Machinery industry starts settling down after year of upheaval

2010 was a year of some upheaval on the machinery scene, but it seems the sector is beginning to settle once more. At LAMMA last week a number of firms were getting into their stride with new names and new products

Simba’s acquisition last year by US cultivation kit giant Great Plains has lead to a rebranding of the Sleaford firm’s tillage tackle. The distinctive orange livery doesn’t change but the name does – ‘Simba Great Plains’ stickers featured prominently on the firm’s stand. In the US certain Lincs-built kit will be painted green, while this side of the pond drills developed by Great Plains for Europe will add to the Simba line-up. Expect to see a pre-production prototype on the company’s stand at Cereals 2011.

Unsurprisingly, Simba’s longstanding relationship with Horsch came to an end after the Great Plains buyout and the German manufacturer has now set up its own subsidiary in the UK. Not only will the firm’s Sprinter and Pronto drills feature in the line-up, but it will also include Horsch’s full range of cultivation kit including Tiger and Joker models – on show for the first time at LAMMA.

While old names get rejigged, new names continue to pop up. Latest in a long line from East Yorkshire is Terra Tech. Having worked for Farm Force and Sumo, engineer Chris Byars set up shop on his own three months ago. His distinctive silver and black livery certainly caught the eye of LAMMA visitors and he’s hoping the equally memorable names of his machines will stick in people’s minds. The line-up includes Press-On disc-cultivators, Press-It tined machines and Roll-On Cambridge rolls, as well as a variety of front presses.

Fledgling tillage tackle maker Challenger Agri – also from East Yorkshire – has sold ten bespoke machines in its first year of business. It hopes its latest offering will build on that. A trailed sub-soiler, the Virion has been specifically designed for tracked tractors from 300hp to 600hp. Available with five, seven or nine legs working to a depth of 600mm (24in), its parallelogram drawbar floats in work with press-wheels ahead and behind the legs, maintaining an accurate depth.

French cultivation specialist AgriSem has flirted with the UK in the past, having a brief fling with importer RECO a few years back. Now the company is back and it believes the market this side of the Channel has strong potential.

“British farmers are ahead of the rest of Europe with minimum tillage and that’s what we specialise in,” says export manager Bertrand Schmit. “We’ve been testing the market at LAMMA and had good feedback – now we just need to find some good dealers.”

The cranked leg Cultiplow subsoiler was reported to be attracting most interest with its novel Combi-O-Sem seeder attachment that uses wide-spaced but standard disc drill coulters to place seed at an accurate depth.

While Lely bought out German forage machinery firm Mengele in June last year, the company still has stocks of the iconic SH40 trailed harvester in its trademark turquoise-livery and two appeared on Lely’s stand at LAMMA. However, newly built machines are now being sprayed red and will be retagged as Storm once the stocks of SH40s run out later this year. Previous importer RECO will continue to supply spares for existing SH40 customers.

Sussex-based Port Agric is bringing a selection of cereal drills and fertiliser spreaders into the UK from Italian manufacturer Maschio Gaspardo. While RECO continues to sell the company’s power-harrows and rotovators and Claas dealer Mill Engineers brings in its maize drills, Port Agric will distribute products not previously seen in the UK. The deal is a result of a year-long agreement between the two companies, which has involved Maschio-built flail-toppers being sold in the UK in Port Agric’s blue livery.



See more