Horsch readies new models after record year

Company boss Michael Horsch is confident that 2011 net sales will top €160 million – a 10% increase on the previous record results of 2008.


He suggests this is clear proof of the positive state of agriculture. “Farmers have realised they have not really been affected by the financial crisis of the past two years, and are now starting to invest in new kit,” he says.

More than 70% of Horsch production is exported, with demand from Russia and Kazakhstan continuing to grow. France is another vital market that now takes almost as many Horsch machines as Germany.

Almost 12 months since the split with Simba, the UK arm of the company reckons it is on target to achieve a 10m Euro turnover – 50% up on 2010.

“Now we are looking to our 30 dealers to further grow this figure by 30 to 40% during 2012,” he says. “The UK is a high priority market for us.”

Historically, drills have accounted for nearly 100% of Horsch sales in the UK, and this year the Pronto and Sprinter have both been well received. However, UK and Ireland manager Stephen Burcham stresses he is also keen to grow cultivator sales in what is for Horsch a new market.

This year the company has made a big effort to demonstrate the Tiger cultivators and Joker disc harrows – both new to the UK. He is hopeful this will lead to rising sales for 2012.

Cultivators

Horsch is the first to admit that the British market is one where the combination of heavy land and wet conditions needs specialist machines.

The newly-developed Terrano MT (pictured left) is a good example of a cultivator designed specifically for these conditions. On display at Agritechnica next month, the newcomer is already being labelled as a potential star that could boost Horsch revenues in Britain.

Available in 4m and 6m working widths, it uses a four-bar design which combines discs, tines (with a high trip force of 550kg) and packer-roller on a mid-mounted chassis.

The concept is said to be ideal where growers are looking for good shallow mixing in the top layer and loosening at depth without bringing clods to the surface.

At the rear, the newly-designed packer roller, which features scrapers that work better in the wet, is able to consolidate both shallow and deeper soil layers.

Three MTs are out on test in the UK this autumn, and if you are not planning to a trip to Hannover, then the first opportunity to see one will be at LAMMA.

Sprayers

Horsch Pic 4 GS 8000Agritechnica visitors will also get a sneak preview of the first of a new breed of high-capacity trailed sprayers – the Horsch Leeb 8,000-litre GS 8000 (pictured left).

Inheriting much of its DNA from the GS 6000 launched at the last show two years ago, it is unlikely that any of these two sprayers will put in an appearance in the UK until late next year.

The company is also evaluating a couple of designs of a high-speed self-propelled sprayer.

Powered by a 450hp engine and fitted with a 36m boom and 6,000-litre tank, a prototype working in Kazakhstan achieved outputs of 1,000ha during a 10-hour day.

Although the company thinks the self-propelled option may be easier to sell in Britain initially, UK farmers probably won’t see anything in the flesh until 2013.

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