to purchase Dowdeswell products – so we just carried on making them," explains managing director Tim Dowdeswell.

Last year was considered by Mr Dowdeswell to have been the worst year in the companys history. Financial pressure led to the closure and sale of its Harleston site where powered cultivation equipment was built. Plans for the development of a drill range were effectively shelved, as was the production of bale wrappers.

But now, like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Mr Dowdeswell feels confident that his companys core business – ploughs, disc harrows and furrow presses – can be revived.

"We have pared down the company to a size at which we believe it can succeed in the economic climate currently being faced by agriculture," says Mr Dowdeswell. "Today, we have a much stronger business without any borrowings. I am convinced there is a place for a smaller, dedicated manufacturer of tillage equipment committed to the needs of British farmers." &#42