15 January 1999

WE BUY LOCALLY WHEN WE ARE ABLE

THE tractors and the combine harvester on the Chappell brothers farm at Spalding, Lincs come from Germany, but most of the other equipment is made locally by Lincs-based companies.

Robin and David Chappell farm 168ha (420 acres) of high quality silty soil on the edge of Spalding. Approximately half their land is in wheat, and the rest is cropped with potatoes, sugar beet and about 40ha (100 acres) of tulip and daffodil bulbs

Its a cropping mix which demands a large amount of machinery and the Chappell brothers like to keep their equipment up to date.

"We invest quite a lot of money in new machinery," says Robin. "Design improvements are being made all the time and machines can quickly become outdated. When choosing a new machine the things we look for first are a name with a reputation we can trust, and a machine with the design features we are looking for.

"We also prefer to buy equipment which is made in Lincs. If there is an emergency it is much easier to sort out a problem or get a spare part in a hurry if the factory is reasonably close, and with the sort of crops we grow a hold up with a broken down machine can be very expensive."

The importance of root crops in Lincs farming is reflected in the countys machinery production, and a wide range of equipment for potatoes and bulbs is locally built. The potato harvester used on the Chappell family farm is a Pearson Enterprise 2000 Hydro, which they bought in 1997. Their farm is less than 20 miles from the Pearson headquarters near Boston.

Equipment for handling and grading the potato crop is also important on the Chappell farm, and this comes exclusively from Lincs based manufacturers. Their grader is a Tong Caretaker 72 from Spilsby, purchased 10 years ago, but they also use equipment made by Peal Engineering at Horncastle plus a roller table from Barrett of Boston.

Bulb production is also big business for Robin and David Chappell, and their equipment list includes a bulb steriliser with a 12 tonnes an hour capacity. It was made by Secker of Holbeach, less than 10 miles from the family farm.

Transport is handled by six tandem-axle tipping trailers which were built near Grantham, Lincs. One batch of three trailers came from the Armstrong and Holmes factory at Fulbeck, and the other three are in the Ace range from Marston Agricultural Services at Marston.

Another major investment in Lincs-built machinery is the sprayer. The Chappells chose a Sprint self-propelled sprayer made by L W Househam of Leadenham. It has a 2000 litre tank and a 24m (80ft) boom.

The Chappell brothers have been using Sanderson Teleporters for all their materials handling jobs for 20 years, starting when the company was based near Skegness, Lincs. They remained loyal after the Sanderson company was taken over and Teleporter production was moved within the county to Grantham, and their loyalty has continued after the recent Claas takeover.

Their new S registered Teleporter TL7 was made after production was transferred to the Claas factory in Suffolk – but before the Claas name and colours replaced the Sanderson identity.

"Lincs makes a lot of good equipment, and thats why so much of the machinery we use is made in the county," explains Robin. "But we also have equipment which is not made in the county and some of that is very good.

"The Kverneland plough we are using is probably the best we have ever owned, and we have been very pleased with the John Deere tractors we have been using for the last 10 years." &#42