Farmer Focus: Manufacturer ups tractor price by £70,000

We just priced the replacement for our large tractor, as it comes out of lease next March and with lead times you need to be on the ball.

One manufacturer (which will not be named) has put its tractor up £70,000 in 18 months, and also increased the lease cost by nearly £12,000 a year.

About the author

Robin Aird
Arable Farmer Focus writer Robin Aird manages 1500 ha on the North Wiltshire and Gloucestershire border with a further 160ha on a contract farming agreement.  Soils vary from gravel to clay, with the majority silty clay loams. A diverse estate with residential, commercial and events enterprises. He is Basis qualified and advises on other farming businesses.
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My interpretation of these figures is that these tractors are not going to be worth as much second-hand in five years’ time.   

See also: Bold agri-environment choice takes land out of production

The past few weeks have been a flurry of activity and crop growth. The rye has grown exponentially, as promised, and will be due its ear wash of tebuconazole any day now.

The winter wheats have had their T2s and will soon be due their T3s. The T2 was based around an increased dose of SDHI, thanks to the lovely rain we received.

I will monitor the forecast and potentially use my second SDHI at T3 if the weather looks unfavourable. A good T3 last year certainly paid for itself and with current returns this is looking likely to be repeated.

The low-input spring wheat is motoring towards growth stage 31 and really needed an eagle two weeks ago.

With only one broadleaf herbicide allowed, we needed to wait for the rain to create a second flush. It is getting close to embarrassing, with the weeds about to come out of the top of the canopy.

However, on the plus side there are loads of insects enjoying themselves and keeping the birds fed.

The maize has been challenging to get established, with the majority now into moisture and up and away. But there are also patches that have only just germinated so, hopefully, we will have full rows within the week.

We did a few small areas where it was excessively knobbly with the power harrow, and these are some of the last to grow – which was interesting.

The fertiliser markets have started with gusto, and we have, hopefully, secured our tonnage of liquid for the coming season.

We use the Sentry Ltd buying group for sprays and fertiliser and have always been pleased with the service, delivery and pricing that they have achieved.

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