Scotgrass cancelled – how will it affect manufacturers?

Grass machinery makers are having to look at fresh ways of demonstrating their machinery in 2014 after last week’s announcement that the Scotgrass event had been cancelled.

The annual round of working demos has provided an essential shop window for equipment makers for many years. They give farmers and contractors a once-a-year chance to compare the performance of rival makes of machine in more-or-less real-life conditions.

But increasingly unpredictable weather patterns are making life hard for working-show organisers.

The annual grass machinery demos, which work on a three-year rotation between Grassland UK in Somerset, Grassland and Muck at Stoneleigh and Scotgrass at Dumfries, have been particularly hard hit in recent years.

Grassland and Muck 2011 went ahead but suffered from drought and short grass, while Grassland UK in 2012 was so wet that all working demos were cancelled. And now Scotgrass 2013 has been called off because of a lack of grass.

“National working demos are very important,” says JF-Stoll’s Martin Holden. “Companies may not get direct sales from a national demo, but it’s a good chance to show off the current range and new models,” he says. “If they like what they see, farmers will then get their local dealer to come and do a demo.”


  • Cereals, 12-13 June
  • Royal Highland, 20-23 June
  • Royal Welsh, 22-25 July
  • Tillage-Live, 11 September
  • Agritechnica, 10-16 November

Hauling machines to demos can be expensive, though, he says. “A big grassland event can involve 300-400 truck haulage movements at £350 each way. That’s a lot of money.

“But if farmers can’t get to these shows, we have to bring the machinery to them,” he adds. “Roadshows and local demos could work. When do you stage them, though? With grass machinery there’s a critical fortnight.”

Pottinger dealer events have been shunted back into late May/June – the best chance to get kit working.

“Most farmers come to working shows like Scotgrass to make a two- to three-machine shortlist, which they’ll then get on-farm for a closer look,” says Pottinger UK’s Shaun Groom.

“Without the shows many farmers don’t have the chance to look at different brands – instead they stick with the manufacturers and dealers they’re familiar with.”

Pottinger had planned to haul up to eight artic-loads to the Dumfries event. Instead, demos will be spread over a number of dealer events in Scotland and the rest of the UK.

There are still plenty of shows in the calendar, though. “We have more shows than most European countries – the Highland and Royal Welsh still have a huge following – and Agritechnica is becoming more important. It gives mid- to large-scale farmers and contractors a great chance to get ideas and inspiration for new machinery that might work for them,” says Mr Groom.

As for this year, high-capacity forage wagons are Pottinger’s big sellers thanks to last year’s washout. Similarly, ploughs and power harrows are back in vogue on the arable side of things.

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Scotgrass machinery demo cancelled due to lack of grass

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