We’ve barely had time to draw breath since Agritechnica before the next show in the agricultural machinery calendar took centre stage.
This time it was the turn of the Midlands Machinery Show, which took place in Newark, Lincolnshire.
See also: Video: The best of Agritechnica 2017
The Midlands Machinery Show usually throws up a few quirky bits of kit and this year is no exception, from a fresh-out-the-box drainage trencher to an Italian-built mobile work platform that can be towed behind your truck.
Attracting a continual stream of interested farmers was the new range of KRM-Bogballe fertiliser spreaders, which the company claims will handle larger loads, spread further and are easier to clean than previous machines.
The M35 spreader on show in Newark can hold 3,750kg compared with the M2 model it has replaced, which could only lug 3,300kg around.
The M35 can also spin through 600kg/minute whereas the M2 had a maximum throughput of 400kg/minute.
To cope with the increased output, the three new models all have a beefed-up driveline including a bigger slip clutch to handle the extra torque.
Variable-rate spreading from either side of the machine is possible along with a nifty headland section control, which has the existing eight main sections with an additional five sub sections in each, giving 40 in total.
The electrically controlled system does away with the clunky section shut-off used before, and has designed an almost step-less shut-off as the operator approaches the headland, no matter the field shape, claims the company.
Along with some new styling, the air movement around the spreading area has been altered by some modified guards, which the company says limits fertiliser build up near the discs while channelling the air to act as a jet stream for the granules.
Cleaning has also been improved with 18 pressure-wash holes channelling water to the harder to reach areas on the spreader, while the front mudflaps and rear lights fold out the way for easy access, too.
The price for the M35 with weigh cells is £19,115.
Weaving LD subsoiler
No-till specialist Weaving Machinery had its new low-disturbance Top-soiler on show to the UK public for the first time, which has been designed in response to GD Drill owners commenting on small areas of surface compaction across their farms.
The LD is a simple machine consisting of two subsoiler tine rows with thin loosening legs and lifting wings, which are followed by a 700mm ringed packer. The tines have nine depth options up to 228mm and each tine is sandwiched by two rings on the packer to close the slot.
There’s four width options, from 3-6m, with manual depth adjustment and shear bolt protection as standard, with an auto-reset option planned next year.
The 3m rigid version is £8,800, whereas the largest 6m folding unit comes in at £18,800.
Alpego drill subsoiler bar
In addition to the launch of its power harrow drill at Cereals earlier this year, Alpego was displaying a subsoiler toolbar, which can be mounted in front of the power harrow to tear into compaction.
The Delta 300 has one row of fierce-looking legs, with manual depth control up to 250mm deep and a choice of different points and wings.
The Delta toolbars are popular with the firm’s rotovator users for changing fields from grass to drilled land in one pass, but it’s confident there is a place for them among arable growers, too.
Two widths of toolbar are available, the 3m with four legs costs £4,600, whereas the larger 4m model with six legs, retails at £6,150.
The company commented it has seen a resurgence in the power harrow drill market over the past few years, with the fashion for ploughing returning and the looming glyphosate ban being key factors.
Hiring a contractor to lay new drainage pipes across your farm can be an eye-wateringly costly job, although if you’ve got upwards of a few hundred acres to cover, buying a trenching machine and carrying out the work in-house should be a serious consideration.
Suffolk firm AFT Trenchers has increased its range of trenchers by launching a heavier-duty tractor-mounted 250hp machine, with the previous 100hp rig still available.
The new model can plunge the trenching arm to a 2m depth from standstill, with the chain and the teeth being made up in Germany.
Sizes of drainage pipe from 150mm – 400mm can all be laid from the on-board reel, while the machine can also dig a channel for electric cable or water pipe to sit in.
The 100hp machine would average about 300m/day whereas that has been doubled to about 600m/day with the 250, although this is dependent on the type of dirt you’re digging through.
The 2,500kg weight has been kept compact to sit over the rear of the tractor to minimise compaction. A cheque of £33,000 will land you the 250, but opting for laser levelling will be extra.
Pride of place on the Ryetec stand was a mobile elevated work platform, which is light enough to be towed by a 4×4 on a standard road trailer, which means there’s no need to ruin field edges with a telehandler and man cage.
The Xiraffe, is based on a compact tractor with a Yanmar diesel engine providing the power and only weighs 2,500kg. There’s a fold down leg on each corner to stabilise the machine for work, with the standard one-person basket lifting 150kg, while an optional two-person cage can hoist up to 250kg.
Reaching to a 12m height and offering 360deg rotation should be enough to trim those dead trees around the field edge, while the light footprint shouldn’t impact on the drilled crop and a speed of up to 12mph means its much quicker than a lifting machine on tracks.
The rig is available now through Comet UK, with a price tag of about £50,000.
Show deals on big horsepower
If it was high horsepower you were after, then you didn’t have to look much further than a stonking show deal on Leicestershire dealer RES Tractors’ stand for a New Holland T8.435.
With only 120 hours on the clock, the 2017 half-track machine had 24in tracks on the rear and full New Holland guidance system in the cab. It also came with a 4,000-hour warranty and finance packages to spread the cost.
The 8-series model was an ex-demo machine, which had a show offer of £175,000 and looked good value, as long as you have the acres to put in front of its 435hp.
Up for grabs was another ex-demo machine on the stand of Robert H Crawford and Sons.
The 2017 McCormick X7.660 Efficient had a few more hours than the NH at 445 and slightly fewer ponies with a maximum boost of 175hp.
That said, a road speed of 50kph, along with front linkage, cab suspension and a set of front weights, meant it was a highly spec’d model.
A few other carrots thrown in by the dealer, was a year’s supply of AdBlue, filter kits for two services, three years’ warranty and four cans of engine oil, all for £69,500, with an optional finance scheme, too.
New into the UK three years ago, Knikmops loaders have slowly gained a foothold in the market against the established makes such as Schaffer.
To date, 18 Belgium-built loaders have been sold into the UK agriculture, construction and horticulture industries, through importer Rapid Tractors.
With Bosch Rexroth hydraulics and hydrostatic transmission and a 4-cylinder Kubota engine, there is some decent pedigree is the power department, with the largest model capable of lifting 1,800kg.
The boxy-looking machines have an options list as long as your arm, with a full cab and joystick loader control along with uprated hydraulic pump for powered brushes or telescopic boom.
Prices range from a base model at £15,000 to the all singing loader at £30,000.